Weatherproof Incognito Coat

Do you know who that was? You DO know who that was, right?

My teen-aged daughter and I were spending a few days in NYC some years ago. One very cool, very rainy afternoon we braved the conditions and went walking in midtown armed with umbrellas and tightly fastened coats.

There were few pedestrians on the sidewalks, but in the block ahead I noticed a woman walking toward us. She was tall and slender. She had no umbrella and, as she got closer, I could see that she had no need for one. She was wearing a waterproof jacket that came down to just above her knees - a car coat, I'd guess you'd call it. What struck me as amazing and ingenious was the hood and collar of the coat designed in such as way as to almost totally encapsulate her from the knees up protecting her from the elements and enabling maximum flexibility and range of motion.

The closer she got, the more I was able to study the details of this garment. I was thinking "that is a great coat! Perfect for this weather: no umbrella to hold and operate against the wet gusts of wind or to impede visibility; and hands free to keep cuddled in pockets or to hail a cab." The hood was close fitting so the wind couldn't easily dislodge it from her head. The collar stood straight up and ended near her nose and was secured in that position by a sturdy zipper.

I waited until after we had passed the woman before exclaiming how amazingly perfect the coat was. But before I could begin my praise for the perfect rainy weather garment, my daughter excitedly turned to me - she also had waited until we had passed the woman before speaking, and said, "Do you know who that was? You DO know who that was, right?"

"No, who was it?"

"That was Julia Roberts! We just walked past Julia Roberts!"

At this point my observation seemed a lame retort at best, "I wasn't looking at her face. I was looking at her coat. Hey, that was a great coat for this weather, don't you think?"

"Mom, Julia Roberts!"

I think that meant, "I win this round."

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