Friday, August 14, 2009

Pajamas Under My Pillow

Growing up, while living under my parent's roof, I had to make my bed every stinking day, and I hated it. Countless times I swore, when I had my own place, I would never, ever, make my bed again-- Or set the table! I hated doing that too.

My earliest childhood memories were of learning to say my prayers at night-- Day by day, dear Lord these three things I pray.... Mom also taught me to fold my pajamas and put them under the pillow when I made my bed each morning. Bed-making was not high on my priority list, but as they say, "When Mama's happy, everybody's happy.", so I made my bed and kept the peace.

As I grew older, I insisted on keeping my twin/single bed, rather than upgrading to a double/full bed, because it was smaller and therefore easier and faster to make each morning. As I folded my pajamas and placed them under my lone pillow, I silently longed for the day of an unkept bed. After all, what was the point? I was only going to get back in bed and mess it all up again at night.

For my first apartment, when I was "liberated" from bed making, a funny thing happened. My bed became a priority and I started shopping for new linens and blankets for my first "grown-up" bed-- a double bed with a bed frame passed down to me from a relative. I was surprisingly excited about it and shopped for days in search of the "perfect look" that would be oh so easy to make each morning AND announce my independance and maturity to all the world. When I finished it looked something like this....

Oh yeah, I was one hip, single, 18 year old with my very own "princess bed". And if you can imagine-- it had even MORE pink and MORE ruffles than this charming example. But, it was a comforter, not a bedspread like I'd had at home, so it was easy to make each morning despite the mountains of pillows I insisted were necessary to perfect "the look". Yes, my pajamas went under the very pink pillows and no, I have no idea what I was thinking with all that girly cuteness!

Thank gawd my first apartment only had a one year lease and with my next apartment, the canopy bed and linens got passed onto my younger sister, who was 9 years old at the time, and thrilled beyond words to be covered in all that eyelet, ruffled, pinkness every night.

The next bedroom "look" was ultra modern, for 1978 and a $19.95 budget. I'm sure it was equally as hideous, although I felt much more grown up sleeping under ruffle-less, jewel toned colors minus the fru-fru canopy.

I stayed in that apartment for two years and managed to save for summer and winter "bedding" so I could change the entire look of my room with the seasons; something that became oddly important to my 20 year old self. I'm not sure how it happened, but a few short years after being required to make my bed, I'd become obsessed with bed making!

Good gawd! I'd become my mother... only with more pillows.

Over the years, I moved around a lot and my "taste" (and I use that term loosely) in decor, and especially bedding, changed over the years. From ultra modern to Shabby Chic and everything in between, my current look (at least for this month) is clean and contemporary with tailored bed skirts and structured pillows. I still have a comforter but now it comes with many layers of sheets, blankets and mounds of pillows. It takes about 10 minutes to make the perfect bed each morning-- and that doesn't include ironing the sheets each week.

Did you just cringe?

Yes, I actually iron my very soft, but every wrinkled cotton sheets every time I take them out of the dryer. But, in all honestly, I only iron the top half of the top sheet that shows plus the four pillowcases. The bottom sheet and the bottom half of the top sheet-- totally wrinkled-- and out of sight!

Trust me, I am no Martha Stewart, I just really like to make a nice bed. Maybe it's because there are times I spend way too much time in bed when I'm under the weather, or maybe it's because I so look forward to actually getting into bed at the end of the day. In fact, I can safely say, the best day of the week is the day I change the sheets because they are cool and crisp and all ticked in perfectly.

Okay, go ahead and say it-- I'm a bed-making freak! Although I prefer to think of myself as channeling the frustrated interior designer in me.

So I'm guessing this probably isn't a good time to mention I also collect dishes-- Because I love to set a nice table too? Okay, I'll keep that one to myself.

Has a chore from your youth surprised you as an adult?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna


  1. Ahh..first to comment! That's a first! Mom was shocked when I got my own place and saw how neat I kept it. She said my room at home was always a pig sty. (for some reason I don't remember this). I CANNOT go through a day without making the bed with all the throw pillows! If I ever did, I'd have to make it up before I got into it at night! :-) P.S. I also enjoy making a nice table! ;-)

  2. Yay! Finally someone that understands the beauty of ironed sheets!

    I iron 6 pillow cases and the entire top sheet. I also put my pjs under my pillow every day.

