As a mother, I have had occasion to dress chickens, salads, children and a husband "No, not that tie, that tie!" And now I am learning to dress the bed.
Dressing the bed is a phenomenon touted by the home fashion mavens. One no longer simply makes a bed, dah-ling, one dresses a bed.
Dressing a bed is sure to excite the male population almost as much as those tiny fingertip towels and decorator soaps shaped like seashells in the bathroom. ("Just look; don't touch!")
The key to the well-dressed bed is layers. Dressing a bed requires thin layers, thick layers, functional layers and ornamental layers.
Once you have your many layers in place, you pull up the sheet, the blanket, the comforter nestled in the duvet cover; then firmly grasp all layers and carefully flip them back a quarter turn.
You then place the bed pillows against the headboard, the European shams in front of the bed pillows, the standard shams in front of the European shams, the bolster pillow in front of the standard shams and decorative pillows and scatter pillows in front of those. Then, neatly fold a coverlet, lay it across the foot of the bed, and it will be time for lunch.
I have seen beds in all manners of dress.
Informal dress happens when the husband makes the bed. Everything is in roughly the right place, but the sheet dangles beneath the comforter and small ripples snake down the middle of the bed like tributaries shooting off the Mississippi River.
Our son's style of dressing his bed would be classified as casual Friday. It was disheveled, rumpled and looked like he was still in it.
Our oldest daughter has always maintained a formally-dressed bed. Someone once commented you could bounce a quarter off her bed and suggested Uncle Sam could use her to train the military. We agreed, but 3 years of age seemed rather young to leave home.
Today, living on her own, she dresses her bed with layers and layers, contrasting textures, and complimentary colors, all perfectly folded and plumped and fluffed.
Whenever I am at her place I like to slip a tennis shoe or a hairbrush between a few of the layers just to keep things real.
I was a guest at a very swanky hotel recently and when I opened the door to my room, I laid eyes on the best-dressed bed I had ever seen.
If Goldilocks had been in a bed like this, that Three Bears story would have had a very different, and probably somewhat violent, ending.
The bed was a virtual cloud. I could have thrown all the bedding and pillows out the window, jumped from the 18th floor and been guaranteed a soft landing.
At 11 p.m., I slipped into the virtual cloud and prepared to float to dreamland.
At 11:20 p.m., I tossed off the goose-down comforter.
At 11:40 p.m., I kicked off the second sheet.
At 11:55 p.m., I threw aside a second comforter.
At 12:30 a.m., I knocked six pillows and three shams to the floor.
At 1:05 am., I awoke from a nightmare about an anaconda squeezing me to death. The duvet and the top sheet were wrapped in a figure-eight around my legs and a coverlet was coiled around my neck.
At 1:06 I realized it was a slippery slope from the luxury of a well-dressed bed to the torment of an over-dressed bed. I hoped all the home fashion mavens were having a restless night, too.