But the Calendar Says January!

The weather is absolutely gorgeous today. The sun is shining, the air is dry, and the temperature is in the sixties. Where I live, southeast of Houston, we haven’t had a freeze this winter. We have had a string of eight or ten days when the temperature never went as high as fifty, and if it wasn’t raining it was threatening to, and we’ll have more days like that before spring returns. But we don’t have ice storms, frozen highways causing forty-car pileups, or widespread power outages like our neighbors to the north. We figure our mild winters are a reward for sticking out hot summers, swarming mosquitoes, and occasional hurricanes.

So I’m not complaining about the change of seasons by temperature or calendar—it’s the middle of January, after all. No, what bothers me is the seasonal calendar the retail industry works on, the one that seems to run three months ahead of the rest of us.

I didn’t mind that the stores filled up with Valentine candy the day after Christmas. Chocolate is chocolate, whether it comes in hearts, pumpkins, or Easter eggs (any day now, I’m sure). But when the temperature dropped and my bedroom got chilly during the first week in January, I thought I’d buy a set of flannel sheets.

I love flannel sheets, always have, even when I lived in the suburbs of Miami as a girl. And I have at least two sets in the cedar closet. But when I bought a new mattress set last spring, I replaced a set that was twenty years old. I’m not sure why mattresses get thicker every few years, but they do, and one of these days we’ll all need those steps you buy for arthritic old dogs to climb into our own beds. I have a Queen-size bed, but with the new mattress and foundation I have to buy King-size bedspreads, and none of my old fitted sheets fit. I replaced the summer sheets (with a much higher thread count than I’d had before, very nice) and around November I even bought a blanket, but I forgot about the flannel sheets.

Until I needed them. Then I went looking for flannel sheets at the usual places—and they were all gone. The shops were full of bathing suits and summer clothes, and all that Valentine candy, but no flannel sheets.

Well, I thought, I’ll pull out that set of microfiber sheets I bought last summer. They felt so good to touch in the store, and so hot and sticky on the bed. I’d put them away, thinking they’d be good in the cold weather. Nope. They were still sticky, and not particularly warm.

So after a week of tolerating those, I made one more stab at finding flannel sheets, braving the acres of parking lot at my least favorite big box store (the one that has thirty-six check-out lanes, six of which are open at any given time), searching the bedding section, finding lots of microfiber and jersey along with the plain cotton, but no flannel.

Until I stumbled across the last few sets on a rack full of leftovers of various sorts of bedding. There wasn’t much to choose from, but I found a Queen-size set in blue with big cartoonish snowflakes, not what I would have chosen, maybe, but definitely flannel. And cheap, especially after a sales woman appeared with a big price sticker gun to mark them down.

I love my new flannel sheets, but I guess if I want another set before next August (when the bathing suits disappear and the sweaters come out), I’ll have to order them on line. Nothing goes out of season on line.

Meanwhile, on sunny days, we have visitors like this in our neighborhood.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl Bolen
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 17:12:55

    It really is crazy how those retailers do. One year I was going to England in March, so about six weeks ahead of time I knew I needed a winter coat–something we don’t get to wear much here in Houston. It was quite cold–probably 40s–when I went looking, but there wasn’t a wool coat to be had in Houston in early Feb.–definitely sweater weather. Yes, I could find bathing suits! Desperate, I had to go to a used clothing store to find one.



    • Kay Hudson
      Jan 19, 2015 @ 18:41:42

      When I was a kid in South Florida, we’d drool over the back-to-school issues of Mademoiselle (is that still around?) full of sweaters and boots and wool skirts that we had no use for at all. At least when I went to college in Tallahassee I could justify owning more than two sweaters. I imagine it was much the same for you in southern California.



  2. JF Owen
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 18:14:14

    Everyone has a few guilty pleasures. Flannel sheets is one of mine. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold. 🙂



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