Monday, March 29, 2021

The Little Things: Do You Make Your Bed?

 JENN McKINLAY: A few years ago, Hooligan 1's band director tasked the entire marching band with a daily chore. Before arriving for zero hour, which was marching band practice, they were to make their bed. 

He got the idea from Navy Seal Admiral McRaven in a commencement address he gave at the University of Texas in Austin. Here's the clip:


Shockingly, the child who usually left half of his bedding on the floor was suddenly not leaving his room until the bed was tight enough to bounce a quarter on. Huh. The theory is that if you make your bed every morning, you will have managed to accomplish your first goal of the day which will carry forward through the rest of the day's tasks. 

 Of course, at our next band parent meeting, there was a mom who stood up and said that making the bed wasn't healthy and her child would not be doing it. She felt that the bedding needed to be aired out and therefore making the bed was a bad thing. Yes, this was the hill she was prepared to die on. (Picture me in the meeting eyerolling and sighing). Although, in all fairness, there is support for not making your bed because of dust mites and dead skin (ew, I know, sorry): Why You Shouldn't Make Your Bed Right Away but they to wait until after breakfast not as this mom insisted that you should never make your bed. I have to say, I never saw this bed making controversy coming!




Now confession time: I love a neatly made bed. There is nothing better than pulling back the sheets and sliding in, however, I am not a very good bed maker. In fact, I intentionally rise early so that Hub is the last one out of the bed and therefore responsible for setting it to rights. On the rare occassion that he's up first, I stall and ignore the jumbled mess, hoping he'll give in and make it when he wanders by. Sometimes he outlasts me and I give in and make the stupid bed, but then I am even more determined to get up first. He has no idea about any of this, so shhhh. 

 So, how about it, Reds? Are you a bed maker? Do you believe that it sets the tone for your day? Or are you more of a free range bedding sort of person and the floor is fine?




DEBORAH CROMBIE: Ooh, I hate an unmade bed. But since I am almost always the first one up, Rick gets that job. He does it passably, although not as well as I would do it, so that I usually do some extra straightening before I get into it at night. On his plus side, he's much better at folding sheets than I am.


Don't you wonder how the kid whose mom said he didn't have to make the bed turned out? And did the bed making expertise stick with the Hooligans? 


JENN: It did with one, Debs, but not the other. I opt to not go into his room anymore -- I just close the door.


LUCY BURDETTE: I don’t like an unmade bed, but if I don’t do it, no one does. (John has many fine qualities but bed-making not one. I just asked him his theory--he said he enjoys getting into a crisply made bed, if someone else made it.) To be fair, I often spend several hours working in bed, so it’s my domain during the day.


The animals in our house do love “helping” make a bed though--especially T-bone, who burrows into the sheets and purrs and purrs.


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: When I was little, we had to make our beds or else. We were never sure what “or else”  meant, and no one wanted to find out.


Now, oh, I love getting into a nicely made bed--remember how lovely hotel beds can be?--and I am a happy bed-making helper, but whoa. When I do it on my own, it never looks right. It’s never puffy enough where it’s supposed to be puffy, or flat enough where it’s supposed to be flat.


Jonathan, now, is the KING of bed-making. I am truly not sure how he does it, but it is genius. ALL perfect corners and tight sheets, and it’s quite the talent. We do it together in the morning. I’m not sure we have ever not done it. I can’t imagine just leaving it. It would be too depressing.

(Jenn, tell the hooligans that future girlfriends will be very impressed.) 


RHYS BOWEN:  I say thank God for duvets!  Bed making these days is so easy. Those really deep fitted bottom sheets stay in place. I just shake out the duvet and voila. Bed is made. In Germany when I was a student women hung their bedding out of the window. I imagine it smelled fresh but I’ve never been tempted to do it. Besides I have screens on my windows. 


Like Hank I do love hotel bedding, so cool and smooth. And my own luxury is a silk pillow case, supposedly good for face and hair.

 

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I always make my bed in the morning, with the rare exception that everyone with a cat will recognize - if she settles on the tossed-aside duvet while I'm in the bathroom and falls asleep, by law I'm required to wait to make the bed until after she's gotten up. As for the Karen who didn't want her precious making his or her bed, fuggedaboutit. Let's face it, as disgusting as it sounds, we've all been sleeping around dead skin for as long as there has been bedding, and dustmites (scary!) are doing us a favor by getting rid of it so we don't vanish in a pile of epidermal rejects.

