Monday, February 8, 2010

Weater is Not Always Better

I've posted about Walmart sweaters before. But not since I moved to Canada.

Turns out Walmart Canada is just like American Walmart, only more Canadian.

And since it's been so darn long since I posted about Walmart sweaters, (a breed unlike any other sweater,) in fact I think it was so long ago it was like another blogtime (like another lifetime without the regression therapy or the karma.)

Since many of you did not read my other blog, I will practice a little repeating myself, an activity that, in a few years, will be totally expected of me and won't land me in the hospital awaiting a CT scan on my brain or bring on an intervention organized by creepy relatives.

But wait. let's start at the beginning.

Clothing at Walmart should not be called clothing since there isn't enough real cloth in it to earn that title. It's pretty much woven plastic.

When I came to Canada, I looked forward to winter - to lots of hats and scarves and Fair Isle sweaters with moose and deer patterns, all bulky and loose, the sweaters the cast ofThirtysomething used to wear - I think that was called the Preppie look (love love love and miss you preppie look. Come back soon.)

I was sure that everything in Canada was going to be different, and by different I envisioned better. More wooly, more flannelly, more long johnnyee and Sorrel booty. I imagined WalmartCanada was going to be way different from American Walmart. I was convinced that CanadianWalmart sweaters were going to be made from real stuff, like wool, or cotton, or ok, maybe a slight poly-blend once in a while I can live with that, but no.

Same sweaters, my friends, different country.

Some of you might remember the winter that Bunny and I decided to be thrifty and buy basic clothes from Walmart, because we are smart chicks who know that you can only get away with buying the basics there as the words Walmart and style are never never used in the same sentence. So we thought - hey. Turtleneck sweaters - a basic, right?

We both bought turtlenecks from Walmart, we both noticed that when you washed and dried them the main part of the sweater dried but the neck stayed damp. We both had damp necks all winter, because I'm not kidding folks, those necks did not dry ever. Even after being packed away for the summer you could be sure that come September 1, those moist necks were going to be right there to greet you again.

So I kind of stayed away from Walmart for a while - my neck had broken out in a terrible rash and I was kind of embarrassed to go out in public, but Bunny continued to shop there and she came to work wearing a new Walmart sweater, (which we began to refer to as "weaters", you know like a combo of Walmart and sweater, with a little dampness thrown in, and we thought we were so darn clever because we are just so not-funny like that sometimes. )

Anyway, by mid morning she noticed that her sweater had some loose threads hanging so she investigated further to find that it was more that the sweater was kind of unravelling - the threads or maybe shreds of plastic were kind of coming undone or maybe melting. And they continued to unravel all day until by three o'clock in the afternoon someone filed a sexual harassment complaint against her.

So we swore off Walmart completely. But then I came here and I thought - hey, I'm sure that sweaters at Canadian Walmart are different. Yeah, I know I've said that before - only substitute the words Canadian Walmart for like any other noun in the dictionary - but you know, I'm ever hopeful that way. So I bought two sweaters - kind of retro style in that loose Thirtysomethingway and I was so excited I ran over to the hair accessory department and grabbed myself a new scrunchie.

Everything was going well, until that is, I washed the sweaters.

I know better than to put anything in the dryer these days because of (a)Chinese Quality Workmanship and (b) most things are a little not-roomy on me to begin with, so I washed them and hung them up to dry.

Funny thing though - they didn't really need drying. They came out of the washer barely moist.Ok, that's ok because that means they won't take long to dry, I thought. Bonus. They didn't shrink and even once I forgot and dried them in the dryer and they still didn't seem wet and they still didn't shrink and everything was going really well and for a moment I thought that Canadian buyers for large department stores must be much more quality conscious than American buyers and you know what?

I didn't think that at all. I was just like "Wheee! Still fits!"

But then, I noticed a funny smell. Yeah, coming from the sweaters. It was kind of - well, dirty smelling, like someone needs a shower smelling, like I've just been working out smelling like these sweaters are made from materials that have stopped breathing years ago and are now decomposing as we speak smelling.

You see, water has never managed to penetrate whatever in Satan's Apocalyptic landscape of Doom you call that material these things are made of and so basically I have been wearing two dirty filthy rotten sweaters all winter and let me tell you, there is no mistaking the smell of whole-season-long non organic, demon-made "material" rotting. Kind of smells like butt washed just a little without soap. Or like the smell you're sometimes forced to experience in the ladies washroom when the woman in the next stall isn't a daily bather and she has a feminine hygiene problem.

Look, you get the point. When non-organic fibers break down, people, it's not good. Not good at all. And when it happens there's nothing you can do about it. Unless there's somewhere you have these things embalmed.

ok, that's enough. I need not go on.

So, here's what I want to you to take from this story.

1. Be thankful that I am your invisible friend and therefore you are not able to smell me and so haven't had the pleasure of smelling my Weater.

2. If you were thinking of coming to Canada to get better quality discount clothing, forget it.

3. Make sure your clothing comes out of the washer wet. Good and wet. And your clothing comes out of the dryer dry. Very dry - even the necks.

And that's it.

Go in peace.


  1. Thank you for reminding me of why I NEVER shop at Walmart...

  2. No problem - and if you ever forget I have many more reasons where these came from!

  3. Amazing post! I totally love your site. I'm sure I'd visit here more often. Anyway, feel free to drop by my site as well. It's about valentines day gift ideas for him. Catch you there sometime.


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