There are certain items that, whilst they are with you, become a part of you, so much so that you take their quirks as a given. If they get replaced there is a period of adjustment.
My local supermarket has the annoying habit of changing the type of toothbrush they have in stock every year or so. This means that whenever I have to buy a new toothbrush I buy one, check it out and if I like it I will buy 3 spares the week after. I currently have 1 good one in stock and a lesser one, that lesser one isn't bad, per se, but it's not great either. Such is life I guess. In the days of our grandparents brands were something that didn't change for decades. A toothbrush was a toothbrush and you could rely on using the same type year in year out. The same goes for razors, many people grew up using the same type of soap and razor their father used.
I shave electrically (I have a phobia for all things sharp, which I got whilst doing a summer job, in pickled gherkins, if you can believe that), the razor I have is 10 years old and the blades could do with replacing to be honest. However, this model hasn't been made in ages and the only place to get new ones is via obscure dealers on teh interwebs, which seems a bit seedy to me, and I've more or less decided to get an entirely new razor. Some day. When this one really doesn't do the job anymore.
Anyway. What I'm trying to convey here is that certain items are with you for so long that doing with a replacement is difficult. Or at least requires a certain period of adjustment.
Yesterday I got a new coat*. I have been wearing leather jackets exclusively for the past 21 years. In that time I have worn 4 different ones. This means I do on average about 5 years with a jacket. Yesterday's purchase marked the occasion of getting my fifth jacket, which I promptly wore that evening.
It is a good coat. But, like all changes in coats, it means some adjustments must be made. My first leather jacket had loads of pockets. 2 inner pockets, 2 for the hands, 2 on the breast outside (oooh, see my Google rating soar up, say it again: breast
My later jackets had less, generally 2 on the inside, but only one on the breast outside. One had only one pocket for my (right, I think) hand!. This coat will forever remain nameless! It will be forgotten! It will not be mentioned again!
It seems that jackets get less pockets, which become smaller at the same time, generation after generation **. Let there be no mistake: I like my pockets big. I like to keep my passport in one (zipped) front pocket. My iPod in a separate inner-pocket, a book (a pocketbook, you understand) in the other inner pocket (I so hate being without a read in trains and busses and I like to travel without bags). Now, getting a new coat is no sinecure. Not very many places sell leather jackets and, this is probably much more important, I so hate shopping for clothes. This means I find a place that sells what I generally like and keep going there till I really can't stand it anymore. The coat I bought yesterday was bought at the exact same store I bought my previous coat, what can I say: I am a creature of habit. (If you think this is bad let me tell you that for the past 30 years all my underwear and socks have come from the same department store chain. My trousers all come from a different chain (but all trousers from the same chain, if you get what I mean). I did make an exception a year or 6 ago under the pressure of some friends and it was a big mistake, if only because they know I hate clothing stores and they had great fun getting me to try on different stuff, don't you just hate friends? I still see the bastards. How forgiving am I? Call me Jesus!)
Anyways, I tried on a few jackets and the one I walked away with is distinctly different from the old one. There is no outer pocket anymore (let alone 2). The inner pockets are also smaller. The pockets for the hands are a tiny but bigger though, which is good. Whenever I buy a new coat I take a book with me to see if it fits. I take the pocketbook I am currently reading or have read recently (if I'm on a hardcover at the moment) to see if I can travel with a book in my jacket. The jacket I bought appears to fit pocketbooks of most sizes except for the really big or thicker ones (I took a small but thick book when buying the coat and later tested different books at home). All in all I am pretty happy with my new coat, however the pockets are a bit too small to call this jacket perfect, especially considering the lack of outer breast-pockets. The inner pockets are also a big high up for my likes but I'm sure that will be fairly easy to adjust to. I can't help but worry however: what if the next coat has even less and/or even smaller pockets. Perhaps I'll have to resort to carrying a bag all the time. Or worse (gasp) stop reading!!!!
I remember when I got my previous jacket I had to adjust and eventually found it to be perfect for my needs, I hope the same goes for my new jacket.
As an aside: last year before going on a trip to scotland with some friends (one of whom was part of the sadistic group that tried to get me to wear jeans with flares or something equally obnoxious) I got a denim jacket and I had to adjust to exactly the same thing, less pockets (it does have 2 outer breast-pockets but they are so small they are virtually useless). Yes, it probably looks more stylish but damn, I likes my clothing comfortable, in more ways than just the fact that something "fits". It seems this is getting harder and harder to get. Can we start a more-pockets-plx group on yahoo or something? ( I am reminded here of a particularly funny moment in Bridget Jones' diary where she has to decide whether to wear comfortable or sexy underwear, she decides for the comfortable ones and ends up in bed with a man, such is life I guess.) (Hmmm, if I end up in bed with a strange woman this week I'll let you know.)
*) I realize there's probably some obscure semantic difference between a coat and a leather jacket however to me they are all the same and I'll use the terms interchangeably from now on.
**) There's probably some werid pseudo-evolutionary thing going on here. Or maybe it is a sign of unintelligent design. I don't know.
If you liked my story on coats you might also like my tale about my new boots or my rant about socks. Whatever.