Friday, May 04, 2012

Turning Over A New Sheet

Over the years (nay, decades) that we have been married, I had come to believe that Larry had no strong opinions about bedding.  Aside from his request that the bedroom not get too "flowery," I've been pretty much left to my own devices when it comes to picking out sheets, pillows, comforters, and the like.  So, when casting about for a solution to my latest midlife crisis, I didn't even think to consult him.

You see, for 21 years, EVERY SINGLE DAY, I made our bed.  I didn't mind.  I like making the bed.  Even the days when I was post-partum, I would get up, shower and dress, MAKE THE BED, and then lie back down on it with the baby.  If, by some strange confluence of events, the bed has not been made and it is already time to go to sleep, I first make the bed and THEN I pull down the covers and climb in.

A little weird, yes, but it makes me happy.  And Larry didn't care.

But after 21 years of this bed-making regimen, I began to suffer a type of repetitive-motion malaise.  I was sick of traveling to both sides of our bed multiple times to properly position the top sheet and the comforter.  I was sick of having to place it just so on the bed so it wouldn't get all squiggly and out of place by the end of the week. 

I needed my freedom.

So, once we got our new mattress, I placed a queen-sized fitted sheet on it and then I covered that with a down comforter encased in a duvet (from IKEA, of course).  Oh, how carefree I felt!  How liberated from the tyranny of overly fussy bedmaking! Instead of prissily tucking in the top sheet, I could just toss my duvet-covered comforter on the bed and walk away.  In the morning, instead of waking up in a tangle of pulled-out top sheet, I reveled in the feeling of the smooth fitted sheet beneath me and the crisp cotton-y coolness of the duvet on my cheek.

I was happy

And then Larry said, "Where's the top sheet?"

"We don't need one!" I told him.  "We have a duvet!"

"A what?" he asked.

"A duvet!  They use them in Europe - no one uses a top sheet there."

"This isn't Europe.  I need a top sheet."

"You're a guy.  You're not even supposed to know what a top sheet is FOR.  Besides, the picture in the mattress store didn't have one, either."

"What picture?"

"The big one on the wall, behind the sales desk..."

Cute? Yes.  Bed privileges? Never.
"The one with the woman sleeping with her golden retriever?"


"Does this mean you're getting a dog, too?"

Sigh.  I've begrudgingly supplied Larry with a top sheet, but I refuse to pay any attention to it.  When I make the bed, I pretend it isn't there, its ugly, fussy self all bunched up on his side of the bed at the bottom.  I hates it and the domestic bondage it represents.  Myself, I look to the future, a future devoid of unnecessary household tasks and stifling bedding.  A future where I can emulate the culturally advanced Europeans who sleep free of the gagging restraint of extraneous bed linens, even if Larry does insist that it is nothing more than a symptom of creeping bedroom socialism.

But I'm not letting a dog on the bed.  Blecch.

[Puppy picture: Dog Breed Sites]


  1. I like the top sheet turned down over the blanket. (I need top sheet, blanket, PLUS duvet/comforter thingy, and sometimes and afghan or two on top of that. New England!) My husband likes it NOT folded, because he is taller than I am. I end up with the end of the sheet fwapping me in the face. I. Can't. Stand it. The only good thing about him traveling is I don't have sheet ends fwapping me.

  2. SC, I hope you only gave him a twin size top sheet so it doesn't infringe on your space.

    Amy, I hear you about the fwapping. We start out with a freshly made bed but my husband untucks the sheet with his feet and it rides up and fwap fwap fwap. But by then he is snoring and I go to the guest room. I should get the hotel duvet thingy going in there!

  3. I must have both the top sheet and a daily-made bed. Also? That's the duvet my daughter has in that photo.

  4. I make the bed almost all the time but if I skip, the sheets must be straightened and tight before I can climb in that night. I totally know where you're coming from there. However, I'm with Larry on the top sheet issue...I need one too. I'm not 'tucked in' if there's any drafts!! As far as laundry, I hate reassembling the duvet/comforter so I refuse to wash it more than once a month. And by once a month, I mean once a season. I really hate stuffing that dang duvet.

    I don't let our dog on our bed either. I'd keep the cat off if I could!

  5. I admired the sheets and duvet covers at IKEA last weekend and thought of you... and wished for this very same easy bed-making situation (but not the fussy husband -- I've got my own, thanks).

