Swimsuits in February? The real struggle of seasonal availability

This week, my husband, Ron Sands, is back with a guest blog post that will surely make you smile if you’re like us and shop in the moment. If you’ve ever had trouble buying a swimsuit in July or snow boots in January, I think you’ll appreciate this one. My husband has started his own blog as well. You can find more of his musings at Blue Moose Publishing’s Melville’s Blog

I am under the impression there is some unspoken agreement among merchants that mandates no item be widely available during its generally recognized season of use. That seems particularly true of Maine. If you want something, you better make sure to purchase it three-months before you actually plan on using it; otherwise, you’ll be searching Uncle Henry’s for a damned good used one. In Maine, that could mean looking through items aged thirty years or more.

Over the years, I have, in the months of June, July, and August perused and rejected what feels like an entire Bangladeshi garment factory’s worth of over and under-sized swim trunks—everything from trunks too small to comfortably house a pair of acorns to those I could have, in a pinch, paired with a broomstick and a two-by-eight, and gone windsurfing with.

Normal probably is not the best word choice here. Let me put it this way, in the summer months, two short, frayed, and slightly chaffed sticks, one on the left and one on the right, are typically all that remain of the swimming trunks bell curve. The same goes for the leather sandals, Frisbees, floaties, water guns, above ground pools, and just about any other summer-related item I have tried to purchase in the actual summertime.

Tools seem to be an exception. Lawnmowers, shovels, picks, chainsaws, grills… yes, grills. Cooking on the grill is work, even if you can have a beer while doing it, which reminds me of that whole Father’s day fiasco. It’s your day, dad—now get those coals going would you? And dad is thinking, “yeah, remember what we did on Mom’s day?” as he goes for beer number two.

I know, slightly overdone and late—kind of like Dad’s burgers. Still, these are interesting windows into our culture. Society bestows two formal holidays from cooking upon mom and hoodwinks dad for at least one of them. Tools are generally always readily available for purchase regardless of season. With recreational items, it’s don’t bend over or that seam is gonna give.

I use the term hoodwinking because everyone understands this holiday where dad grills meat is really about him celebrating the successful, symbolic hunt through the act of searing the raw flesh. And what is the successful, symbolic hunt? Who the hell knows. Maybe it’s just his excuse to drink a little beer and touch base with the innermost part of his caveman soul by smelling meat grease while cooking with fire.

So, tools do seem to be the exception. I’m sure I could pick up a lawnmower in January if I really wanted to, but I have my doubts about the potential availability of snow boots and gloves for my son. I probably could buy pruning shears in February, but a sled might be out of the question. I’m not really sure what to think about this, other than the merchant cabal is evil. Do not punish those of us who choose to live our lives and do our shopping in the moment rather than three months into the future. It’s not a race; we’re all going to get there eventually.

public domain photo

And merchants wonder why people are attracted to a dark star that floats cyberspace like a gigantic, silicon Walmart with super-colossal, virtual aisles, and a bad-ass Jabba the Hut tattoo. If a person could actually watch the transactions generated by that pulsating mass of ones, zeros, and bp free plastics, it might look like the 60’s version of the Enterprise hitting warp speed while the captain and the crew watch the opening credits from the original Star Wars.

Hidden somewhere in that previous phrase is a time-space continuum conundrum guaranteed to generate frenetic key-stroking and copious computer-mediated communications among trekkie techies around the planet—and beyond. Don’t sue me, Buzz.

Okay, time to stop basking in the blue light and take a look outside. It’s still July, and for Maine (79 degrees) it’s hot, and you know what that means. Skinny dipping, anyone?

Crystal Sands

About Crystal Sands

I am a former academic and award winning writing teacher turned hobby farmer/homeschooling mom/freelancer. In 2015, after too many years of working too many hours, I decided to change my life. This blog shares my stories related to making the change and simplifying my life–a process that began when we finally got our first chickens. In this blog, I will share my experiences learning how to hobby farm on a small place in Maine, become more self-sufficient, live frugally, live peacefully, and have more time for love. I hope you will join me on this journey by following my blog and following me on Twitter @CrystalDSands.