Friday, March 30, 2012

I need a new blanket.

I'm often intrigued by the number of Dr. Scholl's Arch Support Testing machines that have popped up around town. Similar to the "in the grocery store, while you wait" blood pressure machines, the Dr. Scholl's Arch Support Testing machines allow you, the grocery shopper, to remove your shoes right there in the store and allow the machine to test the bottom of your feet for arch issues.  This brings to mind two things:

A.)  There are always exceptions to the "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" rule, and
B.)  We are a nation of "do-it-yourselfers."

The whole concept is great.  Remove your shoes, step on the foamy pad, the machine counts down, and--wah-lah!--in thirty seconds or less, you can purchase your new insoles with confidence, because the machine told you exactly what to purchase.

I need one of these machines that helps with blankets.

When Richard moved in, he brought with him his king-sized bed.  Being a bachelor, however, he also brought with him ONE set of sheets, and no blanket.  Not to worry, as those of you who know me also know that bedding sets happen to be one of my vices weaknesses.  Thomas O'Brian for Target?  Sure.  Ralph Lauren bedding?  Check, please.  We were really in no danger of sleeping in the cold.  Of that, I can assure you.

Although I'd slept the majority of my nights away on a queen-sized bed, I had plenty of king-sized sheet sets.  The main reason for this was the fact that I fell for so many of those memory foam topper commercials.  At one point, I had a four-inch memory foam topper underneath a feathered mattress pad.  Clearly my bed became one of the tallest places in Florida.  GPS locators had to suspend disbelief when I used my phone on my bed.  Many an app lost their minds trying to figure out how I could be hovering 75 feet in the air while checking Facebook, dozing coins, or sling-shooting a bunch of pissed-off birds.

True story.

But, as is always the case in good writing, there was a problem.  My comforter, my duvet covers, the works:  everything was queen-sized.  The top of the bed didn't matter, you see.  I only purchased big sheets to get around the additional shit on top of the bed.  Houston, we have a problem.

In our early days, the short comforter was a blessing.  Remember in the beginning, before you held your partner's snoring against them, when going to bed for the night meant waking up in the morning looking like you'd both fallen asleep in the middle of a game of Twister?  Spooning all night long, sleeping with your head on his chest (or, gentlemen, if you prefer), holding your partner in the crook of your arm as if to protect him or her from all things rotten and evil lurking just outside the safe confines of the bed?  The days you could have shared a twin blanket and been none the wiser?  Ahhh.  Budding romance.

Then come the children.  The reality of the fact that you have a scant five hours of YOU TIME in the period of each 24-hour day suddenly takes its toll, and you and your partner gladly begin sleeping for comfort, not style.  Waking up in the mornings becomes reaching fifteen meters over dogs and pillows and the e-reader from last night's pre-sleep marathon book-reading session in order to shove your beloved out of bed before the alarm clock wakes the snoring scavengers on the other side of the house.

Your feet are hanging out of the covers, and now you realize the time has come for a bigger blanket.

I often shop at Target.  (If you need proof, follow me on Foursquare.)  While browsing the bedding section a few weeks ago, I had the sudden feeling that now was the time to purchase a king-sized comforter.  I voyeured my way toward the aptly-titled "Home" section, marveling at the landscape.  Plush mountains of comforters lined the aisle.  Minus a walking stick, I felt like a sherpa navigating the deep and fluffy terrain.

I settled on a king-sized, moderately-priced, thin down comforter.  I started fantasizing about having my own portion of a blanket.  I imagined how good it would feel, its thin weight settling over me to blanket my body away from the intruding night.

Then I got home.

Then I went to sleep.

You know how this blanket should've been marketed?  As a weight-loss blanket, that's how.  Sometimes, I hear a Willy Mays voice-over disturb my restful slumber.  I roll my sweat-soaked body over to a dry part of the mattress and attempt to block him from my mind.

"And you, yes you, can lose inches while you sleep!  You've heard other products make a similar claim, but NO ONE backs it up like we do!  Ten pounds, twenty pounds, THIRTY POUNDS of sweat in one week!  But wait!  That's not all!  Watch this time-lapse demonstration and you can actually SEE the unwanted fat and water weight SOAKING RIGHT INTO THE MATTRESS!  WHILE SHE SLEEPS!"

This is the worst blanket I've ever owned.

I'd like to see a machine like the Dr. Scholl's Arch Reader, but for blankets.  I want to take my shoes off and stand on a foamy platform while computer programs, thermometers, and scales weigh and measure every last inch of me.  At the end, I want the machine to spit out a tiny slip of paper, directing me to the aisles where the good blankets are.  No more lunatic fringe.  No more down or down alternatives.  Get me to a blanket that comforts me, not this pseudo-piece of Saran Wrap that treats me like a Thanksgiving leftover.

Where is the machine that does all of that for me?  Where is the "try it before you buy it" blanket store?    Where is the heat-rating?  Who uses this in Florida, for Frith's sake?

I need a nap.

Cherstin, the New Goddess of Night-Sweats.