Monday, January 26, 2009

A Short Essay About the Importance of a Good Coat

Once upon a time, I had to go to court to dispute a speeding ticket. I was seventeen and had been caught careening down my small town’s main street at 73 miles an hour, on my way to turn in a history paper that, in retrospect, was not important at all. After sobbing to the state trooper about the vital importance of said history paper, I was issued a citation for $250. I felt an immediate rush of panic about telling my dad, combined with excitement about the chance to wear a dramatically demure outfit to court and plead my innocence.


I spent weeks planning a foolproof trial wardrobe and defense. I decided I would wear a cream skirt with flower embroidery, a black shirt with pearl buttons and a rounded collar, black tights, ballet flats, a red vintage scarf, and round sunglasses. I would say that if society wanted to persecute me for striving to be a good student, then I would dutifully pay the price, but I would forever lament the injustice of a legal system that so callously ignored a citizen’s right to life, liberty, and the 73-mile-an-hour pursuit of an A on my essay about the industrial revolution.

The day of my court date, everything went according to plan: my outfit looked great, and my note cards were in order. When I walked out the door, it was chilly and I felt a raindrop, so I ran back inside and grabbed a random coat from the laundry room. This random coat happened to be my mom’s dilapidated fleece pullover, but I didn’t think much of it as I slipped it on and headed to the courthouse.

When I arrived, I strutted through the big doors and down the hall to my assigned courtroom. I whipped off my glamorous shades and faced a huge room packed with traffic offenders and nonviolent felons. People were glaring and the judge’s bench was much more imposing than I’d anticipated and the whole thing was very scary. I dropped my note cards into my bag and perched on the edge of a bench next to a woman with a crying baby and I felt nothing like Winona Ryder.

The judge came in and the clerk started calling names for rapid-fire public pleas. I was hyperventilating. About fifteen minutes in, they called my name. I stood up on wobbly legs and they asked me for my plea. I opened my mouth to speak but suddenly all I could think was, “Oh my god, I’m wearing a fleece covered in dog hair.”

“Guilty,” I said.

18 comments:

kyla said...

hahaha great story!

holly said...

awww this is so cute and so sad! dog hair + fleece = disaster!

Kim said...

Tragic.
And very timely; I have a court date in a few weeks for a speeding ticket I got on campus on my way into work - I was only running five minutes late, but after getting pulled over, I was ironically a lot later. You've both taught me a lesson in proper outterwear and given me proper justification to buy a spiffy new coat.

echidna girl said...

OMG...

The dog made you do it!

Sal said...

If my time machine weren't on the fritz, I'd hop in, crisp trenchcoat in-hand, and save you from doghair-encrusted doom. I SWEAR.

lisa said...

LOL aww! Proper outerwear can increase your powers of concentration tremendously.

Juliet said...

You made your point :D.

juliet xxx

fashion herald said...

well said. and court is nothing like one expects, totally intimidating and not at all like on TV.

Danielle said...

haha - I LOVE all the misconceptions about court!! (I'm a 3rd-year law student, so I've developed a new perspective since my speeding-ticket days.)

I'm also inspired to purchase a new spring coat to go over my suits this semester...you've got me thinking!

Winnie said...

What a great story! You really have a way with words. A good coat is definitely a good call.

KD said...

That sucks.

Deka said...

animal hair is a turn off!!
haha sorry dude
i have 10 well-cut coats that make my usually jeans and sneakers look good

Becky said...

Oh Winona...Where will I find that shirt?
and can I have your permission to put "'cause daddy likey" at the bottom?

Thank you.

Solanah said...

Thanks for the comment over on my little blog, nice to meet you!

Coats are where its at, they can make or break the outfit!

-h of candid cool said...

when i got my speeding ticket i had to talk to a tv!!

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