Wearing A Jacket Is Nice

I can’t imagine a person who hates autumn, but if you’re out there: burn in hell. You’ll enjoy hell, because it’s hot. I’ll enjoy hell, because presumably that’s where all the fun people like Mitch Hedberg live now.

But hell is not until later (hopefully later than today, good luck). As of right now, joy can only be experienced in one exclusive, limited, exotic way: wearing a jacket.

If you feel like you could “experience joy” in some other way today, that’s fine. I don’t see how, but I do not speak for all joy. This article is about feeling good while wearing a jacket, and you’re reading it, so you’ve entered into a contract to consider my point of view.

Think about the first cold snap of the year and, in your mind, reach for an article of clothing. This is an exercise, so you have to mentally reach right now and I’ll know if you didn’t. Okay. What did you grab? A jacket? I don’t get paid to embed links to coats, but if I did I would suggest reaching for this one.

I’m not a magician, nor a clairvoyant. But I had a feeling you’d choose a jacket and not, say, a “snood,” because on the first cold day, I never feel better than when I put a fall coat on top of a long-sleeve blouse. (Unrelated fall trivia: “blouse” is a gay term for a “flamboyant top.”) I don’t reach for a “toque” or “beanie” because that’s slightly premature, as I love a cool breeze flowing through my longer, autumnal hair. I just want to feel protected, like someone is there to defend me should I get into a bit of a scuffle with a strong gust of wind.

I also knew you’d reach for a jacket because this is one of those universal appeal scenarios like “enjoying the cold side of the pillow” or “loving jumping under the covers as soon as you get home after a cold, winter commute home.” Except not on a terrible website (you know the one!).

I knew you’d pick a jacket because a jacket feels like protective armor (armor, a thing you may be familiar with from Game of Thrones, a show I don’t watch). And a jacket feels as good as it does when you first put it on because it’s like saying goodbye to a new friend (summer) and hello to an old one (fall) in one single action. Just think about that for a second. Slipping on a light-to-medium weight jacket that keeps you comfortably warm is itself a symbol for comfortable friendships, the kind where you might not see each other for a while but you know that everything will be just as it was when you reunite. A jacket is a reminder that you will never be alone, which is just nice.

Life is a series of entrances and exits, you might say, and just because something is gone one day, doesn’t mean it won’t return. Fall marks the return of the jacket, and jackets give great hugs. And a jacket marks the end of summer, which means that you’ll be in parks less, but it also means your friends will finally stop camping.

Maybe you aren’t getting it and you’re one of those people who require some pop culture reference to understand every basic concept floated your way, which is totally fine, and I’m happy to help. Are you familiar with the episode “The Goodbye Girl” from “The O.C.?” It’s the one where Anna leaves and Seth runs after her at the airport, and it makes me cry every time I watch it. Anna is summer in this case, departing because she has to (it’s over, goodbye [girl]) and Summer is fall, because she’s sticking around (like a jacket sticks around your body, if you’re following), and will do her best to like things that Seth likes (toy horses).

Still not convinced? Here’s a Google Image Search for “famous people wearing jackets.” A quick scan has confirmed that many celebrities wear jackets in the fall, and a lot of them look great and are smiling. It’s looking pretty good for jackets, in my opinion.

You may be shaking your head right now, not at all convinced that jackets give hugs, make you happy, or that they are emblematic of friendship. You may even think that I paid celebrities to wear jackets so I could sway you, because you think I’m from the jacket lobby. In which case, fine, take all of your jackets, and set them on fire. It sounds like you don’t need them, and are so unwilling to align with my opinion, which is correct.