 

The Boy was the absolute worst about making his bed (or keeping his room in any better style than the town dump) so Ross and I wondered what would happen when he joined the Navy. Lo and behold, he came back as The Sailor, and now on visits he helps me make my bed with nice square corners and a tight tuck! Thanks, Adm. McRaven! 


HALLIE EPHRON: Our beds are slept in, thrown together, repeat; and I envy anyone who can make well a bed. 


As for me, I blame it on my parents that I can’t and don’t. And my kids blame it on me that they can’t and don’t, either. I also cannot properly fold sheets to save my life. 


I can, however, make pie crust. And gravy. And write. I can do that, too.


JENN: Always play to your strengths, Hallie, which are many!


Okay, Readers, chime in! Are you a bedmaker or no?


133 comments:

  1. I do straighten the bed after we get up in the morning, but I'm certain that a quarter would not bounce on it . . . .

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  2. Yes, I do make the bed right after I get up in the morning. That chore was ingrained in me since I was a kid, hospital bed corners in the sheets, etc.

    These days, my daily bed making chore is much easier, similar to what Rhys does. Shake and straighten out the silk duvet, and done! I wish I had her silk pillowcase, though. I heard about those skin and hair benefits.

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    1. I've been seeing adds in my Instagram but I'm such a cotton girl...I just don't know!

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    2. JENN: I use thin cotton sheets all year round, no blanket and put away the heavier down/feather duvet about 5 years ago, and have the best sleeps now with the silk duvet.
      It's a menopause thing, so I no longer overheat in bed. Silk keeps you warm in winter and cool in the summer and there are apparently so many other health benefits to sleeping on silk. Have not tried sleeping on silk sheets or pillowcases, though.

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  3. I make my bed every morning and I noticed how clean the room looks with a made bed. The one time I forgot to make the bed, it drove me crazy until I was able to make the bed.

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    1. You and my husband. He HAS to have a made bed.

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  4. This is all hilarious, just saying. I love a nicely made bed, and by some miracle Hugh comes upstairs in the mornings and does it! He's also the one who makes up the bed when the sheets are clean, like yesterday. I used to try and do it with him, but I get frowns and him fixing what I did, so I just stay downstairs.

    I do like the idea of folding back the covers and opening the window wide to air out the bedding...

    Hank, every morning you make the bed together? Do you both just show up at the same time? Does one say, honey, it's time to make the bed? I can't even imagine.

    And yes, hotel beds. OMG. About ten years ago I was staying with my sisters in a hotel (yes, two of us shared a bed) and we were about to go out for the day to hang with our mom. One suggested we put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. I said, But that's the best part - you go away and come back to a made up bed and a clean bathroom! They relented.

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    1. Also, I have a down duvet/comforter, but it's too warm for me now. I save it for guests! (Remember that quaint notion of house guests?)

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    2. I love hotel beds and I love that people make them for me - if a little chocolate is included, perfection!

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    3. Yes, we generally get up at the same time, so we are both already there. He does one side, I do the other, and it’s done!

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  5. I am definitely a bed-maker. My mom was strict about it. When she was mostly incapacitated and in assisted living, every day when I went to visit, she insisted I re-make her bed. The facility's staff were apparently inept at it by her standards. As far as I could tell, the bed looked no different after I'd re-done it. But if it made Mom feel more content, no problem.

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    1. You're a good daughter, Annette! What peace of mind that must have given her.

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    2. Annette, what a loving kindness to do for your mother.

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  6. I made my bed when I was growing up. Now, I don't strictly make it. I more or less just throw it together so that it looks made but there's no quarter bouncing going to happen with it.

    And I don't believe it has to be the first goal of the day to accomplish. Simply waking up and getting ready for work provides me with a number of goals to get through before walking out the door.

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    1. Like you, Jay, making the bed isn't Task #1 for me. I have dogs who are eager to go out, and cats who are desperate to be fed. Dealing with all that is Task #1 and Task #2. Dog meds are Task #3, after they come back in, and Task #4 is Tea Making, so I can wake up enough to face whatever other tasks are on the plate. I'll get back to the bed eventually.

