THE manic pixie SCHADENFREUDE dream GIRL

Before you even had the chance to drop your bags off freshman year you noticed the Cool Girls, the ones so far out of your league it wasn't even worth introducing yourself to as you passed them by heading to the cafeteria, even though you literally knew not a single person at all. Whether they were products of exceptionally enlightened or permissive parenting, grew up in diverse cities instead of a monochromatic cul-de-sacs, or were beneficiaries of older siblings or progressive arts-school educations, you felt deep down there was no point in attempting to befriend these mid-2000's paragons of sophistication, because your social overlap rounded to zero.

Now, in reality, like the rest of us, these girls only appeared have their shit together and were just as likely to confess to their therapists a paralyzing fear of fitting in as everyone else, and the manic pixie dream girl described below was a fully-fleshed out person not side a character in your protagonist's story, but hormonal male memory can be a funny thing.

While you were still figuring out how to shotgun a beer without drenching your hoodie and unsuccessfully suppressing a cough after an inaugural peer-pressured cigarette, she was the girl who floated effortlessly through hallways or crowded rooms and could unfailingly be found, leaning confidently in a doorframe, with the only vodka-soda at an all beer party. Though there was always a crowd around her she never seemed a part of it and she probably - no, definitely - knew where to find coke in a pinch, not that you would've had the guts to bump a line in front of her on the off chance you were chemically inspired to admit to the very one-way street nature of your feelings.

So when, at a costume party - where of course she didn't bother dressing up - she ascended from the pedestal on which you placed her to have your first more-than-passing-"Hello's" conversation, you hung on every word. To an outsider you were just a guy talking to nice girl who was clearly out of his league, but in your mind you were a schoolyard kid dreaming of the NBA who found himself in a deserted hallway with Michael Jordan. Fast forward an hour that felt like a minute later and your mind was blown as, just after she waved at her friends and nodded toward the door, she turned to you before she left and said, "Do you know what 'schadenfreude' means, because that really defines you?" 

The first concussive wave hit as, against the odds, she was interested enough in you to make any judgment at all and the next because of course it was some German concept for which there is no English equivalent she would use to describe you. Never mind that schadenfreude most directly translates to, "pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune," a pretty shitty thing to associate someone with and probably the reason why she never gave you more than a lukewarm smile again, a Cool Girl had talked to you and, despite a frighteningly accurate assessment of your emotional weakness, you felt you'd never be the same again.

This combination of self-delusion and faded memory is why when you picture this girl, all these years later, she's standing in Yellowstone, serene in one of these Lindsey Thornburg Trench Cloaks as the snow falls down around her, instead of accepting the likelihood that she's just another one of us on the train trying to make it home with our sanity intact. Maybe in your next life you'd have had a shot, but probably not then either.



Price:  $1395

Brand:  Lindsey Thornburg

Store:  Westerlind

Why:  So it's marketed as a woman's jacket, so what? It's hardly our fault if a life of underachievement has made you too insecure to shop on the other side of the aisle. Whether you're picking it up for an aggressively awesome woman in your life or to rock yourself these trench cloaks, handmade in New York from heritage Pendleton fabric, feature oversized hoods, two front pockets and wood toggle closures. Perfect for blocking out both the wind and biting personality critiques that hit a bit too close to home.