Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Foiled again

When I was a kid I had an insatiable appetite for books. I would reread my favourite books over and over again, sometimes two or three times in a month. (A sweet little book by Veronica Tennant about a young ballerina at the National Ballet School who lands a small role in The Nutcracker sticks out in my mind. I loooove the ballet and still wish I was a ballerina. Someone recently told me I had the feet of a ballet dancer and I was so flattered I actually blushed. Sure, it was a drunk on the F train in New York but hey, I'll take it where I can get it.) I did most of my reading in bed at night — my days being occupied with school, homework and getting wailed on by my brother as we fought for the remote control. And anyone who's logged in hours of reading in bed knows that in order to attain that delicate balance of comfortable reading distance/sufficient night light/ample back support you've gotta sit up, thus leaving your upper body exposed. Despite layers of insulation from Strawberry Shortcake sheets, nonna-knitted blankies and a rainbow variety of Care Bears, I would still get cold. I'd be lying if I said this didn't pose a very serious conundrum for me. I tried (on advice of my younger cousin) to lie horizontally, pulling the covers over the top of my book and creating a little fort of sorts, but it made for poor lighting and added strain on my neck. "What if I had a blanket with sleeves?" I would ask myself. "Then I'd be able to sit up and my arms wouldn't be cold!" And so, 25 years ago, my precocious little brain created the prototype for this:

Sadly, back then I had neither the wherewithal nor the dexterity to design the sleeved blanket. And now the makers of Snuggie are reaping the rewards that come with creating a cult product that has gained popularity as much for its functionality as its absurdity. Meanwhile, I'm still wearing cardigans backwards to stave off the arctic chill that sweeps through my bedroom.

And for the record, my Snuggie would have come in a cashmere blend.