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    2. True. Somedays just being upright is a win!

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    3. I have to chime in here and confess that while my bed always gets made, I, too, may put it off until the pets are fed and the dog is walked, especially if I slept late and the poor things are about to die from starvation.

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  7. This is hilarious. Thanks, Jenn!

    We are definitely dependent upon my bed-making abilities. Although I can do the tight hospital corners, etc, Irwin likes everything loose at night so he can wrap the covers around his feet. This is left over from his childhood where tightly wrapped feet protected you from the monsters under the bed!

    We sleep with down duvets covered with percale in fall and spring and flannel in winter. Like Rhys, once Irwin gets up, I return to the bedroom, fluff up the duvet and shake out the pillows. Then I put the bolster pillows for reading in bed back on, and it looks like a photo from TCS.

    At night, I have to tuck the bottom corner on my side tightly under or the entire duvet can end up wrapped around monsieur's feet.

    I always, always make the bed because early in our relationship, I saw "himself" sitting on our sheets in gardening clothes. He couldn't understand why I was so upset. Oh, and, NO GERMAN SHEPHERDS IN MY BED!

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    1. Gardening clothes? I'm going to assume he was coming back in from the garden, bringing dirt and bugs along for the ride. Oh, dear.

      But no German Shepherds on the bed? That's a loss. I bought a bigger bed a few years ago so I'd have room for more dogs and cats. Of course, you have Irwin to sleep with. I'd be all alone without my snuggly canine and feline friends.

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    2. We have two dogs and three cats who sleep in the bed - it's ridiculous.

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    3. First dog to ever sleep on our bed was Louie the Shih Tzu. First night home from the shelter, he hops up onto our bed. Ross said, "No dogs on the bed!" So I dutifully scooped Louie off and put him in the little bed we'd gotten for him. As soon as I'm in bed with the covers pulled up, the dog jumps back onto the bed. Ross: "No dogs on the bed!" Julia: scoops up the Shih Tzu, etc.

      The THIRD time, I said, "If you want him off the bed, YOU get up and take him downstairs." Needless to say, Louis slept on the bed from that time forward.

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  8. My mother always said the bed had to air out before making and so that is what I have always done. I do like the bed to be made but then there are the cats and I hate disturbing them! So sometimes the bed gets made and sometimes it doesn't.

    But I agree there is nothing (well almost nothing) nice than getting into a bed with fresh, crisp sheets. Somewhere I read about a certain First Lady from a very privileged family who would only sleep in fresh sheets. Since she napped during the day, on fresh sheets, someone had to put fresh sheets on again before she went to bed at night! I have no idea if that story is true which is why I am not sharing the First Lady's name. It wasn't anyone from this century.

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    1. Wow. And it's not like washing bedding was easy back in the day. Ugh.

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  9. If pulling the sheets and quilt up, making sure they are evenly distributed and setting the pillows right is making a bed, then yes, I make the bed. You can't bounce a quarter off it, but it's neat. Usually I get up, go to the morning necessary, then make the bed. I prefer hospital corners, The Hubby does not, so I've had to give those up.

    The Boy sent me a picture not that long ago and lo and behold, the kid who never makes his bed at home had a made bed. I have no idea if it was made solely for the benefit of the camera.

    Sometimes The Girl makes her bed, sometimes she doesn't.

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    1. Definitely, split the difference with my two and the bed making. I figure when H2 is out on his own like H1, he'll start making the bed.

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    2. Jenn, the hilarious part is that The Girl is the older child and has been living in her own apartment for 2 years! LOL

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  10. My friend Victor had an aunt who told him this: Make your bed every morning and it will look as if you'd cleaned house.

    I'm not sure it works quite that well, but I do/did make my bed every single morning. Now it is a hospital bed pushed up against the wall in the sunroom, just a fitted sheet and a duvet as I got too tangled up in bedclothes when I had the external fixator in my leg. The weather is getting warmer, and I look forward to changing to a lighter quit instead of the duvet. I can't really manage making the bed as it is, but I do straighten it out a bit when I get around to it.

    I remember the stories about Jackie O having fresh sheets every time she got into bed and also never using a bar of soap more than once. I'd do the same if I could. So there!

