I’m excited to announce the official start of the Big Coat season. I know many of you have been imagining it’s still light jacket season, but I’ve seen you soaked to the bone in your slapping sneakers and dripping jeans out and about, and you fool no one.
You can feel it in the air, summer is out of reach so stop doing anything else, go to the attic and get those boxes of winter clothes down because it’s time for big coats baby. This year is a particularly exciting big coat season for me as it will technically be an XXXL coat season for me. Last year my wife asked me to get me a new coat and told me that my green parka with orange lining and a fluffy hood made me look like someone on a picket line in 1982. “You look a bit like Channel 4,” she carefully pointed out. My daughter, who was less sensitive, told me it was more like channel 5 as it made me look like a sex offender. Either way, people had spoken and the parka had to go.
Being a middle-aged man and having given up my looks completely, my wife has taken it upon herself to get me a new coat, one that doesn’t make me look like a militant socialist or ET. She found a lovely aquamarine puffy jacket at M&S but tragically it was €130, about €100 more than I was willing to spend. So I just waited until the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the last week of the last winter sale and got the last coat on the rails for a whopping €30. The only problem – apart from the fact that it was summer now – was that it was XXXL and even though I have the same body shape as a Minion, I’m not XXXL. But bargain is bargain and me and my giant coat are now ready for anything but specifically standing on the edge of a soccer field in the middle of nowhere and watching some under 10 year olds kick each other in the shins.
My wife usually does the soccer outings as she says I’m not vocal and supportive enough and I’m also so socially awkward that I don’t engage in conversation with other parents and everyone wonders who the silent creep in the parka is. In my defense, I get vocal at times, but after shouting profanities during a U-9 blitz last year, I thought it best to step back from the sidelines.
But at an away game in the far, far away lands of Halfway (halfway where, we’ll never know) I knew this wasn’t going to be a job for my wife and her selection of stylish but utterly pointless overcoats. That was a job for Billy Big Jacket.
As the wind whistled down the Bandon River valley, I was completely isolated and, most importantly, protected in my absolutely massive coat. I could feel the other parents’ jealousy as I stood there looking like a well-delayed hotel boiler with legs. Younger, cooler dads stood there in their light jackets, trembling and trying to pretend they were awesome, clinging to their fragile manhood while I stood to the side looking like a guy in a sumo suit. Best of all, at the end of the game I could open the jacket and let my soaked and muddy child in, like a wallaby carrying its young in a pouch, or maybe some kind of folk horror about a giant coat eating children.
He didn’t win the match, but that’s okay because it was Big Coat 1 – Parka Insulting Wife 0. She told me I look silly in my huge coat, “like a kid dressed in his parents’ clothes.” disguised” or “that”. Talking Heads guy’” but she was wrong, dead wrong. I looked warm and cozy as I murmured words of encouragement from the sidelines, and besides, the football-loving kid is worthy of support even without a giant coat.
Most of our kids had the opportunity to try different sports – the eldest was Taekwon-Do until her lupus made it too difficult, the eldest son tried a bit of GAA until he realized he was really only interested in eSports (a fancy one Rebranding from “sitting in a chair and yelling at strangers on the internet”). The youngest was still considered too hot-headed for competitive sports, but the middle son lost himself in football. A clinical addiction to Match Attax cards, obsessively playing FIFA on PS4, kicking a ball in the backyard no matter the weather, and honing his dribbling skills by navigating around the dog poop.
As the sultans sang, give him a ball and a yard of grass and give me an absolutely massive coat and the joy of seeing him find something he loves.
https://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/id-suffer-any-weather-to-watch-my-son-play-football-even-in-big-coat-season-42077649.html I would endure any weather to watch my son play soccer, even in big coat season