I’m in denial big time. It’s not even the end of October and the temperatures have plummeted in Chicago so much that I’ve noticed neighbors wearing their heavy winter jackets already.
And while I’m no friend of the cold, I just can’t imagine going for my down jacket quite yet. It’s not even Halloween.
Luckily, last year at this time I vacationed in Montreal with two sisters-in-law and stocked up on warm-weather clothing, including a sleeping bag of winter jacket with a hood that puts that kid’s on South Park to shame.
In fact, I bought so much in Montreal last year that I was stopped at customs and taken into a small room with other violators of the customs regulations.
When it was my turn to go to the counter, I stood in front of my suitcase as the customs officer opened it and rummaged through my new purchases. Five dresses, a pair of boots, a pair of sheepskin slippers, a few t-shirts, yoga pants, a pair of moose stuffed animals, and the above-mentioned winter coat.
“Is this Canada Goose?” he said, pulling out the coat.
I’d seen this brand advertised on billboards in Montreal, but had no idea it was so expensive. Or so heavily trafficked.
“No,” I replied and pointed to the brand name on the shoulder.
“You know you can’t buy this much without paying customs tax?”
I’m hopeless in unplanned situations like this, so I smiled meekly and replied, “I’m from Chicago and need to be prepared for the worst winter ever. It could happen this year.”
The officer must have felt sorry for me, or thought I wasn’t going to re-sell my clothes (no way!). So he let me off without a fine.
It turned out that we had a mild winter in Chicago last year.
But I know I’ll be prepared this year.