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    1. That bed making trick only works if your bedroom can be seen from the front door, Ann!

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    2. I would, too, Ann! I LOVE getting into clean sheets. It's the best feeling.

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    3. New bar of soap for every washing? That seems like some OCD tendencies there.

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    4. Never using a bar of soap more than once? That’s kind of… Disturbing. And even unpleasantly Marie Antoinette.

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  11. I'm laughing, this is an easier question than making meringue any day. Corralled into boarding school at the age of 7, I had no choice on bed making - one did it, and properly, or else! I embraced the duvet as soon as it appeared. In fact I remember bringing one back from the UK for Olivia before they were available over here, thank you M&S.so I'm with Rhys. But we / the last one up, do air the bed on rising. Duvet folded back, window open if temperate outside. Then later I'll make it with tight sheet and shaken out duvet. It's my upper arm strength that does it. Shaking an outsized King duvet and flannel cover gives one an upper bod workout. I love a well made bed. But Jenn, that mom - I'm laughing, she didn't appreciate the bigger picture of training her kid for life. I've tried and tried to train the grandguys to shake out their duvets but they are a lost cause. But my faith et makes hers first thing so something stuck.

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    1. I love the idea of incorporating into a daily workout routine, Celia! Ha!

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  12. Oh dear, but my daughter! No edit choice.

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  13. I like a made bed, but am always the first up and the first to work at my in-home desk, so the bed is left to air all day (aka, left unmade all day). I sometimes take a break from work to make the bed, as it gets me up and away from sitting -- with the bonus of the bed being made.

    We now sleep with a twin duvet each, instead of one queen size between us. So much more restful than struggling to wrench over my share of covering in the night. I wrote about it here https://fiveyearsawriter.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-post-day-in-may-22-lessons-from-arts.html

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    1. Ah, yes, the nightly covers wrestling match! I know it well. How smart to use separate blankets!

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    2. Oh, my God, the sheet pulling contest. You all know I loved my husband very much, but you know what? I don't miss waking up at 3am freezing, clutching the edge of a sheet to my chest, with the rest of the bedding firmly wrapped around Ross.

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  14. My routine is similar to Rhys's. In my case it was developed by sleeping in a waterbed from about 1985 to 2018. (I still kind of miss it!) If you don't cover a waterbed, the heater just keeps working, wasting a lot of energy.

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    1. Water beds a re super cool. I only slept on one once, but I loved it!

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    2. We had a water bed for years, including when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was really hard to roll out of with a nine-month belly!

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    3. I had a water bed for while when I was single. I hardly ever slept on it. It you moved there would be waves. It was hard to get up even with no "belly."

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    4. I tried a waterbed. Once. I suspect it's one of those things you either love or hate, like licorice. No in-between.

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  15. I’ve been brought up making my bed and did the same with the children.
    Since I live alone ( +20 years ), I make the bed only when I wash it or when my daughter comes home for a couple of days.
    My daughter doesn’t understand how I came to stop doing it. For me, it was more like : I’m at liberty to do as I wish and I do.
    I like it airing out and once I go downstairs, I don’t see it until I return to sleep.

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    1. I have to add that I don’t like my feet being pulled by sheets to tightly put under the mattress so, even in an hotel ,I dislodge the sheets from the mattress before going to sleep.

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    2. We do that in hotels, too. I don't like the sheets tucked in and Irwin needs to wrap the blankets around his, as described above.

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  16. The standard poodles consider our bed their territory while supervising our morning ablutions. Because I don't appreciate the occasional tick in my sheets, I air the bed upon rising, and then make it with a dog-proof top coverlet after breakfast. Today must be a Jane Austen day.

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    1. We had a standard and she preferred her own room. LOL.

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  17. Oh, Julia, I'm so disappointed that you used the name Karen that way. Could we please at least spell it "Qaren"? Thank you.

    As a lifelong insomniac, I've tried hard to eliminate every little thing that could interfere with sleep, including messy bed linens. I do let the bed air out in the morning for a bit, but then make the bed. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've changed beds, or made them. I could finance a small country.

