And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

A student posted a meme on Facebook this morning that read, “Are there actually people out there who make their beds every morning, or is this just a myth?”

I’m no myth.

Yes, I make the bed every morning, though sometimes, it’s the afternoon. I make the bed when I stay in a hotel. As a kid, when I went on sleepovers, I carefully rolled up my sleeping bag in the morning and tucked it to the side. In college, I made my bed neatly every morning and lined up the stuffed animals that were tossed to the floor every night. On crazy-wild days now, on the rare occasion that it gets to be nightfall before I can get to making the bed, I make it anyway…and then I unmake it and go to sleep.

I thought about all this this morning, as I made my bed. I actually refer to it as dressing the bed. I got a new bedspread yesterday and I was looking forward to putting my bed in its new outfit. In my chaotic world, this was one moment where I could focus, start a job, and finish it, standing back to look at the fruits of my labor, in under ten minutes.

Maybe that’s what this is about. Control. Making the bed is something that doesn’t get away from me.

My mom was an obsessed bed-maker. Our beds had to be made every day, in all seasons and in all situations. Weekdays or weekends, school days or summer vacations, the beds were made by 9:00. Even on days we were ill, we had to get up and move down to the couch by 9:00. To her credit, she made the beds for us on those sick days.

I’m amazed I can sleep past 9:00 in the morning, after so many years of this being ingrained in me.

So I have this cat. His name is Edgar Allen Paw and he is a polydactyl – an extra-toed cat. He also has a kink in his tail, his head is too small for his body and he has depth perception and balance issues. His vet nicely calls him a genetic anomaly.  He also, despite being a shorthair, has the thickest coat of any cat I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. We brush several cats off him every day, yet he still dumps hair wherever he goes. The reading chair in my office is covered with towels as he likes to sleep there, and the towels are now Edgar-orange. He also likes to snooze on my bedspread. Which was red. And then red with a big orange blot on it. And I mean big. Edgar is approximately 18 pounds.

Did I mention that Edgar’s hair is sticky? Not to the touch – but wherever he goes, his hair clings like it’s coated with superglue. Every day, as I made my bed, I tried to remove the hair, and every day, I failed. Any sense of calm and control I received from bed-making was going haywire. In desperation last weekend, I threw the bedspread into the washing machine and then the dryer. When I smoothed it back out on my bed…orange. Everywhere. The hair wasn’t removed, but gunked like a paste across the entire bedspread. Into the grooves of the pattern. Across the flat parts. Impossible to remove, even with my fingernails. It was no longer a bedspread, but a sticky Edgarspread.

Off it went to the dumpster. The spread, not the cat.

This morning, I spent a little extra time reverently dressing my bed with the new spread…at 9:45, not 9:00, as I had an interview at nine. I smoothed and I tucked. There wasn’t an orange hair anywhere (though I’ve yet to figure out how I’m going to keep him off of the bed – I had Michael buy a heavy-duty lint brush yesterday and I plan on adding daily brushing to my bed-making routine). I adjusted the pillows. I straightened the afghan at the foot. I pulled my world back under control.

Tonight, I will just as carefully unmake the bed. When I crawl under the covers, the sheets will be smooth and cool to the touch, the blankets at just the right height to tug over my shoulders and under my chin. There is a definite difference in the feel of a rumpled bed and a made bed. The made bed provides safety, organization, everything in its place, all’s right with the world. At least in bed.

Yes, I make my bed every morning, no matter where I am, whether or not the bed is my own. I make a sanctuary.

Gotta get it where you can.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.

All dressed. (Whew.)


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