    My sister mocks me, but the bed looks so much better with ironed linens.

    Oh...I also collect plates, platters and pitchers. I love to entertain and love using my eclectic pottery.

    This post made me happy. I can't wait to tell my sister someone else irons their bedding.

  3. Okay, several things that make me know we were separated at birth. I hated making my bed every day. Hated it.

    Then one day when I was in my early 20s I went to a work conference. And, one of the guest speakers who was speaking about the importance of learning to prioritize a day said, "Do yourself a huge favor...start your day with a win every day; make your bed."

    That stuck in my head. So, since I like getting into a nice bed each night, I make it. Okay, I'll be truthful, some days I act all rebellious and let it go. Only to pull it straight before I'll get in it.

    Pajamas? What are pajamas?

    I like a nicely ironed sheet as well. So, I don't do it every time I change them, but every now and again. Just to show them who's boss.

    Last, if I were filthy rich? I'd have my bed changed every single day. By my bed minion...who would come back each night to turn it down for me.

    Yep. If I were filthy rich...that's what I'd do.

  4. I had to laugh. When growing up, my son never made his bed. Then when I went to check out his apartment at college, I commented on how nice his bed was, all made up. Come to find out he never "unmade" it, slept on top so he wouldn't have to make it in the morning.

  5. I tend to be a little OCD, so I'm a fanatic about the way the beds in my house are made. I could fill up your whole comment section telling you how I like the sheets tucked a certain way and how the comforter must be exactly centered. And pillows? Can one ever have too many pillows? I think not!

    I don't iron my sheets, but I am particular about the color of them. I only like white, cream or beige sheets, preferable without a pattern. This is so I can use bleach when I wash them. I like the fresh smell it gives them.

    Can you imagine that my family puts up with me???

  6. My husband rolls his eyes every time I iron the pillowcases and sheets. I am very picky about my sheets. Egyptian cotton, as soft as possible, no wrinkles. The bed must be made every day. I hate getting into an unmade bed. I thought it was just me.

  7. Thanks for bringing back memories for me! Wow!! My mom was the same way and albeit the fact I don't iron my sheets (good for you though!) I do like lots of pillows. I have 6 and 1 decor pillow.

    What kind of dishes are they? :-)

  8. how cute! I do think we end up being more like our moms then we sometimes think we are going to be, but....most of the times our moms really are cool people, we just don't want to give them that credit since they are "just" our moms. too cute about you ironing sheets; I don't even own an iron, LOL.

    when we were first married, my job had me up and going earlier in the morning than my hubby's, so he got to sleep in a bit. I used to be so upset to come home and find the bed unmade because that was one thing my mom insisted when we were growing up. I got him "trained" right (actually just asked him if he could make the bed, apparently something his mom didn't have them do) and he got into the "groove" of making it.

    enjoy the day


  9. That crazy, pink, canopy-bed bedroom was MY DREAM as a young girl. I've never had one, but I still might some day. *shhh*

    I iron my sheets too. It's okay. :-)

  10. I usually shun any type of domesticated chores. Except vacuuming. That I could do for hours.

  11. the bed making never caught on with me...i would leave it undone all the time if I could...which is probably why T gives that to me to do each morning...grumble, grumble...smiles.

  12. I am on white tee shirts like you are to sheets.. I iron them even to hang around doing yard work. I have 65 white tee shirts and about 15 different red,blue,pink shirts that's very square. My house is black and white with purple highlites :-)
    I do make my bed daily too.

  13. Ha! This post reminded me of how my Mom taught me to iron: we loaded up the items to be ironed in the car and dropped them off at our cleaning lady's house.

    I am 57 years old and have never ironed once.

    I do put my PJs by the pillows, and make the bed each day but one of my dogs is leaky at night..... so I do lots of washing......

  14. I dont recall being a bed maker either but now that I'm older I can't stand to have my bed not made. I could care less of my kids beds are made (unless we have company coming over --and who really goes into the childrens rooms then anyway).