    After traveling a lot and sleeping on some really nice sheets, I'm always on the lookout for good-quality sheet sets with high thread count. On sale. The ones I like are not the sateen variety; the sateen weave has floating, single-ply threads, and they snag easily. They're soft and smooth, but don't hold up as well as the plain weave ones with a high thread count. My best-ever score was a set of 1000-count, all-cotton sheets at Target, of all places. They were deeply discounted, and I'm pretty sure the buyer had no idea what they were doing to merchandise those at a discount store. That high thread count makes for a thick sheet. It wrinkles less, and is luxurious to sleep on. Every couple years I look for a new set, since between our two homes we have six queen-sized beds, one double-sized, and a twin daybed. That's a lot of sheets to keep track of!

    Jenn, one of my daughters could not bother to make her bed or clean her room when she was a teenager, but now her home is immaculate, with nary a thing out of place. They do eventually grow up! LOL

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    1. My daughter was like that, too, Karen. And now her house is much neater than mine! Thinking about it, my room was horrible when I was a teenager, too, and my dad despaired of me. Not only did I grow out of it, I inherited his obsessive dislike of open closets and drawers...

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    2. Oh, Karen, I'm sorry! It's tough for all you wonderful Karens out there. I have a dear cousin who shares your name, and she's definitely not a Qaren, either.

      It was a very popular name on the 50s and 60s. I suppose if we ever need to start frowning at Gen X women, they'll be called "Jennifers."

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    3. Seriously, it was in the top five names for over a decade. We can't ALL be obnoxious!

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    4. And I was going to add, I've scored some very nice bedding at TJ Maxx. It's hit or miss, obviously.

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    5. Karen, I bought a set of 1,000-count sheets for our old bed, a Queen. I loved them. My husband did not.

      Now that we have a split King, it's harder to find high thread-count sheet sets.

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    6. Karen I agree with you about the sateen sheets! I think they are horrible! My best sheets have been from LLBean, very nice with a smooth hand and they don't wrinkle. However the pillowcases, standard size anyway, are kind of skimpy. Their flannel sheets are just as nice but I don't care for flannel pillowcases at all.

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    7. Love the TJ Maxx! Jennifers are the worst ;-)

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  18. I like my bed made--if I feel like airing quilts and blankets out, I can take them outside and hang on clothesline, weather permitting. No tight corners here--even in hotel rooms, I need to pull the corners out so my feet can kick those covers out of my way. Fresh from the laundry bed-making is the usual challenge--can I get the sheets on before Jimmy Crackhead discovers me and joins the fun. 'Bed-making? What is this thing you speak of?' (AKA the nephews response).

    Jenn, I like to sit where my eye-rolls aren't obvious, because there's always a Karen in the bunch at meetings.

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  19. The Carson household is a member of the clan of duvet. Our cat is so accustomed to regular morning events that we can actually move her to the nightstand, smooth the duvet in place, move her back and she doesn't even bother to uncurl! My mother used to say that her idea of luxury was climbing into a freshly made bed with newly changed sheets each night. I didn't get that gene, but I did get the straighten the bed memo!

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    1. Kait, that image makes me laugh. I wish my cat was so compliant. Upstairs Cat will loudly complain and shoot dirty looks if her rest is disturbed.

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    2. George likes to help and by help I mean undo everything I’ve done!

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  20. I used to make my bed every morning. My rationale was that I had my beautiful quilts on my bed, so it was sort of a display space. Then I adopted a dog who eats fabric. He was raised in a no-kill shelter where sheets and towels were his playthings, and to this day he'll grab a mouthful of fabric any time he's excited or bored. He put hole in my quilts until I put them away.

    Now I pull up the covers and make it nice in the morning, but I'm not as fussy about it. Only about half the bed gets used anyway, so the covers don't get too mussed. Bed-making is a thing in my life, but not a big thing.

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    1. By the way, Jenn, what instrument does Hooligan 1 play? This band geek wants to know.

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    2. Both boys play multiple instruments but in marching band H1 was bass drum and H2 was trumpet. Between them, they play drums, piano, trumpet, clarinet, violin, guitar, bass guitar, and marimba. All those lessons for all those years...I'm exhausted now :)

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    3. Oh, I'll bet! Plus, percussionists are packrats. Don't let H1 see that twee little string of tuned tea cups in the Noyes Fludd video from yesterday, or he'll drag you around to all the antique stores, to plink on cups until he has the perfect set. And don't get me started on 5.5 octave marimbas. Google "Bass Marimba" sometime to find the photo of Clair Musser playing his personal bass marimba, and know that I am friends with the guy who now owns that monster. Percussionists. Size matters.

