"Don't make a scene."

A line so generic and cliche you immediately recognize it, yet struggle to place in a single movie or episode of television. The standard scene of a husband announcing he has cheated on his wife, or a businesswoman informing her longtime partner she's leaving for a rival firm - after the surprise comes the directive: Don't make a scene.

But why not? Why not make a scene? Give other restaurant-goers something to talk about, for chrissakes.

Dinner, and a show. 

For every meal out, every corporate lunch, dollars to donuts you can recall at most 0.5 other patrons per adult year of life. Do everyone a favor and make the scene. Do you really think that the couple next to you is enjoying their discussion about office politics, or which friend is now pregnant? They'd much rather be talking about what's going on at your table, spinning yarns of life backstory, debating amongst themselves what happened to make you stand and yell, "Really, Darlene, him?!" at a decibel loud enough to shatter glass. 

But scenes don't have to be loud: you remember it like yesterday, the brunch you were at almost ten years ago where you sat next to a wife who was cooly informing her husband that she was leaving him. She spoke softly enough not to draw too much attention, but loud enough that the challenge was implicit: I know you hear me, and don't make a scene. Even though the restaurant has long been closed, you know exactly where you sat and what you ate, and that she was upset at, first, the amount of time and money he spent curating his watch collection even when she'd asked him to stop and, next, at his inability to satisfy or match her passion in the bedroom - though the order of which disappointed her most was up for debate.

Scenes can be physical as well as verbal. A slap, a sudden rise accompanied by the backwards falling of chair, the emphatic putting on, or taking off of a coat - silence sometimes speaks louder than words. If there's advice to offer, however, when making a scene: don't wear this Engineered Garments Over Parka. Not because you don't want to spill a cocktail on it, but because it zips from the back and it's a god damn pain the ass to put on and take off. Nothing kills a good scene like watching the protagonist struggle for 45 seconds contorting his arm to reach a zipper halfway between his shoulder blades. That's just sad.


Price:  $624

Brand:  Engineered Garments

Store:  LOIT (also in blue at The Bureau Belfast)

Why:  Hello my name is [redacted] and I'm an addict. My addiction? Engineered Garments Over Parkas. While most people are out enjoying the last days of summer in August, I'm looking at month-out weather forecasts trying to pinpoint the exact day I'll be able to pull my parkas (one in blue wool for cold but dry days, one in black ripstop for light flurries, and one sized down in green ripstop to layer underneath other pieces) out of storage. Its extra bit of added length - this piece hits about mid-thigh or just above the knee, depending on your height - is long enough to block the elements, and the button hood with corduroy lining keeps your head toasty and protected from the wind. Plus, it's got pockets galore for keys, cell phones, gloves and hats. Other than a private phone booth where no one can watch you spend half a minute taking it off, what more could you ask for? Besides, sometimes looking good takes a little work.