Friday, 6 December 2013

My Grandma's Clothes

Clearly the phrase "Windchill warning with lows of -41°C" should have been an indication that I bring my Grandmother's fur coat out of hibernation. It might be a little bit of style over-kill (pun intended) but there's a reason why Canadian pioneers bundled up in layers of fur - you'll freeze faster than you can say "I prefer mink over muskrat." 

I may not be a supporter of fur in general, but I figure that I can make an exception for my Grandmother's heirloom fur coat. Especially since it comes with a rather amusing story involving the financial responsibilities of a bride's father, a cancelled honeymoon, and the shop-a-holic gene. 

The story goes, as my mother tells it, that right around the time my grandparents got married my grandmother's love of extravagant and fabulous clothing led her to purchase a fabulous muskrat fur coat. I don't know what you've heard about the prices of fur coats, but they weren't any cheaper during the 1940s than they are now. In fact, they were probably more expensive, since fake fur wasn't common. 

But she bought the coat anyways - clearly I got the stubborness gene from her as well - and got married. And then the bill came. Clearly the newlyweds couldn't afford to pay, so great-grandfather had to come to the rescue. During that time period the father of the bride had a more involved role than just walking the bride down the aisle; it was common practice for him to pay for the couple to go on a vacation. So the newlyweds were given a choice: my grandmother could return the coat, or they could have a honeymoon. 

Clearly, the coat lasted longer than their marriage did.

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