Question: When is a winter coat like a dinosaur?

When I wear my coat, I'm Marilyn Monroe; I'm Audrey Hepburn. And then ...

I have this coat. It's long, black, and beautiful. A "find" at the Goodwill for $20. It's a vintage winter coat from the 1940s with an oversized collar that, when flipped up and held at your chin, encircles your face like the petals of a flower.

When I wear my coat, I'm exotic: I'm Marilyn Monroe; I'm Audrey Hepburn.

I hear the flashbulbs of the paparazzi, my bodyguards are moving me to my limo, I'm about to wave to my fans, and then ... like the tear of a needle across a record album, it all ends.

Herein lies the fatal flaw of this coat: the arms. For some reason, the sleeves were cut so that the armpits are nowhere near my actual armpits but come more from the area of my waist. When I wear my coat, I find myself unable to lift my arms beyond half-mast. Like the Tyrannosaurus Rex with its tiny, helpless dinosaur arms, I can only wiggle them ineffectually from side to side.

I can't drive; can't wave; can't even get my arms up high enough to put on my seat belt. If someone gives me a hug, all I can do is stand there like a passionless nothing - my arms are pinned to my sides. You might say, "Why would anyone wear such a coat?"

And the answer is, of course: "Because it's just ... that ... gorgeous."

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