    This afternoon I made up the college boys' bunk beds with fresh bedding, in preparation for their arrival home tomorrow. Top sheets, multiple blankets AND trying to do this on the top bunk? *sigh*

  6. Once you sleep with a duvet, you can't go back to sheets. Too confining. I've had one for about 14 years. And saved myself a lot of laundry by not doing the dreaded top sheet.

  7. I, too, have the bed making gene. It just does not feel right to climb into bed at night without it being made first. I've solved the problem of bedmaking, at least for me. Rule 1: The last person out of bed has to make it. Since I'm an early riser...well, I've solved my problem right there!

    I can't quite bring myself to give up my top sheet, but you've made me think about it!

  8. Hubby does not like the covers tucked in. I just give him his own sheet, and tuck in my side of our king sized bed.

  9. I'm a Brit. When I lived with my parents, we had downies (Norwegian equivalent of an Alpine duvet)without a top sheet. But now my husband prefers to have a top sheet, so that's what we have. And either one or both of us make the bed just before bedtime - we say it needs time to air ...

  10. i'm german, we have that duvet thing you marvel about and to us it's the most normal thing ever. top sheets are weird. but here's some food for thought. my boyfriend (american) has a top sheet and a duvet! and he had that before i was in the to explain that???

    1. I'm with lifestartsnow, duvets are the very best thing ever. I always thought those top sheets were strange.
      Plus, you guys over there only have one for every person in the bed. In Germany, if a couple sleeps in one bed, even just a queen size one, each one gets a duvet for themselves. Awesome!

    2. i like one big duvet for a couple. easier to snuggle this way ;-)

  11. I also need the bed to be made before I get into it at night. My husband is a late sleeper, so I usually end up making the bed after I get home from work, or just before I go to bed. He doesn't care if the bed is made, so he never does it. But slipping between straightened sheets is very important to me.

    My mom is European, so I grew up without top sheets. But I'm used to them now, and given the current night sweats, I'm afraid I'd be washing that duvet cover far too often if I went without.

  12. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    I must be the biggest slacker ever, because over 17 years of marriage I have never made up our bed with a top sheet. See, there's your problem, you've spoiled him. You have to train them to have low expectations.

  13. This is so funny. I grew up with duvets. I guess I twist and turn when sleep, but I ALWAYS, every single night, had the comforter bunched up at one end of duvet. And then I had to remake it, every single morning, not to mention the times when I had to choose whether to remake the darn thing in the middle of the night or remain freezing. During my rebellious years, I have started using duvet as a top sheet, much to much mother's disapproval. To this day I don't understand why she had to fight so hard about it, even if she thought that "all normal people sleep like that, why can't you?" I had to get an American bedding set to show Mom that I wasn't all that weird. When I got married, I got top sheets and feel very liberated using them. Once my MIL send me a set with duvets and I almost sent it straight to trash in fear that husband would rediscover his love for duvets. He didn't.

  14. AnonymousMay 06, 2012

    I'm with you--I have to have a made bed. My husband doesn't, so on the rare occasions when I haven't made the bed, I make him get up so I can make it before i get in.
    We have a duvet and sometimes we have a top sheet and sometimes not. It depends on my mood and how hot it is. If it's spring and warming up at night, I like the sheet so I can kick off the duvet. Complicated, no?

  15. DH is the bed maker in our house.
    And by the way, have I mentioned that we had such fun seeing part of your clan the other weekend? I hope he had fun too!

  16. I must have a top sheet and it MUST be tucked in as tightly as possible. But I don't give my kids top sheets. All they do is kick them to the bottoms of their beds and get them smelly.

  17. AnonymousMay 07, 2012

    I need the top sheet. NEED it. Can't help it.

  18. My lovely husband has this weird thing where he tries to make the edge of the sheet (the edge on *my side*) the top. Which means that I wake up with all the blankets slithering off his side of the bed. And then he overheats and starts kicking off blankets while I huddle closer to the only heat source left- him. It would probably be better if I did make the bed every day, but I get up first, so it really doesn't happen. (Don't tell my mom...I make it when she's coming over.) Oh, and I've never gone the duvet route- I grew up with piles and piles of quilts and my preferred sleeping conditions involve a chilly room and enough blankets that I can't move under the weight.

  19. Buying a fitted sheet does eliminate the need for bed making. Good purchase.

    Light Grey Bedding