Woman wears long beige trench coat to conceal her body: 'I was a little chunky; what else could I wear to hide my fat?'

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I'll never forget attending my first rock concert. I was in the seventh grade. While many of the girls in my class were permitted to attend shows with their friends, I went to the concert with my mother. That was fine by me. My mother is my best friend.

She wanted to make sure I arrived at the concert and then back home safely afterward. Taking me herself was the best way to accomplish both of those things.

I have only one complaint: My mother wore her long beige trench coat to the show and kept it buttoned the entire time.

I recently asked her why she wore that coat for every occasion, even a rock concert.

"I was a little chunky; what else could I wear to hide my fat," she told me.

Okay. Fair enough.

"I realize now that no one cared about my weight at that concert," my mother continued. "Everyone was so excited to see their favorite singer that Jesus himself could have crashed through the ceiling into the arena, and no one would have noticed."

My mother's only complaint about the show was the deafness she experienced for the next three days.

Now, back to that long beige trench coat. Do you know how pre-teen girls are embarrassed by everything? That's how I felt about that trench coat. My mother wore it everywhere we went for years.

I don't know what became of it, but I'm glad it's gone.

One of my earliest memories involves that coat. My mother had dropped me off at my grandmother's house while she ran a few errands. She usually brought me with her when she went shopping, so I felt a little confused about being left behind.

When my mother returned, she knocked on my grandmother's door, and I rushed to answer it. As I flung the door open, excited to see my mother, I saw that she had cut off all her hair and was wearing that ugly beige trench coat.

I immediately started to cry. This wasn't the same long-haired lady in a tangerine sweater who had dropped me off at my grandmother's house several hours later. She looked so unlike my mother that I sobbed for what felt like forever.

Finally, my short-haired, trench-coated mother convinced me to let her take me home. I cried the entire block-and-a-half ride.

I didn't understand at the time that the coat was my mother's attempt to hide her body from sight. And I still don't know what that drastic hairstyle change was about. But I get it now. We do what we feel we have to do. Thanks, Insecurity.

I, too, have my favorite coats and sweaters that I wear to hide rather than to regulate my body temperature. It's exhausting and sweltering. I'm glad her trench coat is gone. She deserves to be seen.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

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