  15. I don't know what I've chuckled at more, the original post, or all the comments. I can remember putting my pj's under the pillow as a child, but now my night-shirt just gets tossed on top of the dresser. (I can feel the other commenters cringing as I type this).
    While I do love the look of a nicely made bed, and especially love the feel of a bed with freshly laundred sheets, I don't love either enough to obsessively do them. And iron them? Puh-leeze!! I thought only June Cleaver obsessed over laundry and bed-making.
    Our bed gets somewhat made-up, ONLY because we have 2 cats & I can't stand finding cat hair & litter all over my bedding. Thus, the covers get pulled up and an old sheet spread out over the top of the bed to catch the cat hair and little pieces of litter that falls from between their toes. All of our pillows get stacked on top of the bookcase headboard where the cats don't bother them.
    Perhaps when these two fur-balls have gone on to "the other side", I will start making my bed properly... or then again, maybe I'll start leaving it completely unmade like I really like it. ;)

  16. 1. putting a comment to enter the contest.

    and hey, did you check your email?

    no rush :)

    2. No soda or tv during dinner. Even though, now a days, my parent's are breaking that rule!! :)

  17. Okay, pita woman's comment made me laugh....

  18. I prefer to think of you as the frustrated interior designer rather than the OCD bed maker!!!

  19. I do not trust you, I think you ARE Martha Stewart incarnate.

    I buy my sheets second hand at thrift stores. They're truly soft, and I love the retro patterns.

  20. Ironing sheets. The mind boggles. I like the sheets kind of wrinkled, because they're cooler that way in this Georgia heat. I *do* make the bed, finally. I didn't used to, out of disregard for my mother's ways, but now, it's nice to get into a neat (if wrinkled) bed with heaps of pillows. Also, since all I have on the bed is a sheet, it's pretty easy to make it up. Come winter, with a blanket added, it will be more complicated.

  21. I'm not as passionate about my bed as you are. I did a post called Tug of War about our bed if you want to search my blog for it.
    You iron your sheets? LOL!! My kids just found out what an iron was last year and the girls were shocked that we actually HAVE one!! he he he!! ;) (1/2 joking!)
    All I know is that clean sheets make me horny.
    Sorry, TMI?


  22. Our moms must've been trading notes because there was no leaving the bedroom unless the bed was made!

    My older sister had the canopy bed and she was bossy and never let my twin and I sit on it. She had ownership issues.

    Chores now??? I still hate most of them that I did as a kid but I love grocery shopping. I love discovering new products. But, I also love saving money too so I bargain shop just like my mom did.

    Did you get my email?

  23. You are a bed freak Joanna! :=) j/k
    I will admit it in front of the whole world. I do not make my bed. And I´m not ashamed! :) It´s just not worth it. We get up at seven and get in again at 12 (siesta time), then we leave for work again at 2 and I´m not making my bed two! times a day. So it just doesn´t get made.
    But something I did learn from my mom is doing the dishes right away. I hate to have dirty dishes standing around. Hate it!

  24. I COVETED the pink canopy ruffled princess bed when I was younger. Now I wish for a plain white iron post bed. With a firm mattress.
    And I keep my jammies under my pillow! It works for me.

  25. Hi, I am a new follower and have stumbled on your blog. I Love it. The chore I hated the most was gardening, and now the thing I like to do most is be in my garden and amongst my flowers. Who would have ever thought. Take care.

  26. My mother seemed to get her self-esteem from being good at housework and I swore I'd never be like that! But the bedmaking thing is well entrenched. Right down to what my sister and I knew as 'nurses' tucks'. I might leave a few dishes in the sink but I would NEVER leave my bed unmade! There's a little bit of my mother in me for sure. And of course a freshly made bed is so much nicer to sleep in. And like Holly, I think that it would be a very good use of money paying someone to change the sheets daily. Bliss! Clean sheets and a freshly made bed! (Lisa, you like VACUUMING???)

  27. Growing up, I too hated making the bed and anything that resembled cleaning. My younger sister and I shared a room and she would complain to mom about how sloppy my side of the room was (she was 7 years younger). NOW it is kind of the opposite. I expect that bed to be made and clothes picked up. Dan goes nuts with my complaining about how he manages to untuck every sheet and blanket and how how it is to put it all back in order. He figures it is just gonna get messed up again later!

