Something without brown snowflakes, or gender-non-specific penguin families, or herds of puff-paint moose galloping with merry holiday abandon. And that's when I noticed...
What's with all the short-sleeved sweaters?
Now, I may be wrong, but it seems to me a sweater without anything to keep your arms warm is not, in fact, a sweater. Sweat doesn't enter into it, see? Frostbite, yes. Goosebumps, yes. Freezing to death on a sooty stoop selling matches for two-pence in the snow, yes. Sweat-- highly unlikely.
To paraphrase the character Edmund Blackadder, "What you have there, Percy, if anything, is an -Er."
And I am well-aware that Fashion-- the people that brought us fake eyeglasses for people with perfect vision, and jeans that only begin in the posterior under-awning region-- isn't exactly the industry of practicality. But this... this just seemed like the whole sweater rack is having some low self-esteem identity crisis.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the sweater says, slouching a little more on the hanger. "I just don't feel comfortable tackling the duties of being a sweater all by myself. My generation of sweaters was taught the importance of teamwork. It's all group projects these days. Achieving total sweater success by myself would just be arrogant... above myself... showing off. So, um, I'm gonna just need you to pick up my long-sleeved yet more lightweight thermal undershirt friend over here to go with me. That'll be an extra $20, please, 'kay, thanks."
"But... but I don't want to layer," I tell it. "I just want one single-tasking sweater."
"Well," continues the short-sleeved creation, fringe purposefully preventing it from meeting my gaze, "I'm afraid it's either the two of us, lady, or you freeze your pinecones off this holiday season. I never go anywhere without my BFF. Or," suggests the sweater with a new, flirty tone of hope, "you could always add my friend over here..."
"Another friend?" I ask hesitantly.
"Meet... the poncho!"
"Hiiii," says the poncho giggling. On closer inspection, it appears that this poncho was designed to only go around the neck and shoulders. It is not a poncho. It is, in truth, some sort of micro-poncho, a pon or perhaps a cho, a wooly dinner napkin with a hole cut through for the neck. If it were in white, it could be the collar of a Carmelite nun-- who also, coincidentally, does a lot of layering. In fleecy purple, however, it looks like Aunt Dottie's arthritis kicked up in the middle of a thoughtful Christmas gift which will be pushed back to next year.
"I'm leaving," I tell the garments. "That sweater I saw with the brown snowflakes perched on the yellow snowbank wasn't really so bad..."
"But wait!" the sweater shrieks. "You can't go. You-- you haven't even met our vests yet!"
"Heeeey!" greet the vests, flashing their linings, their buttons winking in the light.
"Oh... get knit!" I say, the only holiday bell jingling here being the one on the door marked Thank You, Come Again.