If I were in charge of the world, many, many things would be different.
First and foremost, all stores would carry items in season. It’s February. It’s cold. There is still a whole lot of snow on the ground, yet today, I was able to easily find and purchase a large selection of sand toys. Summer is a long ways away. Where are the snow toys? Where is the handy little square that makes perfect snow bricks for building your very own igloo? (My neighbor has one and it is awesome.) Where are the snowman kits? Hell, where are the gloves, hats, scarves, and sweaters? I went to Old Navy the other day and stopped dead in the aisle – they had shorts on the walls. Shorts! My house thermostat has never been set higher than 70 degrees (and only goes that high to chill the glacial thaw that is my mother’s presence.) Thus, it’s too cold to wear them inside. It’s too cold to wear them outside. I will be pale and pasty for two more months. Yet they had shorts out! Blasphemy.
This whole shopping out of season thing completely confounds me. I remember the year I dutifully bought all my Christmas presents and ignored all the comfy sweaters and warm shirts in dark colors that decked all the shelves. Two weeks later, my friend MJ and I went to spend our gift cards on those previously coveted clothes only to find the entire selection of winter wear had been replaced by pastel sleeveless shirts and colorful culottes. Sure, it was the South, but even Raleigh didn’t require cut-offs in January. A few years later, I needed a new coat in February. As I was living in Boston at the time and summer is but a brief two-week window before winter sets back in (it once snowed in May), I figured my selection would be wide and plentiful. It wasn’t. In fact, it was non-existent. However, if I was hunting for a swimsuit, well then I was in luck. In Boston. In February. WTF?
Who decides that no one needs a sweater when it is cold out? Or boots when it snows? Who decides that sandals are out of season by mid-June and that season-specific outdoor toys must be on sale before the season officially begins? Who decides that Halloween costumes must be bought with the September school supplies (that are usually hard to find by mid-August)? Why were all the Valentine’s Day crafts half-priced (and the aisles empty) a week before the fake romantic holiday? It’s just bizarre.
In my world, boots will not be sold out by December. Shorts in summer, pants in winter, and if you need special clothing for vacations, climate change, or shits and giggles, you can go to a damn specialty store. Target doesn’t need to showcase itty-bitty teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikinis directly across from their display of Easter chocolates! Talk about putting you off your bunny. The only weather-dependent item I have ever seen on display in direct relation to weather is the umbrella. Hmm. If it is already raining and you do not have an umbrella, then you are already wet. The umbrella is not going to make you dry. And “less wet” is really just a matter of perspective.
I’m really a simple person. I don’t need super powers (though I bet certain ones would come in handy). I don’t need Star Trek technology to become a reality. (Though food synthesizers and tricorders would certainly be helpful, the Universal Translator always bothered me. Why doesn’t everyone look like a badly dubbed kung-fu movie?) I don’t need flying cars or space travel or even the discovery that werewolves and vampire are real. But I do need to be able to buy a coat when it is cold and a sundress when it is sunny. Is that too much to ask?