Today I am going to tackle one of the most daring topics on German culture. Trust me, it’s been the topics of many epic battles (Helm’s Deep epic) between Thorsten and me: how a German makes a bed.
ARGH! Doesn’t the very thought just piss you off? Oh how Thorsten had to sit through my pissing and moaning about the topic!!
Wait. You have no idea what I am talking about do you?
All right, let’s start with a comparison between how Americans make a bed versus a German.
See, with an American bed – it is loaded with a fitted sheet (which goes over the mattress), a flat sheet, pillow cases, a quilt or duvet (depending on your preference) plus those decorative pillows and then you top it off with various others decorative pillows, teddy bears, and inspirational quotes. All this combined to make your bed look like a cake. A soft, fluffy, brightly colored cake. Mmmmmm cake…..
My biggest problem with having so many components is that it made making the bed a huge pain in the ass. I have always hated it. I have vivid memories of my mom having to literally pay me to do it (and to a six-year-old, a dollar a week was Big Money – oh, and yes I had to start making the bed at age 6). As I got older and went away to college, I decided that I didn’t need to be doing it anymore….I took enough naps that making the bed several times a day seemed meaningless. Then I was reduced to performing this abhorrent act when I had people over (or at least when my mom came to visit).
So when I first went to Germany in 2007, I saw their more minimalist beds: fitted sheet, duvet cover (you have several to change out while you wash others) and pillow case (random side note: I am not the biggest fan of German pillows. They lack form so by the time would I wake up the next morning, I find that I have not had any support for my neck so it is very stiff).
Anyway, making the bed was painfully simple: fluff the pillow and fold the duvet et voila! Bed is made. It was quite nice for me. This was something I could actually get in the habit of doing. The duvet cover just covered the mattress so no need to try and even out the sides and the idea that you can change your duvet cover often made my little Gemini personality very happy. With this method, I would no longer be tied down to just one cover and make my room have just one look. Nay, I can have a different look every week! Huzzah!
But look at the bed again.
Remember how I said that the comforter just barely covered the mattress? So try to calculate that amount of fabric for not one person but two…..oh and a pug.
That’s right. It’s not enough. And thus began our great battle over the blanket. I mean, it was epic. Every time I woke up cold and see Thorsten snuggly wrapped in the tiny part of the blanket he stole from me, my eyes would glow red and Carl Off’s O Fortuna would start playing in the background and my side of the battle would begin. It ends when I have pulled my end of the blanket back and I would go back to sleep…..until I cold up cold again and the battle would start back up again.
This has resulted in me not getting enough sleep. This also turns me into a bitch. And Thorsten has had to listen to me wail on the subject. A lot. For a good while.
Unfortunately, a bigger blanket is not really possible. They are out there, but they are not common. The only solution is to just get a second blanket.
This made me even more upset. Why couldn’t they just make a big enough blanket? The Americans (both North and South) have it figured out. Even when I lived in Spain it was the same thing. So why are the Germans trying to get away with having so little blanket possible?
I think part of this feeling stemmed from the fact that while I hated dealing with it, I did miss my American cake bed. It’s what I have always known. I do admit that (to me) that an American made bed looks nicer than a Germans’. But I know that I can’t maintain a cake bed (I barely did when I had one). I also know that even if you have a bigger blanket, it doesn’t mean that you still won’t fight over it. My parents have regaled me of their own epic battles and Thorsten and I still fought over it while I was in Chicago.
So maybe a second blanket wasn’t a bad idea. We decided to try it. He still had his and I brought the one I bought from Weingarten (because the one supplied to me by my landlady would only cover my body if I laid in a straight line…..I don’t…..I really don’t get it).
Anyway, it works. Since then, there have been no more epic battles. Instead of hearing O Fortuna, I hear Enya and sleep peacefully.
Unfortunately, for Thorsten, he still has another battle to wage: against our pug. Abner has decided that the space between Thorsten’s legs is prime real estate for sleeping. This is great for Abner but not so great for Thorsten when he wants to sleep in any other position. But with the overabundance in blankets in the bed, I think the pug ends up finding other places to lay his weary head.
Because pugs live such a hard life.
In other news, I make my bed now!