I have this great leather jacket. When I was living in Ecuador I came across this tiny little town that specialized in leather. Literally, every single house had a leather goods store attached to it. Bags and jackets and belts hanging everywhere. I didn’t travel there with the intention of buying a leather jacket. In fact, up until that day, I was strictly anti-leather jackets.
Why? Because when I was eighteen I thought it would be really cool to have a leather jacket. So I went out and bought one. But I had no idea how to buy clothes and I bought what wound up looking like a stupid leather poncho. This thing was gigantic. It’s partly my body type. I’m really tall and have really long arms. Usually I just buy everything cotton, and then stretch out the sleeves.
Anyway, everything in this leathertropolis was dirt cheap. Like I’d start listing prices but you wouldn’t believe them. You’d think to yourself, “Same old Rob G. bullshit.” But it’s not. OK, I’ll give you one price, just to put things into perspective. I got a solid leather black belt. Something that would have cost me maybe sixty bucks at a department store. Easily a hundred at Banana or J. Crew. I got it here for three dollars. I’m not even kidding. If I only knew at the time how good of a deal that was, I would have bought like a hundred.
But leather jackets. I was just walking around, not at all interested in buying a leather jacket, but this one lady got really pushy, talking about me giving her money for a leather jacket. And finally, after all of my protests about awkward sizes and trying to tell her in Spanish about how one time I bought a leather poncho, she’s just like, “We’ll make you one right here. Custom.”
And I’m like, “Go on.” And she did. She made me a custom leather jacket. Did I mention how sick it is? It fits me perfectly. It’s brown, but not regular leather jacket brown. It’s like Grand Canyon at sunset brown. It’s amazing. I feel like the Fonz. Scratch that. I feel like if I were standing next to the Fonz, I’d take one look at him and tell him to sit on it. And he’d do it, because he’d know that he’d been out-Fonzed.
I wish I could wear it every single day. Unfortunately, I can’t. The only problem with this jacket is, due to Northeast climate, there’s a very short window where I can actually put it on. Once it gets warm, the thing turns into a sweat machine. Leather isn’t breathable at all. Conversely, it’s absolutely useless come winter. Wintertime you need a big jacket, something you can wear a sweatshirt under, something that can withstand a bus passing by and splashing you with a nasty puddle of black, salty street slush.
So yeah, I can only wear it a handful of times every year. Luckily, it’s fall right now. I just went to my friends Ben and Jill’s wedding up in Buffalo. I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons God put me on this planet was so that I could be up in Buffalo wearing this leather jacket for three days straight.
I saw a bunch of friends that I hadn’t seen in forever. All of them kept telling me about how much they admired it. “Sick jacket!” “Awesome jacket!” “Great jacket!” I loved it. The complements. The attention. The vindication. Do you know how much I got made fun of for that giant leather jacket I bought ten years ago? Seriously, a lot. Everybody in my family. All of my friends. It was horrible. I stuck it out for the year, just because I spent like actual money on it, just because I thought that if I stuck it out people would eventually stop teasing. But nobody did.
And finally, here I was, me, all of my friends, Buffalo. It was the leather jacket comeback story of the century. But then the complements started to transition into requests. Like, “Killer jacket! Can I try it on?” What was I going to say, no? I don’t want you to ruin it? It’s mine, don’t even think about it? Of course I couldn’t say anything like that. So I let on friend try it on. And then somebody saw my friend trying it on and asked me if he could try it on next. Then people I didn’t even know started going up to whoever might be trying it on at that moment and asking him, “Hey, can I try it on too?” and I waited for that person to say something like, “I don’t know, it’s not mine, it belongs to Rob G. right here, let me ask,” but instead it was like, “Sure here you go guy!”
And I had to sit there and smile and pretend not to look so worried, squirming, trying to pretend like I wasn’t staring at the jacket, can’t take my eyes off the jacket, totally obsessed with the jacket. One guy made a joke that it fit everybody perfectly, just like in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. “Maybe we should all send it around and we can all take turns with it for a month each!” That’s not true. It only looked good on me. Please, OK, fun’s over, just give me back the jacket. “My turn!” Oh my God, that guy just got some ketchup on the sleeve. And not even on the leather, on the cloth part. Is that going to stain? Jesus, I need to get out of here.
You know what? I’m tired. I gotta run. Yeah, sorry guys. I’ll see you tomorrow. Yeah, so, just, if I could just get my jacket, and I’ll be going. So, yeah, just, OK, just take it off. Yeah, it’s my jacket. Just, no not like that. One arm at a time. Easy. You’re going to stretch it out! You’re going to ruin it! Give it to me! Right now! OK right this second! Sorry. Sorry I don’t mean to get bent out of shape, it’s just. This jacket, it’s mine it’s … it’s just such a sick jacket. It’s great.