I had always wanted a Carhartt coat... Always. When I was little, I watched people walk purposefully through Wilco (TSC to you East Coasters) with their scuffed Romeo boots, and faded, dirty Carhartt coats as they bought grain for their cattle, a new bridle for their horse, or picked up a few dozen chicks that were on sale. I watched them and sighed... I wanted that lifestyle, but at the time I still lived in town, and had only a large backyard to dream about putting a horse on (which never did happen...). But I wanted that lifestyle, and I wanted a coat like what they had.
In the end, I got both of my wishes. :) Except the coat took longer to get than the land in the country did... Funny how life works out sometimes. But I adore that coat. And it shows by how trashed it is. It's faded, it's filthy, only the bravest would put their hands inside the pockets, it's dinged up, the zipper only works half the time (because of the mud lodged in there, you see), the hem is starting to fray, and even the Carhartt logo is getting battered. But that's the way it's supposed to be.
I got the lifestyle I wanted, and now I've got the coat. Shucks, I even have the romeo boots now. I wear that coat every time I go outside, and I feel invincible in it. It's withstood barbed wire, a 100 lb. pig trying to bite through it (that was fun. Not.), rainstorms, arguments with ornery heifers, goat kids climbing on my back, and all those awkward happenstances I somehow manage to get myself into.
I love the mud and the wear. It reminds me that I've accomplished two goals I set for myself many, many years ago. Mud and wear on an expensive coat? That's the way it's supposed to be.