Blankets and I have a long and storied history. My closest childhood companion was a downy soft flower print number that I stole from my sister Suzanne, who was then a toddler. The blanket’s name (shamelessly lifted from a friend’s little brother’s blanket) was Gully, and Gully was amazing.
Those were heady times in the young life of DZ. During my childhood and early adolescence, I was a prodigious sleeper. Blissfully unaware of grownup concepts like responsibility and worry, I would regularly embark on majestic twelve-plus hour stints of uninterrupted nighttime slumber. And on top of that, I could (and would) take long satisfying naps wherever and whenever I pleased. During all of this wonderful sleeping, Gully was there. I spent my days playing stickball or touch football then taking long naps with Gully. I spent my nights watching New York Mets games, then memorizing baseball statistics, then sleeping with Gully. Also at some point going to grade school was involved. What a life! Thanks in no small part to Gully. It was obvious that Gully possessed formidable somniferous powers.
Alas, in my teen years Gully gradually grew so tattered that it literally began to fade away. It also occurred to me that owning a blanket covered with pink and powder blue flowers could become a social detriment, so one day I tucked Gully away in the corner of my parents’ linen closet and bid it farewell. The Gully Years were gone but not forgotten, not by me nor anyone else who experienced them. In fact, Gully recently made its triumphant return in a memorable and touching speech given by Suzanne on my wedding day. At its conclusion, I was presented with a framed piece of my sacred blanket. It sits on a shelf above me in my office as I type this.
But I needed no reminder of the awesome power of Gully. For many years, I had fruitlessly searched for a substitute that might bring me back to my schluffy childhood utopia. Janeen can attest to this. Soon after our engagement last year, I was made to endure a rite of passage: physically going to retail stores to create a wedding registry. From the safe perch of my married life, with this chore a distant memory, I feel comfortable admitting that I despised creating our wedding registry. Hated it. With one important exception. At each store, I insisted that we register for the fluffiest blanket for sale. Please do not confuse “blanket” as used in this context with “bedding.” Bedding is the stuff that goes on and around your bed. Janeen was in charge of bedding (and most everything else on our registry), and she picked out some very expensive fancy type shit. Blanket is the thing you curl up with on the couch when you’re watching TV. As part of my decades-long search for the new Gully, blankets are what I personally registered for. I was quite happy when my specially selected registry blankets eventually arrived in the mail (the Nambé platters, not so much). I eagerly tried them out in turn, but they were just okay. I settled in with my just okay blankets and gave up on my search for the sleep inducing Gully of yesteryear.
Fast forward to the winter of 2008.
I was lounging on the couch, watching a rerun of Forensic Files. I was draped in one of the just okay blankets, minding my own business… and then IT happened.
And if you don’t know what IT is, you probably live under a rock somewhere. A rock without a television set.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xZp-GLMMJ0%5D
SNUGGIE! I had to have it. For the first time since 1987 (Legend of Zelda, for those keeping score at home) I had a firm answer when my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Resisting the strong temptation to order the pair of Snuggies (and booklight) myself, I permitted my mother the honor. I found it curious at the time, but Mom told me the Snuggies were actually back-ordered and that mine would not arrive until early January. But arrive it eventually did, and boy do I love my red Snuggie!
Everything they say on the commercial is true. You have the freedom to do all the things you normally do in your blanketless life, but now you’re doing them while you’re enveloped in a soft fluffy blanket! If that doesn’t sound appealing to you then you probably won’t get it, which is a little bit sad. Trust me when I tell you that life is better in a Snuggie.
I haven’t recreated my Gully Days, but Snuggie Days are certainly a close approximation. Online poker in particular is much nicer in a Snuggie. Those poker players who have actually read along this far: get a Snuggie. Play online. You’ll thank me.
A funny thing has happened since my Snuggie delivery date: The Snuggie has become a full-blown cultural phenomenon, with over four million sold. There are scores of Snuggie devotees out there now. Of course, as with any new cultural movement, the detractors have come out of the woodwork.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h05ZQ7WHw8Y%5D
Sadly, there is a lot of Snuggie hate going on these days. The preceding video is merely one of many videos and written diatribes that litter the internet, all trashing the Snuggie. Now you might find this amusing or think that it’s all in good fun, but it’s actually a pretty bad beat for me. For while I am happy to be counted among the four million strong (and counting!) who have discovered the joy of Snugging, there is a downside to all this popularity. The lashback is pretty extreme. There are a lot of people who now assume that I’m a fad-following poseur, but it’s simply not true. I am a bona fide Snuggie aficionado. I have been searching a long time for something like the Snuggie, and now it’s here!
The greatest personal tragedy borne from all this Snuggie hate is that I will not be able to fulfill a fleeting but promising vision: to play a live poker tournament in my Snuggie. It is obvious that my infectious and unbridled Snuggie love would be misconstrued as a desperate plea for attention. Desperate pleas for attention are not my style, and I already feel lousy enough when I go bust; I don’t need to be booed out of the room. I will leave Snuggie’s live poker debut to someone else. I’ll just keep on keepin’ on, Snugging in the privacy of my home. 🙂