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How New Bedding Changed One Woman’s Life

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Meleah. And at some point during the year 2003 she bought her very first set of big girl bedding, complete with a silk duvet cover and accenting throw pillows. Gone were the days of futons, and mismatched sheets, and stained comforters. She had thrown those out along with her self-destructive lifestyle. She was working as a full-time commercial insurance professional, and she was a full-time single mother. Meleah had grown up. And she felt like she had arrived. And she finally owned the appropriate bedding to prove it.

Meleah loved that bedding with her whole entire heart. And not just because the duvet cover represented how far she’d come in life, but also because it was really, really, really pretty. And shiny. And new. And yet somehow, it still managed to showcase her wild personality.

 

 

Meleah took extraordinary care of those sheets, and pillowcases, and accent throws, and her duvet cover. So much so that she became horribly obsessively compulsive about keeping them absolutely flawless. She diligently washed them once a week, only using the delicate cycle, before steam ironing them so everything would lie seamlessly upon her glorious new bed.

At night, while tucking herself in, she would wrap herself up, only to feel swaddled inside the cozy comfort of 2,000 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets. The silky smooth pillowcases caressed her tired face. And the duvet cover provided a utopian level of climate control. She was never too hot. And she was never too cold. She was always just right.

 

 

Sadly, without any warning signs, in 2005, Meleah became sick. And then she grew even sicker. She spent countless days, and countless hours, inside waiting rooms, and hospitals, and doctor’s offices, forever dressed in a paper gown, being poked, and prodded, and tested. She endured years of humiliating medical procedures and suffered from extreme side effects due to medications. And that’s when her only sanctuary became the confines of that very bed.

As such, Meleah became more and more fixated on keeping her bedding in a state of perpetual perfection. Her incessant need to fluff, and fold, and reposition the pillows, wasn’t just because she could never afford to replace them, but mostly, because while she was falling apart on the inside she really needed things on the outside to remain as beautiful as possible.

 

 

In 2008, Meleah was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and severe Food Allergies. She had to leave her job, and her fabulous condominium, because her silly little immune system didn’t work anymore. Luckily, her beloved parents were more than happy to take her and her son into their home.

So, Meleah begrudgingly packed up her essential belongings, and she gave away most of her worldly possessions. But, she held onto those sheets, and pillowcases, and accent throws, and her duvet cover, because she just couldn’t bring herself to relinquish them.

 

 

After Meleah settled into her parents’ house, she became even more obsessively compulsive, with cleaning, and organizing, and keeping her bed immaculate. Because sometimes in life there are things you can’t control. And other times in life, the only thing you can control is the way you make your bed. And Meleah took that concept to a whole new level.

She spent over an hour, every single day, making her bed perfectly. Why? Because the duvet cover had to fall evenly on both the left and ride side of the bed. And the seam line at the bottom of the duvet cover had to be absolutely straight. And there couldn’t be any wrinkles on the sheets. And the accent throws had to be aligned with the stars. And god-forbid something was out of place; she would have to unmake her bed, and start all over from scratch.

[And yes, she’s painfully aware that makes her totally insane.]

Once she finally made the bed properly, no one in the house was allowed to sit on it. Or breathe on it. Or walk too closely by it. Because Meleah would totally freak out if they did. And any time a visiting guest, unfamiliar with the rules, entered Meleah’s tiny purple bedroom and sat down on her bed, she proceeded to have mini internal panic attacks. Because Meleah knew the only way to remove their ass-print from her duvet cover, meant she would have to unmake, and remake, the whole bed, all over again.

Because the duvet cover had to fall evenly on both the left and ride side of the bed. And the seam line at the bottom of the duvet cover had to be absolutely straight. And there couldn’t be any wrinkles on the sheets. And the accent throws had to be aligned with the stars. And after a long day at the doctor’s office, or at the hospital, the last thing she wanted to do was fix her bed, again, especially after she already spent several hours making it look primo in the first place. But, because she’s a crazy person, that’s exactly what she did.

 

 

And this unhealthy obsession with her bedding, and how her bed was made, went on for years, and years, and years, and years.