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    4. Oh, God, the Marimba. I spent one summer with a marimba set up in the library (between the kitchen and the living room, so no avoiding it) and the next summer, it was replaced by a vibraphone. Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be percussionists.

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    5. Hahahahaha, Julia. True. Some day I'll tell you the anvil story.

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  21. Honestly, I can't NOT make my bed--it's too ingrained in me. Fortunately, it has time to air out, as I spend some time on the computer, exercise, and eat breakfast before making it. I make it--including bedspread, pillow shams, and throw pillows--before taking a shower and getting dressed, as I hate to make it my last task in the morning. For some reason, it just sets the tone for the day. I'm getting tired of the bedspread, though--looking for something new to spruce things up!

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    1. I got all kinds of new sheets during the pandemic! I just had to do… Something.

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  22. I love all the fellow cat owners. Lots of days Rick comes downstairs and says "I'll have to go back up and make the bed. Yasu wasn't ready to get up." Cats rule!

    Judy, I don't mind a German shepherd ON the bed, but not IN it.

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    1. We don't have dogs, but we do have a No Cats in the Bedrooms rule. Mostly because I am somewhat allergic to them. If I had a cat in the bed I'd be sneezing non stop. I have actually been scolded on Facebook for not letting Ganesh upstairs. Seriously scolders? You do you, I do me...

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    2. Only one of the three cats sleeps with us, and she sleeps on Rick's feet, so I can live with that.

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    3. Okee dokee, Debs. This dog could not ever have jumped onto anybed. The spry dogs before Kenai would have, but were raised to stay off the furniture. My first GS Dog was raised by my brother for his first 18 months. I'd see him sliding off the couch when I'd come home from teaching in the late afternoon. He'd be like, "Nothing to see here." LOL

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    4. I am lucky that Koda is not a jumper and has never tried to get on a bed - or indeed any furniture. Greyhounds are notorious for taking up all available space and then some. LOL

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    5. LOL - our old girls are like that.

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  23. Like Margie, it is too ingrained in me. Always a given that I would make my bed. I have been doing this since I was 3? years old because I wanted to be able to do what my Mom can do. I remember helping my mom fold these big sheets freshly laundered.

    Interesting topic today.

    Diana

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    1. DIANA: Ingrained is the perfect word.

      I started making my bed at age 4, copying my mom's way of folding the flat sheet in hospital corners (and as hotels and the military does).

      Does not matter that there is no one else here to see the bed besides me.
      I cannot leave my bed with rumpled sheets and duvet. Just can't do it.

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    2. So agree, it makes the rest of the day feel disorganized.

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    3. GRACE, Ingrained is a good word. I remember making my bed very early, copying my Mom's way of folding the flat sheet too. I think we learn by seeing what our Moms do, right?

      Hank, I am always surprised when someone does not make their bed. The minute I wake up, I make my bed even before I do my stretching exercises or have breakfast or have a shower.

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    4. I never made my while growing up or in college. I didn’t start until I had my own place!!!

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  24. I cannot get into an unmade bed. I have made my bed before putting on my nightgown, just to slide into it moments later. And I absolutely HATE duvets.

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    1. I get too hot under a duvet so they’re a cold climate bedding thing for me.

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  25. I pull up the sheets and blanket, straighten the pillows but that is normally it. Sometimes I miss flipping the pillows. I, too, can't stand tight sheets on my feet so when I change my sheets, it all gets tucked in and then, when I get into bed, I wiggle and lift my feet and legs to create a space my feet don't get cramped. When we stayed at Grandma's house, as kids, beds were made after breakfast dishes were done. And the window shades where placed just right so the sun did not fade the furniture. I remember teaching floor mates how to fold fitted sheets in college. They had no idea.

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    1. My grandmother did the same thing with the shades and curtains, Deana! It would drive her nuts when I came to visit, because I would go around throwing open sheers and shades in whatever room I was in.

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    2. I am very good at folding fitted sheets - one of my few domestic gifts!

