Mitten Quest

I have figured out how to get rich.

I figured it out in Target this weekend. A weekend, I might add, that was smack in the middle of January. Which is part of winter. A season that is very, very cold in over half the country.

I went to Target hoping to find some replacement kid mittens because we’re down to our last pair, with at least 6 more weeks of serious cold ahead of us. I also thought I’d like more winter pajamas for C because he decided to grow a couple of inches  while I was making dinner or something and now all his footie pjs are stretched into deep scoopnecks, which is not the look I’m going for in toddler sleepwear.

But did Target have kid mittens or warm pjs? Nooooooooo. They did not. They had bikinis. But I can’t see wrapping those around Cs hands while he makes snowballs.

I have long wondered what is wrong with the fashion industry that it foists beach-wear on us when we’re trudging around in snow boots and heavy sweaters. Spring break is not a good enough excuse for popsicle-colored terrycloth beach cover-ups taking center stage in stores when there is ice crusting the mirrors on my car. Showing me flirty sundresses with spaghetti straps when I’m at Target for rock salt in advance of a possible snowstorm is just plain insulting.

But nothing is as angry-making as the fact that the powers-that-be won’t stock mittens after about January 3. Surely, SURELY, someone in the head office of large retailers is a parent and knows the eternal truth that Kids Lose Mittens. Surely they have found themselves scouring a mall on January 23rd trying to find one pair of mittens to replace the last remaining intact pair that got left on a  bus or at a friend’s house, never to be seen again, and leaving a child with the prospect of wearing two left-hand mittens or going bare-fingered for the rest of winter. Surely they understand that demand for mittens will continue well into March and having them on the shelves would make their store a Mecca for mothers. It would be like Field of Dreams only colder. If you have mittens, moms will come.

Then, I had my brainstorm. Why should Target rich from mid-winter mitten sales when I could get rich instead!

I want to open a small store, maybe even just a kiosk, that sells mittens. Nothing but mitten from October through March. And not just any mittens: SINGELTON mittens! That’s right, when your kid loses his left mitten, you can come to me and replace just the left mitten, not the whole pair. And you can come there all winter long. None of this aspiring to be spring when the temperature is 15 degrees bullshit. I will keep your hands covered until winter’s last gasp, while saving you money on mittens by the half-pair.

I KNOW! I’m a genius. You can thank me when I actually get it up and running. Right now I need to go super-glue our last remaining pair of mittens to C’s hands so he doesn’t lose them because, for now, there are no mittens to be had and I’m not ready to wrap his hands in bikinis yet.

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16 comments for “Mitten Quest

  1. Erin
    January 25, 2011 at 10:24 am


  2. DMCostorf
    January 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    The name of the Kiosk will be “The Lost Mitten”

    I have had GREAT luck in clearance sections (which is also insulting) and online with Land’s End/LL Bean Outlets and…wait for it…SUPERMARKETS/DRUG STORES! They always seem to have some hats/gloves way into March in the front of the store…Amazing that the big boxes don’t pick up on that…

  3. Shelley
    January 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    When I get desperate, I use socks as mittens.

  4. Jenny
    January 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

    CVS had some when I was in there the other day. Also, Value Village. I agree though, Target is the worst for this kind of crap, if you don’t get it in the beginning of a season fuggedaboutit.

  5. KLZ
    January 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

    You could go to Target, stock up in the fall, and then auction them off at your site in January! Highest bidder wins!

  6. January 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I think it was Land’s End that actually had a lost mitten program. Check it out to see if they still do!

  7. Karen
    January 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I have an idea for taking your kiosk full-year. You could also sell (gasp!) bathing suits in August! I know we aren’t thinking about them yet, but the swimsuits get lost/forgotten/hopelessly stretched out by chlorine in mid-to-late summer, and then all you can find is snow brushes! Whatever happened to supply and demand?

  8. TheNextMartha
    January 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It’s true. My house is currently FILLED with lone mittens. I went to Target a few weeks ago (Like first week of JANUARY) and the childrens selection didn’t have a singe boys pair. The girls selection was still full. I even looked at them to see if there were ANY that I could pass off to my 7 y/o. Um, there weren’t. I was so desperate that I even looked at the mens section. While they did have a few pairs, they were all gloves. I NEED this January mitten store.

  9. January 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

    It’s not just mittens! We got a huge snowstorm in December, right before Christmas. Naturally, Bunny wanted to go out in the snow, but being the slacker parents we are, we didn’t buy her snow boots in August when they went on sale. No one had boots left. There were rain boots and sandals, but no snow boots.

    So, we wrapped her feet in ziplock bags, put socks over those, and put on her sneakers.

    I guess we’ll have to remember to stop for snow boots on our way to the beach next August so we have them.

  10. Vicki
    January 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Gas stations. I don’t know why, but when I lived in the snow we could ONLY find mittens at gas stations after the middle of january (unless you went uo to the ski resort and paid 5 million dollars for a pair that can only be found ONCE)!

  11. Mama Morales
    January 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Expanding on your idea…. a kiosk for button-down boys’ dress shirts that are NOT white or blue. For the family picture you have scheduled in 3 weeks where you want everyone to coordinate but not necessarily match, for the 5 year old son who INSISTS on wearing a clip-on tie and jeans, but where the boys in the picture need to be in something other than the girls’ white, and because blue shirts with blue jeans is just too much… blue. And because the husband/father in the family would really like to have all the boys wear, oh, how about black? And for the mother, who has spent more than 45 minutes she will never get back, shopping online and calling stores within 15 miles to see if they have button down boys’ dress shirts in ANYTHING other than white and blue. Just throwing that out there.

  12. January 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    You’re totally on to something…I once got deathly sick while visiting Chicago one April. APRIL. Why was it like 30deg?? Chicago’s summers are smokin’ hot, so spring should have been reasonable, right?

    No way, not with that wind whipping around, probably bringing the temps down to like 20deg. I had a light jacket, nothing else. I went desperately from store to store searching for a winter coat that I was fully prepared to pay ANY PRICE NECESSARY for, including throwing in a kidney if need be. No dice.

    All I saw was bikinis and shorts everywhere. Needless to say I was pissed to a new level. Chicago, for God’s sake. You’d think with that kind of weather there, if no place else, they’d have a parka or two for sale…I could have readily promised my first born that day, but all those unlucky vendors missed out. Sorry for ya!!! LOL.

  13. January 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Wait, what? I still see that stuff on the clearance racks at Target here.

    Maybe its because I live in Minne-SNOW-ta. Oh we have the bikini’s too – but there are still cold weather items.

  14. mandy
    January 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Can you also sell singleton socks at this kiosk? What the hell happens to socks??? And we live in Charleston, SC, so it’s warm here until well into November-heck-it was 74 today-so when it got cold in December and I realized my daughter had grown out of her coat from last year, there was not a warm winter coat to be found. Seriously? I couldn’t have been the only parent looking for one at that point. And I don’t want to spend a fortune either because she’ll wear it for maybe a month total during the season since it is so warm here. So the one I found at Kohl’s for $75 got passed by. Finally got the last one in her size at Children’s place…one coat, in one design.

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