Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hospital Corners

Mother insists that we make our bed with hospital corners.  All of us who served in the military were well schooled in the fine art of bed making.  When you look at the bed, the fold on the top corner sheet and blanket at the edges of the bed should be at a perfect 45 degree angle.  One must admit that it does look quite tidy.  But it has a major drawback.  A properly made bed is uncomfortable, pinning down your toes and feet and making it difficult to maneuver.  I have found that the proper procedure for getting into a bed made with hospital corners is to scoot down as far in the bed as you can and force the sheets upward with your feet and legs at a 45 degree angle thus loosening the sheets.  At the very least that provides you with a modest leg press exercise.

I have found a solution that Mother seems to have tacitly accepted.   Her side of the bed is the side most visible from the bedroom door.  When I make the bed I make her side of the bed in the correct manner, hospital corners and all.  But on my side I merely fold the end of the sheet firmly under the mattress and let the side hang down quite comfortably.

The first time I did that Mother walked from one side of the bed to other considering the arrangement and said, “Well, Alfred,” I see what you have done.”

Too which I responded, “Harrumph!” which is a fairly safe way of avoiding discussion.

We let the matter of bed making drop.  Accordingly I prefer to make the bed myself.  If perchance I fail to do so, of course I will find that Mother has made the bed with hospital corners on both sides. To which my only answer is “Harrumph!”  Oh well, one can always resort to another leg press exercise.

At breakfast the other morning Mother said, “Alfred, there are some things in life that are negotiable, and there are some that are not.  You have your little habits and customs, and I have mine.”

I looked at Mother suspiciously.  I almost wanted to respond “Harrumph!” but one does need to be careful, so instead I said inquisitively, “Yes, Mother?”

“It’s the cigar, Alfred.  I don’t mind you smoking in your study when you have the ventilation fan on, but please don’t smoke in the rest of the house.”

“But, Mother,” said I, slightly offended, “It’s an Arturo Fuente Rosado Magnum.”

“Magnum, indeed,” huffed Mother, “It’s still a cigar, and not something I want to smell mingled with mignonette potpourri in the living room.  I like the ambrosial fragrance of mignonette, but I don’t care for the odor of cigars.”

“Very well, Mother,” said I, “I take your point,” With that I retired to my study and shut the door.  After all, an Arturo Fuente Rosado Magnum ought to be enjoyed in peace.”

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Alfred has been reading St. Paul, and finds him quite a challenge. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

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