Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unmaking the Bed

Please don't tell my mom. As a child, the house rule was "if your bed isn't made before you leave the house in the morning, you're grounded for the rest of the day." During my earliest years, I shared a double bed with my sister - I was really good at making half a bed. A little later, we got bunk beds, and being the oldest, I got the top bunk. I quickly figured out the easiest way to make my bed then was to do so while I was still in it - pulling up and smoothing out sheet, blanket, and bedspread over my head, then sliding down and out the side. A quick straightening over the pillow, and I was good to go.

In my teen years, and later in my first college dorm rooms, I did everything sitting on my bed. Having everything pulled up neat and tidy made for a nice work area or company seating, still leaving me with a clean bed to get into at night. As I moved out into houses or apartments, I finally had a separate bedroom where I could just close the door to hide the mess. But I still made my bed each morning. Old habits die hard.

And then, I got married. And moved into my new husband's house and bed. The house heated with only a wood-burning stove; the bed an old baffled waterbed - unheated. That was fine with me. I much preferred it that way, rather than sleep surrounded by electricity (especially with the possibility of adding water into the mix). I'd read about how close contact with electric currents could be harmful to our health, so no electric blankets either.

Instead, we insulated ourselves from a cold, clammy waterbed mattress the old-fashioned way. A few old blankets beneath a felt mattress pad, and then in the winter, add a featherbed mattress atop that. Slide in between flannel sheets, with a down comforter on top, and we slept nice and cozy through the coldest winter nights, even after the fire in the living room died down.

But I also quickly learned that making the bed first thing each morning wasn't the right thing to do anymore. A featherbed mattress needs to be fluffed up and left open to the air to be most comfortable at night. Smoothing and straightening and covering everything up was counter-productive. I'd flip all the covers off each morning, fluff, and usually even flip that featherbed up most mornings, pillows over on our respective captain's chairs. Then, I'd make our bed in the evening, just before bedtime.

Years later, that old waterbed mattress finally cracked and sprung a leak where it couldn't be patched (yay!). So, we went shopping for a real mattress (do they even make baffled waterbeds anymore?). But I kinda liked unmaking my bed every morning. I liked letting the sheets air during the day, only smoothing and straightening it all up at night, just before bedtime. So please, don't tell my mom, but I don't make my bed in the morning (unless she or my sisters are visiting - then yes, it does get made in the morning as long as they are here. What can I say?).

I'm certainly not going to post a picture of my unmade bed for the whole world to see. The bed in our master bedroom is out of sight of any casual visitors, and so shall stay that way. The guest room, on the other hand, is right off the living room. Everyone can see that bed. It's always perfectly made up. There are appearances to be maintained, after all.


Melynda said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks.

Annodear said...

Why I never would have believed it! LOL!! I'm not sure if I can keep this juicy of a secret! ;-)

Nancy M. said...

I'm worse than you! I haven't ever made my bed unless I knew someone was going to come over and see it!

Cheapskate said...

I have a comforter cover instead of a top sheet. All I have to do to "make" the bed is to sort of cover it with the comforter. One easy step!