...or in this case, the comforter.
I've had better nights of sleep over the course of the last five days than I've had in almost 11 months. And no, it isn't because Gracie is sleeping through the night (she's not, still). It's because I finally broke free from Bad Bedding.
Last summer I decided it was high time to replace our aging blue/purple square quilt with something more grown-up, more stylish, and new. Matt and I had been searching for a replacement for months; checking out all the Company Store and Pottery Barn catalogs, as well as lesser known places that might have the perfect thing. No luck. It's not that we didn't like what we had, but rather we didn't like how close to worn out it was. Maybe our subconscious was rebelling against all the other worn things in our house: a dining table marred by three military moves, a couch and chair lovingly used for six years by careful adults and an additional two and a half years by a less-careful toddler, and (once) beautiful furniture scratched by Ella, the crazy cat. Our bedroom would be a haven! It would be trendy, fresh, and untouched by the forces of regular life! And so when I found the very cool suede comforter and sheet set at Target (imagine!) last summer, I pounced.
It was perfect. Brown and tan with midnight blue flowers embroidered on it... kind of a new, old west feel to match our log furniture. Our plan was to redecorate our bedroom with all the things we took out of the former guest room as we prepared for Gracie: a wreath made from flowers and other treasures of nature from hiking in and around the Rockies and plains, our ghost town photographs and books, our wedding vase from San Il Defonse, and other trinkets and treasures collected from our years in the Rockies and the Great Plains of the west. I even had a gift card to Linens-n-Things earmarked for new towels to match.
Early on, however, we both made a painful realization: we were sleeping under Bad Bedding. It was the texture of the suede that did Matt in, and the whole concept of a comforter that did me in. The comforter cover was always bunching up despite the clips to hold the insides in the right place. It wouldn't stay put on the bed during my three or four trips to the bathroom while pregnant and then again during my three or four trips to Gracie's room during her first three months of nights. After washing the sheets, remaking the bed became a half hour endeavor to jam the bulky comforter in between the frame of the footboard. It was hot. The sheets didn't stay crisp after multiple washings. I loved the colors and pattern, but hated everything else. Bed Bedding was beating us down.
Sometimes you just have to decide to eat a mistake, however. Most of the time people live with mistakes because of pride; in this case, I suppose it was a mixture of pride and finances. Our Bad Bedding was Target-priced, but even then I felt as if I would be flushing money down the toilet to admit that our trusty and worn blue square quilt was better. So I persevered, fighting every morning to make the bed and every week or so to manhandle that bulky thing back together after washing the sheets. And then one day last week, I had had it. In a fit of rage (or whatever angry feeling you can have at fabric) I threw the whole mess in a pile on the floor and pulled out our ancient white sheets and somewhat worn old quilt. The bed was made in a snap, and I didn't even really notice the frayed edges or faded fabric. That night we slept like babies (hear that, Gracie? LIKE BABIES). I nearly bounced out of bed on Wednesday morning, filled with utter joy and appreciation for Good Bedding. Making the bed was a three minute job. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but I feel as if a part of our life has been reclaimed from the Great Oppressor a.k.a. The People Who Manufacture Bulky Comforters.
We're still looking, I suppose, to update our bedroom in a way that says we're grown-ups. With panache. A haven, of sorts. Though this time we'll try harder to embrace the forces of regular life. And avoid comforters at all costs.