While some have turned to baking, knitting, or home improvement over the course of the last year, Sandy Becker has stayed true to her first and only hobby: going to Target over and over again and gasping when she touches a soft blanket.
“Like any good hobby, mine was born of a personal passion,” Sandy says. “For as long as I can remember when I touch a soft blanket in a store, I gasp and sometimes whisper, ‘So soft!’ and I love that about me.”
“Between work, sleep, and housekeeping, it’s easy at the end of the day to just want to check out and watch TV,” Sandy says. “I would never judge someone who does that, but for me, I need something more meaningful, and I get that from gasping at soft blankets, and occasionally even going the extra mile to wonder how they would hold up after being washed.”
For those struggling to find their perfect hobby fit, Sandy is a big believer in intuition.
“You have to follow your gut,” she says. “It shouldn’t feel like work. When I touch an incredibly soft blanket and gasp, it never feels like work to me. You know those ones that are almost shiny? It’s a type of fleece, maybe? Anyway, that’s one example.”
“A hobby can also be a wonderful way to build community,” Sandy adds. “Sometimes if I’m at Target with someone when I touch a soft blanket, I’ll say, ‘Feel how soft this is,’ and then they come and touch it too. That’s a way of bringing them into my world.”
Even in the presence of grind culture, Sandy has managed to resist defining her hobby in terms of productivity or commodification.
“Gasping at the touch of microfiber blankets is something I do for me,” she says. “I’ve never tried to profit off of it. I mean, I never thought about it. Do you think I could? Should I start making TikToks or something? I don’t know if it would really read on such a visual medium, it’s all very centered on what the blanket feels like.”
“Anyway, the truth is, I’m happy to do it for free,” Sandy adds. “That’s how much I love stroking a soft blanket then gasping because I can’t believe how soft it is. I’m also interested in touching particularly soft sweaters and robes, but that’s just if I have the time.”
Sandy, we commend your passion!