I wanted a new doona cover. I had a gift card for Myer. The rest was easy, right?
Myer had a lovely Sheridan cover on display, which I liked immediately. I was already congratulating myself on my shopping efficiency and imagining my first sip of a latte in the café downstairs.
Then I saw the price.
And that didn’t include pillowcases, which were $80 each.
$460 to make my bed, and I hate making my bed.
The last doona cover I bought cost me $11 (brand new) from a local op shop and I loved it.
Clearly Sheridan is outside my fiscal comfort zone. But then so were all Myer brands. I did find one fitted sheet for $70 and almost got excited, but I think that was just a touch of Stockholm Syndrome.
I marched off to Target, furious at the marketing nonsense that encourages people to pay almost five hundred bucks for something they’re just going to fart under.
At Target I was bombarded by thread counts, percale, Egyptian cotton and sateen finishes. It’s a Linen Conspiracy. These marketers want us all to crave the finest and the fanciest, the most luxurious threads and fibres, and to happily pay a fortune for the illusion that we’re buying a better life.
And worse; just some quick research revealed that up to a million Egyptian children work about 10 hours in 40 degree heat, picking the cotton from plants drenched in pesticides and endure savage beatings from their bosses, so we western folk can feel special when we slip between the sheets.
If I’d known this at the time I would have gone home, feeling quite sick. But as I stalked back to my car I passed an Adairs shop having a sale. Unfortunately the sales woman was determined to be helpful. Don’t you hate that? I avoided making eye contact and tried to sidle away, but she was vigilant.
Despite her help I managed to find what I was looking for, a doona cover which may or may not be damask/percale/embossed with a fleur de lys….I forget now. Whatever. It looked good, seemed good quality and was reduced from $220 to $100 – yey!
No pillowcases of course. They were $60 each – reduced to $15. I could live without them.
“Oh are you sure,” the saleswoman looked mortified, “It really does complete the look.”
“Well, they look a bit uncomfortable to sleep on,” I said pointing to the braid/brocade/ruching. Whatever.
“Oh, no, they’re not for sleeping on, just for the aesthetic.”
Ok, what? $120 for pillowcases to be thrown on the floor every night? Hilarious.
In a corner I noticed fitted sheets reduced from $70 to $30. “They look good,” I said pretending I knew the difference between hessian and silk.
“Oh yes, but it’s tricky to get just the right shade,” the saleswoman chirped. “And none of these really look right, but I could order one in for you.”
I looked at the sheets. There was white, brown, and green. How hard could it be?
“Oh.” The saleswoman mouthed in dismay as I picked up the brown one. She walked back behind the counter clearly washing her hands of the whole business.
* I just checked my linen and neither is Egyptian cotton, which is a fluke. I’ll be boycotting it from now on.