The Evolution of Your Bed

Many peoples’ lives show a gradual but consistent transition from indulged OCD child to an adulthood of humility and adaptability (relatively speaking). This perhaps can be exemplified in looking at the history of beds. Life starts out for most in the luxury of a cradle, which — I must admit that I don’t remember this luxury firsthand and so I’m drawing from appearances and function alone — is essentially a throne for babies: an ornate piece of furniture existing purely for the needs of sleeping, rocking, and ogling at little stars and moons dangling overhead.

Once we move on to walking and talking, there is a shift to a real bed. The first bed is generally small but, then again, so are most babies. After a few years, the size of the bed expands, often accompanied by a move to a new, larger room. These beds are often presented as hand-me-down beds from relatives:You spend so much time in your bed that it’s more or less your throne:

Concurrently, children should be taught the benefits of maintaining a proper bed. Indeed, this can be a great way to teach responsibility and personal pride. Sheets and blankets all tucked in, top edge of the sheets folded down, comforter smoothed, pillows fluffed. And oh, the pillows. There were, of course, the standard two, but additionally there were the decorative pillows — an adornment my mother cannot seem to get enough of. The trick to the decorative pillows is angling. You cannot simply toss them onto the bed; they needed to be layered at opposing angles to give that Pottery Barn feel to the whole display. And once the pillows are done and the bed is officially made, you can add embellishments like stuffed animals. I had quite the collection of stuffed animals and I regarded them very highly. Definitely not the sort to toss into a toy box. Their place was at the bottom corner of the bed, where they were sat upright and in rows, so that they each had a view of the room and therefore could be part of the action day-to-day.

As children age, most children lose the stuffed animals, but the full transformation of sleeping spaces doesn’t take place until college. Most beds in University dorms just don’t compare to the quality of home. For instance, the squeakiness of the spring is likely to double. Privacy tends to decrease, and pickiness is not an option. Though many still make their bed (without the childhood ritualism), it’s more for the sake of creating sitting space. For the rest of my time in school, for instance, I got to live out a childhood dream: I moved up — literally — to a lofted bed (go figure). It was off campus and so to make the most of our money there were four of us crammed into a lovely, but tiny, apartment. My bed, being so close to the ceiling, was my only source of privacy. Its height also meant that making my bed was a difficult acrobatic task involving jumping from various surfaces and clinging by the nails to the railing. The bed never got made. Nor did my sheets get washed. It was a rumpled, dirty mess, but I kind of liked it that way.

I have since moved back down to floor-level, but aside from that not much has changed. I make my bed sometimes; sometimes I don’t. I am currently renting a furnished apartment and so cannot call anything about my bed my own. It is simply a place for me to rest my head. One of the pillows is essentially a sand bag and the bed is once again a twin, but luckily the other pillow is mushy and I think I’ve become a pro at sleeping in twins. I actually don’t like the excess space when I do sleep in a larger bed.

You spend so much time in your bed that you should make sure to treat it with the respect it deserves. Devote some time to sprucing it up, and you’re sure to appreciate the effects.

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