Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thanks for reading this post, even though I don't have a North Face jacket

My life is missing something. Sure, I have the husband, the girl, the boy, the dog, the cat, the house and the cool-ass minivan. I have food on the table, good health, paid bills, a secret stash of Doritos and a poster signed by Paolo Nutini. Perhaps it is selfish of me to want more.

But I do. Oh, yeah, I do.

I want comfort and warmth in cool to cold weather. I want abrasion-resistant fabric overlays. I want extremely durable anti-pill fabric and ecologically-friendly Polartec(c) 300 series fleece.

I want to be wilderness chic.

In other words, I want a North Face jacket, dammit!

Clearly, I am the only person on the planet who does not have a North Face jacket. My daughter and I recently tried to count people at the mall who weren't wearing The North Face apparel. We would have had better luck counting people who didn't sport antennae.

Foolishly, I hoped we could escape The North Face onslaught on our recent trek to D.C.. Sadly, it was even worse. We stayed in Arlington, and everywhere we looked, we were bombarded with the Half Dome, the Yosemite National Park granite monument that is the symbol of The North Face.

The guy in our hotel lobby? North Face.

The girl jogging down the street? North Face.

The group of middle school kids touring monuments? North Face. North Face. North Face.

The dude on the Metro, talking to that other dude on the Metro? North Face talking to North Face.

The guy hitting on that girl in the deli? Columbia Sportswear. She turned him down. Why? She had on North Face.

Clearly, I am a  l-o-s-e-r because I do not own anything North Face - not even the Boulder Peruvian II Beanie or Windstopper(R) Neck Gaiter. I am surprised I am allowed to leave my house in my non-North Face outerwear. It must be so awkward for the rest of you to see me. I'm terribly sorry.

The funny thing is, The North Face is geared to outdoorsy types: the hikers, skiiers, climbers, bikers, snowboarders and moutaineer sort. Yet it has crossed over to those who have only seen mountains on their iPhones: the yuppies, suburban teens and skinny-jean, Ugg-wearing gals. And everyone else - but me.

Go figure.

Obviously, The North Face has become a status thing, one of those must-have items that screams, "Look at me! I matter! I'm somebody special because I paid more money for this symbol thingy!"

I understand that feeling. When I was in seventh-grade, all the cool, popular junior high kids had K-Swiss tennis shoes. It didn't matter that they didn't know the difference between badminton and tennis racquets.  K-Swiss shoes equaled popularity. I'll never forget the feeling I had in science, when tall, blonde, lovely Paulette (who actually played tennis) walked in with her brand-new K-Swiss shoes. They were so white. So awesome. So not on my feet.

I knew right then and there that I must have a pair of K-Swiss. I begged my parents for days, weeks even, but they preached about how stupid it was to spend their hard-earned money on something just for the brand name; however, they completely underestimated the obnoxious powers of a hormonal 13-year-old girl who wanted something. Eventually I wore them down, and Dad took me downtown to the local shoe store, and <insert chorus of angels here> asked the salesman for a pair of Size 7 K-Swiss. I put them on and walked through the store.

They pinched my toes a little. Didn't matter. They were mine. I was instantly way cooler.

I imagine it's much the same today with The North Face craze - only the kids are bigger. We always want the new toy, gadget, brand, don't we? We think that a brand or symbol will miraculously improve our status, and therefore, our lives.

That made me think about all the ways my life would be better if I had a North Face jacket:
  • My children would never, ever argue if I had a North Face jacket.
  • I would be able to eat cupcakes all day long, never workout and maintain an awesome body if I wore a North Face jacket.
  • I would never grow old as long as I wore my North Face jacket.
  • Hugh Jackman would come live in my closet, just so he could be close to my North Face jacket.
  • I would discover a cure for cancer in my North Face jacket.
  • Osama Bin Laden would release a new video, in which he declares, "We now love the United States, since everyone in your glorious country finally has a North Face jacket."
  • Christian Bale would never say the f-word again if he heard I had a North Face jacket, unless it was to say, "Jennifer, that's the coolest f-ing North Face jacket I've ever seen. I must f-ing have you right f-ing now."
  • I could probably fly and turn invisible if I had a North Face jacket, but I would never turn invisible because then you couldn't see my North Face jacket.
Clearly, my life is an empty shell without The North Face in it. Could someone at least buy me The North Face visor? Or the crew socks?


  1. contain your bitter jealousy, woman, and stop hating on the coat - it happens to perfectly complement the hummer and the $600k 1BR condo.


  2. I've noticed the North Face phenomena too, Jenn. And thanks for the memories of my absolutely dreamy K-swiss. They were the best.