You know how it goes - you get on the plane, you stash your gear in the overhead compartment and you sit down. The plane was one of those small ones that only seats maybe 50 people and there were only about 20 of us on the flight, so as soon as they boarded everyone and before we got buckled in, I hopped up and switched to the empy two seater across the aisle, leaving my unknown seatmate to his own devices (Colleen was sitting several rows in front of me as we hadn't coordinated our seating arrangements for the flight home. No doubt she would have remembered my coat if she had been sitting with me, she's good about stuff like that).
I did think about my coat during the flight, because it was rather cool on the plane, especially down around my ankles, and I considered getting up to get my coat and drape it across my knees for warmth. However, it was only 1.5 hour trip so I persevered and when we landed just before noon, I got up and headed off the plane - alas, without the coat. I didn't even realize I had forgotten it until much later, when I went to go out at dinnertime and wanted another layer as the evening had turned rather chilly.
I immediately called Air Canada's lost and found department and had a rather frustrating call with some guy in heaven knows what part of the world that sounded more like a Laurel and Hardy routine than a customer service call. Me: "I've just realized I left my coat on the plane earlier today." Him: "Have you filed a report?" Me: "No, that's why I'm calling, I'd like to report a lost coat". Him: "But did you file a report?" Me (slower and a little louder): "No...that's...why...I'm calling ...I want to file a report NOW." Then there was the three or four times I had to confirm that it was not a leather coat and try to explain it was plastic (by this point in the conversation, I wasn't sure he'd be able to handle the concept of "vinyl") and light blue in colour (I didn't even try "turquoise".) Sigh.
It's just over two weeks later and I've heard nothing further about my missing coat. I called back a few days after I first reported it and they confirmed they had a record of my original call, but told me they had no news and I'd just have to wait for the airline to call me back. I don't understand why they haven't found it. It was the only thing in that particular bin. Perhaps the plane went back and forth to Milwaukee several times that day before it got cleaned and someone else is now wearing my coat, leaving me to figure out what to wear on rainy days when I want to look cool and stay dry, trying to remember where I bought the coat in the first place and wondering if there is any chance I will ever find such a perfect coat ever again.
Man, I loved that coat. It was such a pretty colour, even straight men would compliment me on it, it was that nice. The plastic/vinyl was great for windy days as it acted like a windbreaker and even better when it rained, as it never leaked or got damp. It had roomy pockets in which you could stash all manner of things, a book or an umbrella or a pair of earmuffs.
I can only hope it will return to me some day in the not so distant future, together with the perfectly matching scarf and the black, you guessed it, leather gloves in the pockets. Fingers crossed.
Here's a picture of me in the coat (with a different scarf) with two adorable young men outside Tiffany's in New York in October 2006. Good times.