Auntie Fatcat's

Sit down, have a cookie, and chat for a spell.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Making the Bed

My grandmother always used to say that there are only two good reasons to leave the house without making the bed: 1) it’s on fire, or 2) the contractions are less than five minutes apart. As a kid, I thought she was nuts. Why make it when you’re just going to mess it up again every night?

Flash forward thirty years. My husband and I are watching the episode of Friends in which Richard catches Monica remaking the bed because he did it wrong. As she explains that he has failed to tuck the sheets in properly and turn the bedspread so the pattern is facing the right way, I point to the television and scream “Yes! Yes!” Rick grins indulgently at me and says, “It figures that Monica would be just like you.”

How did this happen?

My friend Linda’s blog recommends the Flylady website, which offers housecleaning and organizing tips. While I don’t think the Flylady system is for me, she does have some useful ideas (meaning stuff I was already doing anyway). One of them is the idea of designating one little spot in your home that you always keep perfectly clean, tidy, and as it should be. That way, when chaos reigns around you and you get discouraged, you can look at your inspirational spot and tell yourself you’re not a failure because you at least got that one thing done properly.

Flylady suggests using the kitchen sink as your inspirational spot, but I find this too easy for a lazy fatcat like myself. (All it takes to keep your sink perfectly clean is to eat out all the time, which is tempting enough already.) Besides, there’s no place to sit in my kitchen, and I can’t really see my sink from anywhere else, so I can’t lovingly contemplate its sparkling beauty. No, I’m all about the bed.

For most of us, the bed is the part of the house where we spend the most time. It’s also the biggest thing in the room, so if it looks nice it makes the room as a whole look tidier. Even if you’re a control freak like Monica and me, it doesn’t take long to make it. You can do it in the morning as soon as the last guy is out of it (cats don’t count), and it’ll probably stay done all day, unlike the sink. And then you have this nice, big, flat surface on which you can spread out other things, knowing that you won’t be tempted to leave them out past bedtime.

But the best part of making the bed is that it’s all for me. Only people who have pajama rights (meaning people I allow to see me in my pajamas with no makeup and scary bed-head) are going to see it either way, and they mostly don’t care. So when I’m folding the top three inches of the sheet back over the blanket and tucking everything in tight, I’m telling myself that my own pleasure is worth the effort. Making the bed every day means acknowledging every day that it’s a good thing to take as much care with the tasks I do for myself as with those for other people.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go lovingly contemplate my bed.


Blogger Rick Marshall said...

Of course, I do not see how she expects the bed to stay made when we have two cats, a bear, and two goats jumping up and down on it all the time. What a racket!

12:42 PM  

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