Until one day, in 2012, when Meleah was late for yet another appointment, because she couldn’t leave the house until her bed was made right. But, the duvet cover wouldn’t lay flat and it wasn’t even on both the left and right side. And the seam line at the bottom of the bed wasn’t straight. And the sheets were wrinkled. And the pillows weren’t aligned with the stars. All of the beautiful colors had faded. And everything was filled with holes and rips, from being washed one too many times. And there was nothing she could do to fix it.

Covered in sweat, and riddled with anxiety, Meleah looked at the tattered remains of her bedding when she suddenly recognized just how ridiculous she had become. And then she wondered why she was still holding on to these sheets, and pillowcases, and accent throws, and that damned duvet cover, after NINE years, because they no longer represented all she had worked for. In fact, now they merely represented everything she had lost due to her Annoying Medical Conditions. And as much as she tried, she couldn’t possibly add up how many hours of her life had been wasted on simply making her bed, or worrying about someone sitting on her bed, or fixing her bed after someone touched it, mostly because Meleah sucks at math. She can’t even add 2 + 2 with a calculator.

 

 

And that’s precisely when Meleah decided she had enough. She’s driven herself way too far into crazyville. And it was time to get a grip.

Determined to change, Meleah ripped off those sheets, and pillowcases, and accent throws, and the duvet cover. She wadded them up into a ball, and she threw them in the garbage. As a wave of relief washed over her, she felt as though as if she’d been freed from some form of self-imposed slavery.

Finally. 

She took a deep breath and gazed around her bedroom.

But now what?

Meleah grabbed her purse, and her keys, and jumped into her car. While driving to the store, she promised herself she would only buy the simplest of bedding she could find. But, of course, it still had to be alluring. After all, she spends most of her time inside her tiny purple bedroom. And if she’s going to be gawking at the same things all day and all night, they better be beautiful.

After perusing the aisles, and finding nothing really all that special, she momentarily considered buying one plain white flat sheet, and one plain white comforter. Except that white stains too easily. And also, it resembles that of the inside of a mental institute. And while Meleah probably belongs inside of a mental institute, she really doesn’t want her bedroom to look like one.

And then suddenly Meleah spotted a very lovely comforter.  And that very lovely comforter came with two matching shams. And next to that very lovely comforter with two matching shams, were two sets of super-soft sheets that blended exquisitely. Without any hesitation, Meleah quickly loaded up her cart, and skipped on over to the register.

 

 

When Meleah arrived home, she couldn’t wait to try out her brand new bedding. But, she had to wash everything first, because that is totally normal. And after everything was Downey Fresh, she was ready to make her bed anew.

She put the sheets on the mattress, she put the shams on the pillows, and she put the blanket on the bed. And then she stood there staring at it. She wasn’t sure if she liked it or not. She definitely did not LOVE it. Not like she had loved her old bedding. And she started to get upset.

Really upset.

Almost to the point of tears.

 

 

Meleah couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her new bedding. At least not until she realized, that while yes it IS very lovely, and pretty, and purple, and matches her bedroom, maybe it was just a little too delicate.

And anyone who knows Meleah knows that there is absolutely NOTHING delicate about her. Everything about her is loud. Even her whisper is more like a yell. And she can’t tiptoe down the carpeted stairs in her house without sounding like she’s tap dancing.

And Meleah cannot have a bed that doesn’t represent her personality because she thinks that’s dishonest and misleading. And since we’ve already established that she’s a crazy person, it should come as no surprise to hear that she went back to the store in search of ways to make her bed look more like she acts.

And nothing screams as loudly as she does, quite like an electric purple shag throw pillow, and matching electric purple shag throw blanket.

 

 

Once again, Meleah stared, and stared, and stared, at her bed. But something still wasn’t right. Something still seemed a little off. So, she moved the pillows this way, and she moved the pillows that way. Then, she flipped the blanket onto the reversible side, and then she flipped it back again. She tossed the electric purple accents in this direction, and that direction. And when that didn’t help, she stopped herself, because the last thing Meleah wanted to do was make her bed all kinds of complicated. Especially since that’s exactly what she was trying to avoid.

So, she went back to the store.

Again.

And this time, Meleah didn’t even know what she was looking for, when she accidentally stumbled upon the most heavenly blanket, on the face of the planet. Not only would it match her bedroom, but the incredibly soft texture would also provide the ever-so important-climate-controlled-swaddling that she absolutely requires for a decent nights sleep.

