On a 10F morning last week I found myself longing for a sweater. Not just any sweater, but the mother of all sweaters. Something that would encase me from neck to knees in spacious wooliness. Something both soft and substantial and possibly good looking. Something that would warm the chilly cockles of my heart.
I was in Manchester Center, the town that outlets built, on yoga business anyway, so after class I walked into a couple of stores. I thought that not only would they have sweaters, but sweaters would be on sale. But there wasn\’t a single woolly, serious sweater in sight.
Instead, the stores were crammed with tiny shorts and sleeveless tops, all in icy blues, sherbet pinks and acid greens and yellows. Spring had apparently arrived and was in full swing in the world of retail. It did not make me feel happy, and it utterly failed to warm the cockles of my heart. In fact those silly clothes in their silly colors set my teeth on edge, and made me feel even colder than I already was.
Retail is famous for rushing the calendar. Halloween arrives in stores on the heels of the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving happens in the early fall, and sometimes I feel like it\’s Christmas all year round. But not to be able to find a sweater in the middle of January–in Vermont yet–goes beyond the pale. Here I am, doing my best to enjoy the season, trying to be at one with the cold, and the stores want me to think spring! They want me to hate the cold and the snow and buy a pair of shorts in the hopes that it will make the winter go away faster. If I didn\’t like this kind of winter I would not have moved to the Vermont in the first place, or I turn into that animal not found in Nature, a snowbird, and fly to the Gulf of Mexico to splash in the surf until mud season was over.
But I am here because I like it cold and white and dead. All I want is a good sweater to keep me warm. Do you hear me, stores?