Thursday, March 31, 2005

The things we own do not always own us

But sometimes it feels like it. The other day I caught myself swiping catalogs from the bulk mail bin near the front door of my building, catalogs that are not addressed to me, all because the duvet situation had not resolved itself to my satisfaction.

I am Tyler Durden’s worst nightmare. And I don't care.

The stupid duvet would not leave me alone. I was obsessed about bedding--I mean, it felt pretty shallow. And I wanted to talk about it with my friends, as if it were an issue of major concern. But in a way it was, at least to me. It's important that I have something nice to wrap myself in at night, that l like what I see when I open my eyes in the morning and when come home from work at night. It's a way of being nice to myself, of feeling worthy of good treatment. "Just go to Marshalls," my friends said, or "I got great stuff on Overstock.com!" Their advice was perfectly sound, but I had all these gift cards to the Hallowed Grounds of Wedding Registration: Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma. And I wanted to use them rather than shell out on my own.

Two weeks ago, I finally made a decision and I ordered a simple blue duvet with matching pillowcases from PB. Maybe a cool quilt would show up in their summer collection, I figured, and I could round it out with that. But when the box showed up in the mail, I discovered that Porcelain Blue looks a lot different in a catalog and on a website than it does on fabric. Rather than the warm, dusty color I’d been hoping for, it was a cold, icy blue, the kind of stuffy shade that pops in designer catalog rooms but not in a normal person’s space and certainly not in a small apartment bedroom. Martha Stewart could make that blue work, but not me. I tried to stifle the nausea I felt every time I looked at the thing. I washed it and put it on the bed. But I hated it. I used to have nightmares about houses painted that color blue. Hard to explain--colors have always made me feel certain things.

So last night I put the whole set back in the box, and went to the PB store at the Atrium in Newton. I wasn't going to make myself live with something that made me unhappy just because I'd made a misjudgment. At the store, I found a pretty, flowered duvet that made me smile every time I saw it. Smiles are good to have in the bedroom, right? And it was on super deep discount. I picked up the duvet, two shams and a table runner for less than $100, which made the Yankee in me even happier.

This afternoon, I was talking to my boss, a really incredibly, genuine person who has an innate sense of what will put you at ease and make you feel appreciated. I felt silly telling her about my duvet quest as if it were the freaking Holy Grail, but she told me that she did the same thing when she was my age, right after she got out of a bad relationship and was starting out on her own again. It's part of the process, she told me, so don't feel bad about being enthusiastic. Move forward with a smile and feather your own nest.

1 comment:

dc said...

If this were the SAT, duvet covers are to Moxilicious as mattresses are to Overmatter. But at least you didn't find blood on the duvet cover. Count your blessings...