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Do you need a Zebra Coat to feel content?

Do you need a Zebra Coat to feel content?

 I am in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and good thrifting.

Would I be able to go in a thrift store with my oldest daughter while she shopped and NOT buy anything?

Please don’t let there be a short black leather coat that comes to my waist with a fitted bodice. 

The temptation might be too great.

I looked in the woman’s black leather coat section and did not find a short black leather coat that said, “I have attitude and a fitted waist line, you need me.”

I had escaped temptation until:

I saw a black and white coat hanging on the rack. A black and white striped Zebra  Coat by Robert Louis, with a belt and a purple lining, for $14.99.

The coat was calling out to me. Take me home Mrs. Hodges. Take me home to Pennsylvania. You need me. I am the answer to contentment. If you wear me you will feel content and beautiful. You need me. For only $14.99 you will be content. And you get 40% off because you are a senior now.

I tried on the coat and looked at myself in the mirror. I need you. You bring me joy. I need you to feel content. And it is 40% off today.

The coat that will make me feel content.

Do you need a Zebra Coat to feel content?

Do you wake up in the morning and think,  “If only I had a Zebra Coat I would feel content”? Or maybe you think, “If only I lost five pounds I would feel content.” Or, maybe you wish you had a new pair of socks or granite counter tops instead of formica counter tops.

Does your feeling of contentment come from outside of yourself?

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. ― Socrates

Oh dear, I know Socrates is right. If I can not be content with the clothes I have in my closet right now, I will not be content with the black and white stripped Zebra  Coat.

But maybe Socrates has never seen the coat I wanted to buy. Is there an exception clause to the  quote on contentment by Socrates?

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have, unless it is a black and white striped Zebra Coat. ― Socrates
Disclamier: Italics are added by me and are not what the wise man Socrates actually said.

I didn’t buy the coat.

I promised I wouldn’t buy any clothes for 365 days starting on May 1st, 2013.

I had already used my one save on a pair of sweat pants on day 203. Today is day 253. I only have 102 days left to not buy any clothes.

A promise is a promise, even in the face of a black and white Zebra Striped Coat.

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy.
―Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

I choose to be happy.

I don’t need the coat to be content. I don’t need to lose five pounds to be content. I don’t need granite counter tops or a new pair of socks to feel content.

 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. — Deuteronomy 31:6

God will never leave me nor forsake me. Who really needs another coat when the Lord God goes with me.

What about you? Do you need a black and white zebra coat to feel content?

I would love to talk to you. Please comment if you would like to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Meredith Robbins

    Very encouraging to walk away from such a fun coat. Glad you at least tried it on and took a picture. I have an addiction to thrift stores I almost always find something. I often talk myself out of things is it a need or a want. If I spend my allowance on it now, it will take me longer to save for that big ticket item whatever that might be.

  • A zebra coat would be really hard to resist. I think I remember reading somewhere that Socrates had a zebra coat. Or maybe it was Aristotle.

  • Teresa Richardson

    That coat did look good on you,Pamela. While I wouldn’t need the coat to be content, I would be warmer if I replaced the missing buttons on my winter jacket

  • La McCoy

    You look good in the coat.
    Thank you for the clothing update. I now know how many days remain.

  • Pamela Black

    You. In a thrift store. I swear you are my best friend. Can’t you move to Kansas so we can grab coffee at least, like, weekly. If not daily!? I LOVE thrift stores. Don’t get me started on garage sales.

    But, you’re right. We don’t need the zebra coat to be happy. Although, it is calling my name right across the internet! Oh, the *joy* of thrifting! 🙂 Cool stuff! My biggest and best find was last fall I found a BRAND NEW WITH TAGS!!!! North Face fleece jacket in steel gray in my size! FOR $9.99!!! AND I got %10 off!!! Goodwill. Yep.

    It was a no-way-could-I-not-purchase, purchase. But I have recently come to agree with you on the clothing issue, because I do not NEED more clothes. My kids do not NEED more clothes. If anything, we need to give away more clothes.

    I have been thinking of joining you on the no clothes for 365 days journey, but I’m afraid. I am. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. What if I can’t do it? What it, I truly *need* clothes? Does that include underwear? socks? Is it NOTHING that I would wear on my body? What about pursues????
    But do I need anything? Really? Really, I don’t. And anything I DO need God will provide for me. Like last Spring when my mothers church had a womens ministry clothing “swap” that made our family wardrobe FIVE TRASHBAGS thicker. All for free. God blessed us with shoes, coats, sweaters and even amazing snow pants that my children wore out this past week when they enjoyed the white powder the “winter vortex” dropped on us.

    So, because I am so cut to the quick by your post, I am praying. This week I am praying about taking the no clothes for a year journey! I am asking you to hold me accountable and to call me out on this by the week-end. What will God say to me? How will I answer? Will I join you on this quest for less? If I do, who will we bring with us? What will God DO through this journey? What will He show us? What will He say?

    I’m excited. Also, scared. So, scared. That’s a long time to make a commitment…and what a commitment. Whew.

    OK. I’ll pray. I’ll listen. Lets see what happens…

  • Christa Sterken

    All so true, but girl? I think that coat would have broke my promise.

  • Julie-Anne Mauno

    Wow! Thanks for the reminder that contentment doesn’t come from things! In addition to learning to be content with my circumstances, I am also learning to be content with myself. That’s another challenge! The coat looked amazing on you. SO much will-power…or maybe it’s just the freedom that true contentment brings! 🙂

  • JeNan Merrill

    This is all so true. My favorite line is : “But maybe Socrates has never seen the coat I wanted to buy.” So funny! Good for you for not buying the coat. And even better for you for writing about it!

  • Bernadette Laganella

    Now hold on one darn minute there pamela, in the face of a well fitting zebra coat philosophical discussions go out the window. Fun post.

    • Good Morning Bernadette,
      Oh you are so right. Socrates could never have understood the appeal of a Zebra Coat.
      Should I go back and buy it? Would it still be there 101 days from now? Will I survive without it?