Score.

Meleah came back home, again, and then she spent approximately 167,902.3 minutes rearranging the new and improved contents of her bed, over, and over, and over, and over when she accidentally made yet another incredible discovery.

Meleah noticed the way her new bedding looked the most charming, and cozy, and pretty, and wonderful, was when she did NOT make her bed AT ALL.

 

 

What? !!!

That’s right.

Because it looks totes amazeballs, super messy.

 

 

And now?

Meleah doesn’t have to have internal panic attacks anymore. And she doesn’t have to waste countless minutes, hours, days, and weeks, trying to fix her bed, or worry about someone else wrecking her bed, because it doesn’t matter if the comforter doesn’t fall evenly on both the left and ride side of the bed. And the seam line at the bottom of the comforter doesn’t have to be absolutely straight. And there can be wrinkles on the sheets. And there aren’t any accent throws that need to be aligned with the stars, and it doesn’t matter if her bedding gets all jacked up, because even when it does, it still looks totally-super-pretty.

And, the people inside of her house are allowed to sit on her bed. And breathe on it. And walk really closely by it. In fact, her mother already dove on it. And her son already jumped up and down on it. And her brother and her nephew already played on it. And her father already tripped over it.

And Meleah didn’t even flinch.

Because Meleah never, ever, ever, ever, has to make her bed, ever again!

 

And that’s how New Bedding changed One Woman’s Life.

* So tell me people…
Do any of you suffer from crippling OCD? Or wrestle with serious control issues?

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  • I love your new bedding even more than the old bedding.  I hope you find many hours of comfort in it every day!

  • Why thank you, Anne!

  • agg79

    Mel, you definitely take crazy to a whole new level.  That’s why we love you sofaking much!  I can see why you obsess over your bedding so much – it looked so inviting/comforting – it is your sanctuary.  With all the crap you’ve been handed, you gotta hold on to something sane/soothing in that time of crisis.  Glad to see you let it go before it got out of hand.  I could see a bedding intervention in the cards.    

  • I probably should have had a bedding intervention three years ago!

    🙂

    Thanks for loving the crazy!

  • Jenn Thorson

    A very sweet piece, Meleah. Very poignant and nicely told. And I love the bedding. Shabby Chic, right? Because I sort of had to have one of those lavender Shabby Chic pillows due to its purply gorgeousness.

  • Nice eye, Jenn!

    It is Shabby Chic!

  • Your bed looks amazing messy!  I have a “bed problem”.  They are making the fitted sheets to fit mattresses that are humungous now.  My mattress is about 8 years old and is fine except it’s not a HUGE mattress now.  So the fitted part hangs out kind of like a trailer park sheet even though it’s Egyptian cotton, expensive, and has a high thread count.  Somebody recommended sewing on strips of elastic, but homey don’t sew.  I told Alex I think we need a new mattress that’s much bigger now.  I love really pretty beds, but I actually prefer white.  It’s what I got used to when I was in the home.

  • Linda, you crack me up.

    And I totally vote you get a nice, big, fat, huge, NEW, mattress!

  • My bed is my sanctuary.  I dream about 2000 count egyptian cotton sheets and I would totally be obsessive if I got them.

    I have some beautiful WHITE bedding that my sister-in-love bought me and when those are on my bed I feel like a fucking PRINCESS.

  • I’m too clumsy for white sheets!
    I’d never be able to keep them clean enough!

    🙂

  • What a fantastic post!! It was funny and wonderfully written and all I could think during the entire reading was “OMG, I think I sat on her bed!! OMG, I did, didn’t I? I made her crazy!!!”

    I’m sorry I left my ass print on your bed when I visited. 🙂

  • And now? Just like in that first picture? I want to run and leap right onto the middle of all that gorgeous comfyness and muss it all up. Just because. 

  • You’re one of the FEW people allowed to leave an ass print on my bed, Nicky!

  • Bring it!

  • wow. wow, wow, wow. This was the BEST story! I almost cried. I’m not kidding.

    Also? I love purple. LOVE!

  • Awwwww!

    I love YOU Margaret!

