Saturday, July 19, 2008


I need air-conditioning before I can try on my new LL Bean Adirondack Barn Coat.

I don’t live in the Adirondacks – or in Maine for that matter. I don’t own a barn or work near one. No coat is necessary on a steamy July day. I have to open the package from UPS, however, and find out whether the color “Dark Mushroom” is something I’ll look good in.

Part of any purchase involves a mental picture. I picture myself using something new or listening to it or drinking it through a straw as I walk across a hot parking lot back to my car.

I take what other people recommend into account when I make a purchase. I trust an auto repair shop because a colleague backs it. I order a CD after an email pal sends me the YouTube video of Richard and Teddy Thompson singing “Persuasion” on Scottish television. I visit a friend’s home to see whether a curtain can really look good hanging from a steel cable system that West Elm sells.

I think I know what I generally prefer, and then a week like this comes along, placing me in three new settings. So much of a good life is comfortable routine, and then three friends say things and I end up in what are unusual poses for a man named John. One day I am serving rice in a soup kitchen. The next day I am sitting with my elbow on the bar of a local tavern. Later in the week I am tasting a decidedly good mushroom soup in an oversized booth at a nearby Cheesecake Factory.

The mushroom soup is darker, however, than the "Dark Mushroom" of the LL Bean barn coat. I still like the coat, though. And I'd still like the soup.

Part of any purchase involves a mental picture. I picture myself wearing something new in a few months when it will be hard to remember temperatures in the 90’s on a Saturday afternoon in mid-July. I hope you will like the look too.

YouTube video of "Persuasion" sung by Richard and Teddy Thompson downloaded by joni39

Photos from LLBean and West Elm


MperiodPress said...


So often lately I have found myself in new postures and placements that I could have never forseen...It is as though I can not picture it until I look down and realize, oh wait, you are doing something new right now! Tasting something new, doing something a new way, playing soccer, for goodness sake. Who could have imagined?

And then it occurs to me...maybe that is precisely the point. No one could have imagined it and yet...

As a side note, I like the curtains and think you´ll look just fine in dark mushroom...perhaps a sprig of something in the buttonhole come New England fall.

Ur-spo said...

where do they get these names to describe things? we are looking at paint chips and the names are more fascinatig than the colours.
we are painting the room in sage mist rather than brown bread.

Donald said...

Sometimes we think people head out in pursuit of something new. But you're right, friend. Sometimes it feels truer to say that something new makes a claim on us for some time before we recognize where we are -- in its very midst.

And then how do we explain it?

Dark mushroom, sage mist, brown bread indeed!