January 3, 2014

[friday] Column: A love affair with blankets


---- — Me and cold don’t mix.

Various members of my family have a competition every fall to see who can last the longest before turning on the heat. Apparently, October is early for this bunch.

My brother shuts the heating vents in winter and opens his window – to keep the room from being so stuffy, he says. Me? I don’t even touch my windows in winter. Can’t let my body heat escape into the cold panes of glass, you know.

So every winter, as the mercury dips – but who has mercury thermometers anymore? – so does my comfort level. I wear one each of my dozen or so thick sweaters, couple dozen hats, and three dozen or so scarves, but I just can’t stay warm.

You think I’m kidding about the hats and scarves.

One magical garment, however, solves the problem. I grew up enshrouding myself in some sort of blanket every time I was reading or doing homework. Some parents try to separate children from their security blanket at a certain age. That age, for me, must be about 45.

Ensconced in a reading chair, I looked about like rocky outcropping with a head. If rocks were polyester yarn.

The downside? I continually left my blanket in my seat when I quit reading. Then I took some other seat – the corner of the couch, maybe – and absconded with another blanket. Not necessarily one of my own.

I practically upholstered the entire house with blankets. My mother also figured out who kept pulling her afghan out of shape.

Relatives could give me a blanket for my birthday or for Christmas and I’d be a happy camper. To this day, I need two or three blankets to sleep in winter. I can’t walk by a blanket display at the store without lingering with longing looks. They’re more attractive than men holding puppies.

So it should come as no surprise that I bought two more blankets last weekend. I had a very good reason to buy these, though. Or so I told myself.

It was probably just the weather.

– Sarah Einselen

Friday editor / Blanket aficionado