Today, after a week or so of procrastination, I returned to the Aranda blanket factory in Randfontein. After my previous Basotho blanket post, a reader in America sent me a donation to buy blankets for the blanket drive my friend Kennedy is organizing. So I had to pick up a few more.
When I arrived at Aranda, the first thing I saw was a sign reading: “Please take note of our price increase on 1 July 2020.” July 1st is tomorrow. I silently congratulated myself for ending my bout of procrastination on exactly the right day. I would have been so pissed off if I’d gone tomorrow and found the blankets more expensive than they were the day before.
I quickly chose five blankets for the donation and started to walk toward the checkout. But my feet kept stopping in front of the spiral aloe blanket.
“The prices are going up tomorrow,” I told myself. (I tried to find out how much the increase will be but the salesperson was secretive.) “You’ve driven all the way out here. If you don’t buy this blanket now, you will regret it.”
“I don’t need three Basotho blankets!” I retorted to myself. “I don’t have the money!”
“These blankets are a great deal,” I shot back, at myself. “And look how low the stock is. People are snapping them up before the price hike.”
I paced back and forth in front of the aloe blankets, studying the colors that were left. The blue and green design I’d admired last time was sold out — the stock really was low. But there was a black and white blanket, a pink and blue blanket, an orange and black blanket, and a turquoise and red blanket.
I hung around for at least ten minutes — starting to walk away, then creeping back. Unfolding and refolding. Continuing the fierce debate with myself.
Finally I decided I couldn’t leave without that blanket. I grabbed the turquoise and red, added it to my pile, and marched to the checkout.
That is how Trixie wound up with her very own Basotho blanket.
I officially have a blanket problem. But it seems buying Basotho blankets is one of the only activities that brings me joy during a global pandemic so I’m going to try not to feel guilty about it. It’s a good thing Aranda is 45 minutes away, otherwise I’d have 20 blankets and a negative balance in my bank account.