scenario: unexpected guest rings your doorbell. for some unknown reason, said guest enters your bedroom & your bed's not made. & it’s afternoon.
how does that make you feel?
mortified? humiliated? dreadfully ashamed that the cat’s out of the bag on your dirty little secret?
now, maybe it's none of the above, & you'd think to yourself, well, who gives a crap? & besides, what’s this nosy creep doing in my bedroom anyway?
but, if it's one of the first things, or even all 3, why is that?
now, i'm just throwing this out there -- it shows that you’re a slob. yeah, that’s probably part of it. especially if this person came back the very next day & saw the same thing.
but, the real reason? maybe a subconscious reason… you know deep inside that you don’t take care of TCB.
for you non-aretha fans, that means, take care of taking care of business.
why don’t we make our beds?
for me, sometimes i’ll think to myself, well – what the hey? i’m just getting back in there later… so what’s the point? besides, bed making has an extra-negative association with me. oh, boo-hoo, i know, but when i was growing up, it seemed like a daily test of perfection. rather, my non-perfection.
my mom was, and still is a total freak about the correct way to do it, & it drives me crazy. like totally nails-digging-into-my-palms, ape-shit crazy.
the blanket must be pulled to the correct distance from the top of the mattress – precisely 3” from the headboard, no more, no less. now, this next part with the sheet takes a little advance preparation, because the amount it must be folded down over the blanket must be that same 3”, because that is the exact measurement between the top edge of the sheet & its hemmed cuff.
it is also imperative that the amount of sheet & blanket hanging down the edge the mattress is equal on both sides. i'm talking completely equal, & if you’re incapable of eye-balling it, there’s a yardstick under the bed.
right next to the slide rule.
now, once they're devoid of the mere hint of wrinkles, it's time to tuck the sheet & blanket under the foot of the mattress. neatly.
oh, hell – i forgot to say that before you can put the blanket on top, the corners of the sheet have to be squared first, at strict 90 degree angles. if you forget this crucial step-- well, don’t, because, aye yai yai!
my mom will make you start all over.
i was always like, what's the big damn deal? why make an all-day event out of it? & for a total non-rule follower, like me who’s a little more free-style in my approach to life, & just about everything in it, i was thrilled beyond thrilled when i moved out on my own & could make the bed like i damn-well pleased, or, not at all, thank you very much.
which brings me to the next part of this story.
an old buddy of mine was “invited” to attend AA several years back -- strictly a stipulation of her probation, she said, but who really knows...
anyway, a really pitiful young woman in the group was horribly addicted drugs, & not the kind found on the shelves @ your neighborhood pharmacy. maybe you didn’t know this, but not everyone in AA is sober, & for her, it was a daily battle that she didn’t always win.
in a desperate state one day, the young woman stood up & completely bore her soul. heartbreaking. many years had passed when my buddy told me this story, & she said she'll remember it until the day she dies.
when the young woman sat down, the room was pin-drop silent for several moments.
until an older lady stood from her chair. easily sixty-five years old. honey, she said.
make your bed.
the young woman looked @ her dumbstruck. everyone else in the room, too. like, what a stupid & insensitive thing for the lady to say. but, she explained.
if you can do that, just that one, simple little thing, it starts your day off right & you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
in case you think i'm going to sit here & tell you it solved all the young woman’s problems, i'm not, because i honestly don’t know -- & besides, if making your bed was the world’s best therapy for addiction, my mother would be running a halfway house -- but i have spent a fair amount of time contemplating the lady’s advice.
think about it -- to make your bed, you have to get out of it first, & for some of us, some days, that may not be all that easy to do.
plus, after going to all that trouble, you’re going to think twice before crawling back in it, right? not only that, but by starting your day doing something you’re not all that fired-up about doing & find out it's not fatal, you know you can do it the next day, too.
i started this blog post this morning. in my head, that is, mulling over the lady's advice as i sipped my coffee while looking down @ the rumpled, twisted blankets on my bed. hell, no, i don’t make my bed every day – i think we’ve already covered that (nice pun). but, as i took extra care smoothing the wrinkles from the comforter & arranging my fancy pillows on top, i knew that not only would i be good & damn ready if some nosy creep happened to wander back into my sanctuary, i had a feeling that it was a good start to a pretty great day.
&, i was right.