    And thanks for tweeting this post.
    You rock.

    xoxoxo

  • It’s scary how much I get this, all of it. It’s only been in recent years that I discovered my OCD tendencies are rooted in my unstable childhood. I developed the habit of tidying our home to hide our problems from anyone who might knock at our door. I became so obsessed with controlling how everything looked that I would totally fall apart if anyone so much as shifted a coaster or messed up the  pillow arrangement. Obviously those were not the real issues vexing the household, but those were the ones I could control. Each day I work to unclench a little bit more. P.S. Your bedroom look so cozy.

  • Thank you, MomZombie.
    For totally * getting * it!

  • Shieldmaiden1196

    I make my bed for the first three or four days after I change the sheets, because it mostly involves flipping the covers up and that’s about it, but once it gets all pulled apart and messy we just roll up in whatever’s loose and we’re happy, and then its time to change the sheets again.

  • Well that’s lucky!

  • Roshan

    Hehehe – you really are a one-woman dramedy play in real life! I would so obsess over the tv series that they are gonna make on your life. I wonder who would play you in the show!
    Bed looks nice. We over here just use a sheet to cover the mattress and a other to cover ourselves when we sleep. Oh and unlike most people I don’t care if the bed sheet doesn’t match the pillow covers!!

  • That’s easy living.

  • StarTraci

    Meleah! As one who has had her time in paper gowns and tucked into plain white sheets and who also has suffered from CDO, I understand! I have a particular way that I like my pillows which makes my husband crazy. If I could find bedding that looked better unmade, my husband might just reach nirvana. Seriously, though, I am very happy for you in your new beautiful bedding and I am very sorry to be two weeks late in wishing you such felicitations. (Yes, I just used felicitations — suck it word-a-day calendar scoffs! I have been waiting 7 years to use that word!)
    Blessings to you in your beautiful, very non-delicate yet very pretty and cozy bedroom. xoxo

  • AhHAhahHAHhaHAHHA!!! Ahahhaah!!

    I love that you used the word ” felicitations” AhahahAHhahHHAha!

  • Meleah, what an honest, HONEST post.  What you learned…what you were able to do.  You are my hero.  I love both beds.  And I love how you were able to stop being a slave to it all…. you are VERY STRONG…. never EVER forget that.  My hero!!!!

  • Awwww! I love you, Katherine!

  • The Bedding looks amazing! I don’t  like to make my bed every day, it feels like I just waste my time.  Everyday I would spend 3-5 minutes making my bed and in a month it would be 2 hours?

    Litiquette Boutique Baby Shoes
    litiquette.com

  • Lucky, you!

  • I loved this post.. 

    I don’t make my bed, just give the duvet a shake and I’m done, 30 seconds if that!

  • 🙂

  • Love, Love, LOVE the new bedding! And you’re right. It got better with each new and louder addition!

    I don’t think I’m OCD but I do have a need to clean the house a lot. I’m trying to get past it. Sometimes it still gives me little panic attacks when I skip some of the usual weekly cleaning stuff.

  • Yeah, I’m still a little twitchy about NOT making my bed.
    And I will never be able to give up my cleaning rituals.
    But this is a step in the right direction!
    🙂

  • Jay

    Oh, this is a GREAT post!  I have a tendency to be a tad … um … yeah, OK, compulsive, over some things, so I understand.  And yes, it is completely normal to wash new things first!  I always do!!

  • Awww!

    Yay!

    Now I feel more normal and less insane!

  • pixiecd

    I ofund you through a Tweet by Super Earthling, and boy am I happy I did! My CDO was odd numbers…avoided like the plague to the point I NEVER had a 21st Birthday. Instead I turned 20 and two halves. (Yeah…just don’t even ask. *grin*)
    I also live with a chronic illness, so I can identify with so very much in this post. Thanks for the great story telling and good laugh!

  • You’re very welcome!
    And it’s nice to meet you!

    🙂

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  • I completely missed this during the months of the summer that sucked. I lurve all of this.

    CDO is exactly right. I love order but have lost the desire to do the work to keep things looking nice and organized. If I lived alone in a wee little house, I’d let my CDO run rampant. Love the colors of both bedrooms but the purple on purple on purple on purple is perfect.

  • I’m glad you got the chance to read this.
    My OCD has been bad again lately – mostly because I have new health shit to deal with.

    And purple is my favorite color, ever!

    XOXOXO

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