I’m worse than Goldilocks
Even as a little kid I did not sympathize with Goldilocks in the classic fairy tale. There you have the bear family with their neat little house: each family member has a favorite chair, their own bed, their own special bowl for food. And they’ve just taken a walk in the woods while they wait for their dinner to cool down, and this rude girl barges into their house, messes with all of their stuff, breaks a piece of furniture, eats a third of the food, and then decides to go to sleep in one of the beds of this house that she’s broken into.
That wasn’t all that annoyed me. I was also annoyed at how critical Goldilocks was of everything. “This chair is too hard!” “This chair is too soft!” et cetera, et cetera.
But while I can’t recall ever having barged into someone’s house and messed with their property, I do have something in common with Goldilocks: sometimes I want things exactly the way I want them, and I find myself grousing over things being inferior to what I want—sometimes in contradictory ways.
I don’t like hot weather and I love the rain. Not much of a contradiction there, but right now the weather isn’t cold enough for me to wear my leather coat. Except on one day last week when it was raining incredibly hard while I was walking home from work. But even then why I wanted the coat was because it’s equipped with a heavy duty hood.
My lightweight windbreaker also has a hood, but even though that jacket is plastic, in a substantial rain the water just soaks right through. Lately in the mornings it has been cool enough that the windbreaker is too light, and I would be cold if I had just been wearing the windbreaker.
So I have a middle-weight jacket: cloth, with a quilted lining. Better for the cool mornings, and okay (along with a hat) for light or medium rain. Except the jacket is too heavy in the evenings when I’m walking home—other than the day it was raining really hard. By the time I got home each of those other nights, my clothes under the coat were soaked from the sweating. But it isn’t so warm that I could go without the jacket.
And the middle jacket is too big to roll up and stuff in my backpack, anyway.
What I need is something like the hooded windbreaker, but just a little bit heavier.
Except it isn’t worthwhile to look for one and buy it, because in another week or two the mean temperature will go down a bit more. We’ll have more days that are rainy. By then, the middle jacket will be the right weight, though I will keep wishing I had a hood in addition to the hat on those days that the rain is heavy.
Then one evening I’ll be walking home, and realize that the jacket isn’t heavy enough for how cold it is. I’ll stop somewhere along the way and dig the pair of gloves and maybe even the scarf that have been riding around in my backpack since the end of summer. And I’ll be okay for the walk home with them, but the next morning I’ll finally wear my heavier leather coat—occasionally supplemented with the gloves and scarf.
Until one day when we’ll get some freezing rain or hail while I’m walking home, and I’ll have that scarf wrapped around my face, but it isn’t going to be enough. So that night I’ll dig out the insulated removeable lining for the coat and zip it in. I’ll stop wearing my usual hat and start wearing one of my stocking caps along with the scarf and the gloves every day, plus there will be an additional scarf in the backpack, for these especially fun freezing rain/snow with strong wind blowing right in my face for the entire walk home.
Then, as spring approaches, it will be time to start reversing all of this.
And at each stage, there are transition periods, where the jacket, et al that I’m currently wearing is either too warm or too cool or too heavy or not waterproof and I’ll be grumbling about how nothing is just right.
I’m as whiney as Goldilocks and Baby Bear combined. At least.