Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Till Cold Feet Do Us Part

It was a rite of passage around ten or twelve or some age when parents finally decided you were tough enough not to succumb to childhood disease. If you’d beat the pox, scarlet fever, croup, pneumonia, and measles, then a parent felt obligated to contribute a few bucks to your continued survival. Henceforth, warm nights in New England were no longer limited to dying embers in the potbelly and hot water bottles under the covers. No, from there on out you got your very own electric blanket. It was usually a hand-me-down or picked up while yardsaling and about half of the wires worked. But it was warm and welcome.

As an adult with a thermostat-regulated gas furnace, no wood to chop, and insulated walls, there is little need for this New England bedroom staple. But like warm cookies and hot chocolate, it is a comfort, a guilty pleasure. But unlike such American staples as Star Wars and Corvette, the original benefited from its update: the electric mattress pad.

Anyone with backaches, arthritis, or a partner who won the thermostat war needs one of these babies. It envelopes you like a . . . well, a warm blanket. A hug. Loving arms that never fall asleep or fidget. Adjustable from 1-10 and split down the middle with dual controls for his and her comfort, the electric mattress pad is the best invention since electricity. It’s like being a kid again – without the chores.

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