Sunday, August 7, 2016

cotton wool

the incident with the cats was fresh in my mind when I made it to Sears at the Marketplace Mall in Henrietta to buy my bedding, the sheets, the pillows, the blanket. i was moving into the dorms, and I needed everything.
what I wanted was a regular blanket, you know, the regular simple plain everyday blanket. I had had one at home. it had been just perfect, not too thin, not too thick, though it was thick enough, and so worked in the winter to keep the cool air out and in the summer to keep the cool air in. just the regular blanket please.
do you need help miss?
(I'm just looking for a blanket. not too thin, not too thick. made of packed cotton wool. "cotton-wool" is not in my vocabulary. slip cover please needs to be separate, so that it could be washed on a regular basis. "slip cover" is not a concept in my vocabulary.)
what we have are quilts throws fleece fleece throws plush throws downs comforters -- what exactly are you looking for?
Sears, according to my host family, was the quintessential American store that would carry anything I may have wanted at a reasonable price.
(the marketplace mall, i loved learning, has a particular distinction of having been the inspiration for Nicholson Baker's novel Mezzanine -- the novel that takes place in its entirety on an escalator ride to the second floor of a mall.)
two hours later, having studied the labels to each type of blanket in the store, having touched the blankets that weren't wrapped in plastic at all the options, i ended up deciding that too thin was much better than two thick. without the slip cover I would need to wash the thing regularly, and the experience of washing that thick comforter in my host parents' bathroom had been far from ideal.
cotton wool. how come it was not a thing in America? during my periods, a length of cotton wool was the only thing that worked at night, to absorb the extra heavy flow. what did American women do? lining up two or three pads always left room for blood to escape. virgins weren't supposed to use tampons. virgin or not, tampons weren't meant to be left in there for upwards twelve hours. i had some stock of rolls of cotton wool with me, but when i ran out, I was a mess.

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