Saturday, September 19, 2015

5011 An embarrassing story

Saturday, September 19, 2015

"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman."
-- Virginia Woolf --


I was thinking about whether or not I wanted to put the cover on my fluffy down comforter before putting it on the bed for the coming winter. I keep buying duvet covers, and then I don't use them, because I like a top sheet, and then I put another sheet on the very top of the bed to protect everything from cat fur, so a duvet cover seems like overkill. Skin and kitty never touch the comforter anyway. I think it's time to give up on that idea for good.

That reminded me of an embarrassing story.

Back in the dark ages, oh, about 1987, duvets and duvet covers were a European thing that hadn't yet arrived in the US. Not among us unenlightened people, anyway. Daughter and I were wandering around England and Wales, and it seemed like the only places to stay outside the cities was in B&Bs. No hotels or motels, and few inns with unreserved rooms for drop-ins. I intensely dislike B&Bs, because I always feel like I'm imposing on a family, and it's just too "social" for me.  Plus I can't set my own schedule.  That was my first trip to England, and so very many things were very different from what I'm used to - like a spoon for tea was tiny, like those souvenir spoons, and spoons for dinner were what we'd call a tablespoon. There was nothing like what we'd call a teaspoon. A lot of things were confusing, like when I was looking for a drug store in a tiny village, and people snarled at me, "We don't do that here!" I should have asked for a chemist.

Anyway, Daughter and I arrived one afternoon at a family home and were shown to the daughter's room which they were letting out while the daughter was away at college. We unpacked, did a little sightseeing, had a little dinner, and then went back to the house about 9pm (it's impossible to get a restaurant dinner before 8pm), and were embarrassed to find that the family goes to bed at 9, and had been waiting up for us.

Back in our room, we washed, got ready for bed, and then....
we couldn't figure out how we were supposed to sleep in the bed.

There was a nice fluffy comforter, but when I turned it back there was no top sheet. Not what I expected for a top sheet, anyway. It looked like a quilted mattress cover. The comforter was enclosed in a sort of sheeting envelope, with buttons closing it along the top. Daughter said it looked like a sleeping bag. The family had long since retired and I was reluctant to disturb them.

So, uh, we shrugged and opened the buttons and slept in the "sleeping bag".

In the morning we rebuttoned the top, thus accidentally avoiding immediate discovery of our faux pas.

Several years later I learned about duvet covers, and was retroactively very embarrassed.

Oh, well.

1 comment:

Becs said...

Interesting. I guess they do/did things differently in the country. When I worked in a London hotel (1974) as a chambermaid, there were top sheets and then over that, short comforters. Apparently you were supposed to let your feet stick out to regulate your body temperature.