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  26. Oh, you're all putting me to shame. Can we talk for a minute about thread counts? Because a made bed is only as good as the ingredients it's made of. Is it about thread count? Content ("Egyptian" cotton? Part polyester?) - what's best given that most of us will never iron them??

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    1. Egyptian or Pima cotton are the highest grades, because they are long staple fibers, which makes for a smoother weave. Short staple cotton is cheaper, and creates a coarser product. Cotton is absorbent, polyester is not, so cotton sheets are more comfortable for most people. Bamboo is a whole other animal. It's also very absorbent, more so than modal (which is a type of rayon, which is made from cellulose so it's a natural fiber), but they both tend to be made into less thick fabrics. Again, personal preference.

      Weave is another consideration, as I mentioned in my comment above. Percale is a plain weave; sateen is a "floating" thread weave, which skips every other thread. Sateen weave makes the fabric shiny, and it can feel very silky, but the fabric is not as sturdy as a plain weave one, because the floating threads can get snagged more easily.

      Thread count is tricky. First, it means how much thread is packed into a square inch of the fabric. (Fun fact, when I took Fingerprinting in college in 1969, we used thread counters to count ridges.) The count depends on a couple different things to mean what you want it to. High-quality cottons are usually made in single-ply weaves, and the thread counts are just what they say. Sateen weaves use double-ply fibers, usually thinner, so they can say that the thread count is double what it actually is. So a 400-count sateen sheet actually has the same feel as a 200-count plain weave sheet. It's a marketing trick, basically, and it's sometimes really hard to determine whether or not the sheets you're looking at are sateen or not, because they're inconsistently labeled.

      Knit sheets are different, there's no thread count involved, and I don't actually know much about real linen sheets, a unicorn I've been chasing for years. I passed up on buying some once at a garage sale and I've been kicking myself ever since. Linen is the very best, smoothest, most absorbent of all sheet materials, and it gets softer and more wrinkle-free with time. And they last forever.

      I had to do a lot of research on this for an article I wrote years ago, an assignment I got because I taught classes on luxury fibers for several years. But it's been a long time, and I can't find my notes, so forgive me if I got anything wrong.

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    2. So interesting, Karen! I'm a cotton percale girl.

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    3. Me too, cotton percale, not sateen.

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    4. Wow! This is fascinating. No sateen for me, either. I think it feels slimy. :-)

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    5. Ugh, another no to cotton sateen sheets. It's cotton percale for me too.

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    6. I meant to include the fact that polyester makes them more iron-free, but I wouldn't be caught dead ironing sheets, personally! And so it's not enough to make up for the heat factor, as far as I'm concerned.

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    7. Whoa, you are aMAZing, Karen! Now I get why I've been confused 'lo these many years, trying to figure out what to buy. The whole thing is: what will it feel like AFTER it's been washed. I once bought sheets that came out of the dryer feeling like a light vinyl. Ick.

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    8. The best sheets I ever bought were Egyptian cotton, 600-thread count. So luxurious. Sadly, they were for the old queen-sized bed so I can no longer use them.

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  27. Mom insisted we make our beds when we were kids. I interpret that a lot looser these days. I will "straighten" the bed. Frank gets up early and usually goes back to bed in the afternoons for a nap when he slept poorly or Jack hassled him during the night. And he is the one who will strip the bed and put on fresh sheets each week. Was it Erma Bombeck who told drop-in visitors that the linens were airing and the dishes were soaking when she hadn't done any housework?

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    1. P.S. I gave my goddaughter a copy of the admiral's book one year when she was having problems in college. I think she needed a confidence booster.

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    2. Pat, we usually dress our beds differently than back when we were kids. I always had sheets, blanket (s), and either a quilt or coverlet long enough to fold OVER the pillows. Lots of straightening and tucking. For a lot of people now, it's a sheet and a duvet, snip snap and your done.

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  28. I always make my bed, usually as soon as my feet hit the floor. My husband also makes the bed immediately, if somewhat casually. He was in the Marine Corps and is a retired Registered Nurse, so if he ever wants to make a bed perfectly, he has the skill set to do it--and he can fold sheets, even the fitted ones.

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    1. No one can do that. No one on the planet.

