Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flashback: Taming The Duvet Cover

I have to start with this. I kept debating what trial or tribulation I would share first, and the Duvet Cover story just kept coming to mind. Like a little kid in class who knows the answer and is making the excited face and raising and waving their hand so hard they are practically jumping out of their seat (I was that kid, by the way... and still am). Alright, alright, Duvet Cover story, I will call on you.

Let me begin with a poem. I published this to my Facebook on Friday, June 25, 2010.

In order to accurately express my feelings at this moment, I turn to my childhood-favorite Jack Prelutsky poem (I altered it slightly).

Duvet Cover, Duvet Cover... I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink!
If only a bomb would explode you to bits...
Duvet Cover, Duvet Cover... you're giving me fits!

I'd rather take baths with a man-eating shark,
Or wrestle a lion alone in the dark.
Eat spinach & liver... pet 10 porcupines,
Than tackle the Duvet Cover each Friday assigns!

Duvet Cover, Duvet Cover... you're last on my list.
I simply can't see why you even exist!
If you just disappeared, it would tickle me pink...
Duvet Cover, Duvet Cover... I hate you! You stink!!!

Feeling it yet? Picture me... so exacerbated by my duvet cover on a particular Friday that I resorted to POETRY to soothe me (not alcohol, not cheese and chips, not exercise - ok, that never happens anyway, but POETRY). THAT'S how bad it was.

Back up a few weeks prior to that poem... it was me and Hubby standing in IKEA contemplating all the beautiful colors and styles of duvet covers they had - saying out loud to each other "it will be so easy to clean - we can just take it off without having to wash the whole comforter!" HA! It sounded so easy. And yet it was the quintessential cliche... "If something sounds too good to be true..."

After proudly washing it for the first time while Hubby was at work, I happily sat down at my computer, clicked on Safari, literally Googled "how to put a duvet cover on," and hit enter. I was greeted with not just the steps, but VIDEOS! "JACKPOT!" (I think I might have said out loud, while preemptively patting myself on the back). So I watched this one (since it seemed like a reliable source) and headed in to accomplish my mission. What I would soon realize was that there were a few important factors that video did not take into account that I had working against me. 1) My bed was KING size, 2) I am 5'1" therefore my wingspan is not that of a King size comforter, and finally 3) The OPENING of MY duvet cover is not somewhere in the middle-ish of the cover, NOR is it the entire length of the cover (DAMN you, IKEA!!) - it is about 3 feet wide, a mere 36 inches compared to my 108 inches of duvet and duvet cover.

I tried to follow the steps on the video, I really did. But it just didn't work. I wanted so badly for my hardworking, sweet husband to come home to a neatly made bed. But it just wasn't gonna happen. And this wouldn't be the last time. He tried to show me how to put the cover on and then just shake it to get the duvet to be just perfect inside the cover. As you can see in the picture above, I could not duplicate this on my own.

I RAGED about it on Facebook nearly every Friday until the day I posted my hate-filled poetry and people started commenting that they couldn't believe something like a duvet cover was going to defeat me. Well, that was the slap in the face I needed! I was hell-bent on figuring this out, no matter what.

We even bought these, but it wasn't until I got home that I realized they weren't even intended for what I needed. FAIL.

Finally, Hubby suggested an origami-like approach. And that is what I use to this day. Here goes...

NOTE: Some of the following content may not be suitable for children. And that would certainly be the case if I made a video of this.

1. Lay the duvet cover flat on top of the sheets on the bed with the opening at the bottom.
2. Lay the duvet flat on top of that. What I've also learned is that my duvet is NOT a perfect square like I had originally thought. It is wider than it is long, so I have to make sure the tag is on the bottom left when lying it flat, otherwise we have a big, bunchy mess.
3. Fold the left side of the duvet over towards the middle of the bed (like we are folding a letter in thirds to stuff inside an envelope).
4. Fold the right side of the duvet over towards the middle of the bed and overlap with the left side you just folded in.
5. Fold the top of the duvet in half toward the opening of the cover at the bottom of the bed.
6. Now it can actually FIT in the duvet cover opening!
7. Take a shower. No, seriously, this is an important step because we are about get INSIDE the duvet cover with the duvet and you don't want dirty feet or sweat or makeup or dog hair inside that nice clean cover with your immaculate white duvet.
8. Make sure the dog is outside the bedroom with the door closed. You don't want him jumping on top of the duvet cover while you're inside it. Trust me, that hurts.
9. Put the duvet, folded as mentioned above, as far into the duvet cover as you can. Again, I am "petite" (read: short) so I have short arms and can't get the duvet in there very far.
10. Climb, naked or mostly naked, into the duvet cover while unfolding the top flap. I tried it with clothes on, but they kinda cling to the inside of the duvet cover and cause it to get all jumbled up instead of continuing to lay flat. It's just more annoyance than it's worth. And the bedroom door is closed anyway, with the dog on the other side of it, so no worries.
11. Continue unfolding the top of the duvet until it meets the inside top of the duvet cover.
12. Starting with the right side flap - since it is on top - slowly unfold it starting at the top right corner. You can actually push the duvet right into the corner of the duvet cover from here! It's awesome!
13. Continue scooting around inside of there until you have unfolded the whole thing as best you can, pushing each corner of the duvet into each of it's respective cover corners from the inside.
14. Scoot your way out of the opening. Every single time I do this I laugh because it makes me think of a baby being born. Sorry, it does.
15. Snap the snaps to close the opening of the duvet cover.
16. Shake very little (cause you won't need to shake it much).
17. Voila! Fabulous, flat duvet inside of duvet cover.
18. Put clothes on and open bedroom door so dog stops whimpering.

I did it. I WIN. Every time now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome to My Life.

Where to start? I could go back and blog a zillion entries of the stuff I want to include in this blog... and back-date them, but that would kinda be like writing stuff I've already done on my to-do list just so I can cross it off. Yes, I do that. But I won't do it here. Promise.

I guess I will start with why I am doing this and what it will be about.

When I first became a Housewife, I had this silly misconception that it was going to be easy. I had never done it before, so why would I think that? My husband says the reason I am nearly always disappointed is because I'm unrealistically optimistic. Well, there you have it. I thought it would be all sunshine and roses and cute aprons and cooking beautiful, delicious dinners which were ready right as hubby walked through the door from work as our sweet Weimaraner, Dezmund, ran up to greet him. Not so. I was in for quite the shock.

And I'm just going to be honest here... before I took on this role, I did VERY LITTLE "real" cleaning, cooking, entertaining of guests, home maintenance, etc. I worked. A LOT. And I baked cute cupcakes every once in awhile and knew how to celebrate holidays. I didn't even know how to use our awesome Dyson vacuum. Seriously!?! So when we moved from Atlanta to Florida, bought our first house and I took the road less traveled as an actual "Housewife," I had a lot to learn. And I cried quite a bit over things like the nearly impossible task of getting a king size duvet cover neatly on my duvet BY MYSELF. I searched far and wide (on the internet) for solutions, and sometimes I found what I needed.

And then I called the BFF. And she got me started with a book called Happy Housewives (thank you, Katy) - a how-to book for everything I needed to know!! I read it cover to cover. And it helped me.

But there were still MANY misadventures. So I will write about them. It will be cathartic. And if you're a new Housewife or it's the first time you've had to do one of the crazy things I already did maybe it will help you.

Oh, the stories... stay tuned.