Pocket Veto

Brooklyn, N.Y.

The tropical Christmas we had here in the northeast United States has now snapped back into line. It’s in the 40s under a leaden sky, all poised to get colder later on, with maybe some sleet.

While it’s pedestrian to talk about the weather, I did just go out for a walk outside, bodega bound,  and I returned with a baby kale salad  for a light lunch.

Before leaving, and in  what has been a rarity this December, I pulled on my black peacoat with a pleasing, just-above-the ass cut. Cold, at times, yes, but fashionably cold. And it doesn’t deprive the world of a view of le derriere du Chupaska  just because it’s winter.

So, after a quick button — only three on the peacoat –I plunged my right hand into my right  pocket and pulled out my winter hat.  Now, I had no idea my winter hat was in that pocket. Had I  searched for it, I would have eventually found it, but not without the dash of panic that precipitates the sense that one might have lost something.

This brings me to one of the more annoying aspects of a cold winter: that the amount of things you have to bring with you and pockets you have on your person increase exponentially.

In summer, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s even after sundown, you’re wearing less clothes and therefore less pockets.

My two go-to shorts, a fun red pair and a sensible gray pair, each have three pockets.

If I’m out in the summertime, there’s only two places to place my keys, wallet and phone.

It’s much easier to keep track off. Plus, shorts are made less sturdy material than my four pocketed Levi 511s, so each  item has presence in my shorts  and I know where they are, and will quickly realize its absence.

Come winter, there’s an explosion of pockets.

There’s the two plus two on my jeans, plus there’s side pockets and inside pocket on my blazer. (Quick bit of parenthetical fashion advice: wear blazers; it adds some elan no matter the occasion.). That’s before I get on my winter coat, which has two big pockets on the side, plus a smaller one, with a zip,  on the inside.  

After consulting with my accountant, that’s 10 pockets total.

So, in addition to the said wallet, phone and keys, I add gloves and a hat.

Upon arrival to a restaurant or a bar, I take off the hat and gloves and scrunch them into my coat pocket, and it bulges accordingly.

Sometimes when you’re at the bar, especially a crowded one, there’s always that interval between arrival and finding a place to sit — the, hot sweaty,  standing stage of your night out.

So, my coat stays on, the wallet comes out of the jeans pocket, and I’ll get a round. After paying,  sometimes the wallet goes into the coat pocket, often the same one inhabited by my gloves and hat.

I think it’s because some pockets have a kind of most favored nation status. One pocket could be vacant and roomy, primed for gloves and hats, but no, all your possessions go into the same pocket.

So, my keys and wallet will nestle in the folds of my hat, or escape like a hedgehog down one of my gloves.

Then, either because it’s my round or because I’m visited by that “Where the hell is my wallet?”  and “Where are my keys?’ shock of worry, I’ll burrow through pocket full of wool and leather until I find them.

And of course, I’ll curse the pocket problem, instead taking a moment to sensibly distribute the contents.

But at least there is the expectation, in my world at least, that with the greater amount of pockets, the more intense the worry that  the wallet might go missing.

Well, on Christmas Eve I actually lost my wallet while wearing clothes that number seven pockets — jeans plus blazer.

It’s actually gone. New New York state license and credit cards are on the way.

But seven pockets? In the middle between minimum and maximum pockets?

The mediocrity of it all.



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