  28. Seeing as I'm nowhere near adulthood yet, I can only say that I've always had a bed-making OCD (well not quite) (;

    La C.

  29. And I ALWAYS fold my nightie or PJs when I put them under the pillow. Well, I think it's the law!

  30. My parents were trying to teach the 5 of us discipline and order, so we all had chores, we all hated them, but we all were expected to do them well - and not 'half assed' as dear old dad would say. They created, in me, an anally retentive, OCD, homeowner. I like cleanliness and order. Am I surprised by it? No. I attribute it to my hazing. :)

  31. Thanks for the visit...I love washing! Love pegging it all out...hate everything after though! lol!

  32. I guess there are worse things you could be into! lol I used to hate washing dishes when I was a kid now I love it for some strange reason (I'm horrible with the rest of the house though, lol).

  33. I guess the one thing that really surprises me is that growing up I had yard work chores to do that I hated and today I have so many gardens and spend a lot of time out there doing just what I detested.

  34. This made me giggle!

    Gah - you have become more uber than your mother? Ironing sheets? I'm afraid I'm one of those people who threw out the iron and stopped making her beds many many years ago!

  35. Laundry. I'm shocked that I'm obsessed with laundry. I even have a professional-grade steamer, for stuff that has to be dry-cleaned.

    This, from a former 16-yr-old who would try on clothes, and drop them in a pile for Momo to pick up, iron wash or whatever.

    I won't even let myfriendTeri do her own laundry when she visits.

  36. Like you, I enjoy crawling into a made bed. If the bed didn't get made that day, I WILL make it before I crawl into it at night! And the best nights are the ones with clean sheets and blankets.

    I wash everything twice a week, and that only because we have two dogs that enjoy laying on the bed. Every night before I go to bed, I throw the blanket in the dryer to fluff it and remove the dog hair. :)

  37. My sister and I shared a full bed growing up. We would make 1/2 the bed. We would not touch the other persons side. Now,husband or I, whoever gets dressed first, also makes the bed and we make the entire bed. Most of all I hated dishes. Now I can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.

  38. I hate making my bed, so I use a comforter and of course fitted sheets really help!

  39. I confess all I am not a bed maker!

  40. My mother was Helga of the Gulag about making the bed, and in my twenties, I don't think I made my bed once except to change the bedding, out of sheer spite. But I finally decided I would actually LIKE to make it, and that she was still controlling me in a backwards sort of way. Ay yi yi.

  41. I made that damned bed every day for the 23 years of my marriage. Now I hardly ever make my bed and you know what? It's ok!

  42. My room was usually messy when I was younger but once in a while I got in a cleaning mood...always at night. I sometimes finished at 2 in the morning. Although I'm not as messy now I still get in those cleaning moods at night

  43. See...I do this backwards. I am a late sleeper, so I don't have time to make my bed in the morning. That being said, I HATE having twisted sheets, so before I go to bed...I make the bed. My husband thinks it's hilarious. I don't iron my sheets, but I do line dry them so they smell great and they have a really comfortable "stiffness" to them. Heaven. :)

  44. I almost NEVER make my bed, for the same reason you didn't for a while. I just shut the door :) Cute story.

  45. I just wish I had some of your bed making obsession!

  46. iron the sheets...LOL...I've always thought that would "look" nice but then the thought quickly goes away...I'm messy with my bed...just like Mrs4444 I usually make it just before bed;-)

  47. I knew I loved you for a reason (other than your wonderful witty posts). I love manchester too and not get me started on making tablescapes.

    In fact when my home was threatened by bushfires in 2003 (4 people died and 800 houses in my suburb were destroyed) I had to pack in a hurry. I took all my manchester, Royal Shakespeare Company framed prints, my favourite cups and saucers from my grandmother, shoes, jewellery and that was about it. Thank goodness my house remained intact because I left all of the personal papers behind. This made people laugh for a long time but they all shook their heads and said, we wouldnt have expected any less. No-one could believe I took all my expensive bed linen with me - but I figured it coudlnt be so easily replaced as I have been collecting for a long time. And I loved your line, "Good gawd! I'd become my mother... only with more pillows"

    That cracked me up - that is so me too.


Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it.