I’m sure I speak for many when I say how hard it is, despite these challenging economic times, to ignore those giant red letters that seem to be in every shop window along just about every street on this commerce-driven island of ours. You know the ones– S-A-L-E. The other day with a virtual pad lock on my wallet, I wandered into Banana Republic and accidentally stumbled upon an adorable black, puffed sleeve coat that was marked down to $39…from $225! It was a deal I couldn’t pass up. So, the virtual padlock was consequently unlocked.
As I pranced home with that feeling of glee that comes with the acquisition of shiny, new, pretty things, I couldn’t stop thinking about my wonderful new garment and how perfectly it would brighten my winter uniform of jeans and boots that has in recent weeks begun to feel rather lackluster. I realized though, as I cringed at the icy wind on my face that I might be waiting some time to actually snip the tags and wear it, as it’s a bit too light-weight for anything less than 40-degree temperatures. So upon getting home, I took the coat out of the bag, admired it once again and tucked it in with my other pieces of lightweight outerwear where it would wait, until warmer days arrive.
But what do you know, I didn’t have to wait very long at all. When I stepped out the front door of my building at three this afternoon bundled up, as if headed for Siberia, I nearly choked it was so warm. And with a spark of genius, I turned right around and hiked back up the fives flights of stairs in my building, dashed straight for my closet and reached for the new beauty. Perfect indeed. But what was more lovely, was in fact the weather. The sky was glowing a soft azure and the bright, white sun warmed the cold air. It certainly felt like the first day of spring, which every New Yorker knows feels like the best day on earth.
A pleasant stroll along crowded Sunday streets led me to my destination on Mott Street where I met friends for afternoon dumplings to celebrate the Chinese New Year. And on more than one occasion the talk of the table centered on the beautiful day. But as happy at the thought of spring was, it was obvious none of us had our hopes up. We all knew the sunny warmth would leave as quickly as it came, because winter in the northeast typically runs well past February 1!
Tomorrow, we find out for sure when Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his borrow for Groundhog Day 2009 to predict the weather for the remainder of winter. If he sees his shadow we have six more weeks (ugh), and if he doesn’t, we’ll get an early spring (fingers crossed). So what’s it gonna be? I don’t know, but I’d really love to switch out my heavy coat for the cute new one. So, work with me Phil, will ya?