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    2. Glad to know there is someone else besides me who does makes their bed with proper hospital corners.

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  29. I never make my bed. I am always running late in the morning (so not a morning person), and I don't have the time.

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    1. Do you have pets, Mark? Because I think that's also a motivator. I make my bed because it looks nice and neat AND because I don't want cat hair or dog drool on my sheets.

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    2. Not a morning person either - I totally get that.

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    3. I don't have pets, Julia. Just me in my condo.

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  30. Making our bed is a challenge. My husband does not like to sleep under sheets or a duvet, so he folds the duvet over to my side and sleeps on top of the bedclothes with a lightweight blanket for a cover. The folded over duvet got to be too hot for me, so off the bed came the duvet. I now sleep under the sheets and a weighted blanket that I love. Because of this weird bed situation, I just make up my side or the bed and let the dogs hang out on his side ~

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    1. Celia, it sounds like you need to try Amanda's trick of having two twin-sized covers on the bed!

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    2. That’s hilarious. I often think I would love I Love Lucy’s twin bed sitch.

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  31. Bed maker during the week, but since lockdown, an unmade bed is one of the few ways I can distinguish between the weekend and weekdays! Also, an unmade bed is easier to climb back into on the weekends for truly comfortable reading!

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    1. Ingrid!! ❤️❤️❤️😍❤️❤️❤️

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    2. Waving back and sending lots of love!!

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    3. Hi, INGRID!!!! Going back to bed is always a good idea!

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    4. Hello, Ingrid! How's your next Fina story coming along? Or that standalone?

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  32. My dad used to say that he didn't care how messy the room was, make your bed. When I was married, my ex didn't get up until I left for work, so the bed never got made until I got home that night.

    Funny story. We had a cat who hated him and would use his side of the bed as a litter box. He would just close the door so she couldn't go in. After we split, I kept the door closed, but made the bed every morning. One day I was running late and forgot to close the door. Came home expecting to have to clean the comforter...lol and behold, I didn't have to. Seems she equated an unmade bed to my ex.

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  33. Jenn, if I had the bed in the bedroom looking out to the ocean in your picture, I would make the bed every day and even have a super clean house. My housekeeping skills can be bought at the price of that bedroom. Hahaha!

    Husband and I have our own beds in our own bedrooms these days. When he was away from home for so many years, I got used to sleeping by myself, and I just can't sleep with anyone else now, plus he's a rambler in the bed and I am contained to one spot. Which brings me to my bed making. It's so easy for me to make my bed because all I have to do is pull the bedspread and top sheet, which are still together, up and fold the sheet over the bedspread. I don't always do it as soon as I get up. Maybe I like to let it breathe, Jenn. But, I want to get into my bed at night with it made and turn back my space for me to slide into. I love changing the bed because clean sheets are just heavenly.

    My husband in his bedroom does not make his bed, and it is usually a twist of covers and sheet. As I said he moves around, and I still shake my head at the mess, but I don't say anything. His bed, his mess. I shut the door. What's funny is that in high school his mother said he got up before anyone else and made his bed and left his room neat. He was in ROTC in high school, and that behavior was a product of the influence there. I don't understand why it didn't carry over to his life after high school. When I met him in college, his apartment was definitely not Army standards. Julia, you're lucky that the Soldier is carrying over his job habits to his life outside of it.

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    1. Kathy, maybe if you dress up in a uniform and blow a whistle at him some of those old habits will kick in?

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    2. My best friend and her husband have separate bedrooms - she swears by it!

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  34. Making the bed every day is one of my indicators of creeping depression. Unmade bed: yep, starting down that road to days full of nothing, no energy, no hope, “no nothing”. And 2020 was full of unmade bed days. But there were more made bed days, even if that was the only thing done. Just something that keeps me sane.

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    1. I think there’s truth in that in a know thyself way. I was definitely depressed as a teen and not a bed maker.

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  35. My mother made my brother and me both make our beds but I don't think he made his after he left home. I still do even though it is just me. For one thing there is no chair in my room so I need to sit on the bed. Also use it for things like changing pocket books so don't want to lose things in the bedclothes. Stay safe and well.

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    1. Very practical! My bed used to hold all of my clean laundry in college. Drove my roommate nuts!

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