Random Acts of Kidness


‘Making your bed might actually be overrated’

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who simply has to make her bed every morning. I make my bed if I’m running late for bridge class or if I’m leaving to catch a plane. (Of course, I’m never late catching a plane; I’m also one of those people who leaves for the airport hours before her flight is due to take off.)

If I don’t make my bed I feel itchy and uncomfortable all day, kind of like I forgot to brush my teeth. Even when I was single, and nobody else was going to see my bed (hahaha), I couldn’t leave home without making sure it was all neat and tidy. Yes, I’m one of those people who has been known to make the bed in my hotel room.

I’m not alone in my bed-making mania. Some ex-Navy Seal even wrote an inspirational book called, I kid you not, Make Your Bed.

Funny story. When The Dude and I started sharing a household and its chores, we decided that whoever got up last would be in charge of making the bed. (Come to think about it, it would be sort of hard to do it the other way around.)

It’s kind of hard to make the bed if you’re the first one up

Whenever the task fell to Mr. Dude, I would marvel that a person who was so neat and tidy in so many ways — and a doctor, at that — would make such a lumpy bumpy mess of making the bed.

So one morning I got him to show me his technique. I’m standing there, and there he is, lying in bed, on his back. I expect him to get out and make the bed, already. But no, he starts moving his arms and legs like he’s making a snow angel. He does this a few times, and then sort of slips out from under the covers sideways. Done!

“You’ve got to be kidding. That’s not how you make a bed!” I manage to snort through gales of laughter. “Well,” he snorts right back. “That’s how I’ve made my bed my entire life, and I’m not changing now.”

I’ve made the bed ever since.

Anyway. The Child must have taken after Dude Man, because she has never ever made her bed. This lack of basic good housekeeping skills doesn’t seem to have hindered her self confidence or her stellar trajectory to Millennial Overachievement. Looks like you don’t need to make your bed to make the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30, Mr. ex-Navy Seal.

Yup. Here she is, among the 2019 honorees

Well. In spite of the fact that she’s turned out A-Okay, I have to admit that, when she comes home — which is fairly often, since business and/or friends have her boomeranging back to New York every few weeks — well, that unmade bed can start to, well, rankle.

Even if she keeps her door shut, I know it’s in there. And after she’s left for the bus or the train or the plane and I peek inside? Sure enough: bed, unmade. Everything else in the room can be fairly tidy, and, since a rather unfortunate college-days incident involving, among other things, coffee grounds dripping down the side of a countertop, she’s always left the rest of the apartment just the way she found it. But that unmade bed? Sure to get my goat every time.

Does that unmade bed get The Child’s goat? Nope, and not her cat, either

Until last week. The Child had left for the train unusually early, after which I checked her room: unmade bed, per usual. Big sigh. I had just about decided that I’d have to have a Little Talk with her (maybe citing Mr. ex-Navy Seal), when this text exchange happened:

Now, just in case you don’t know, Alex Honnold is that guy who scaled El Capitan without using ropes or picks or anything. 3200 feet using just his fingers and toes and, gosh, guts. The Dude and Child and I saw the movie together — it’s called Free Solo, and deservedly won the Oscar for best doc. (Go stream it as soon as you can.)

Well. I have a serious Mom Crush on Alex, who was, in fact, appearing at The Child’s climbing gym that very day. But, instead of just cadging a selfish old selfie with Mr. Free Solo, just look at what that dearest of children went and did:

Forget the neat bed. This is what “thoughtfulness” looks like (!)

So. Making your bed? Highly overrated. It’s those Random Acts of Kidness that really make this Mom’s day.

New York City. April 2019


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21 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kidness

  1. I always make my bed and then I have to cover it over as my cat is obsessed with sleeping on my pillow and I’m allergic to cats!!

    What a sweet thing your daughter did. I have just watched the film, think I’ve only just recovered from it!!

    • I hear you about the cat and the bed! My cat insists on climbing all over me at night, purring like mad. Good thing I’m not allergic! As for Free Solo, I saw it with The Dude and The Child at Christmas and I’m STILL not over it! Thank you for reading — and commenting xoxo

    • Total Catch-22! I get stuck making ours and The Child’s too. Tho after she read this story, she started “making” hers. Which is so sweet, even if I do go in and sort of “remake” it. I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the bed-making tree. The tree in question being her dad.

  2. I can not physically make my bed, but oh the states of my ‘made bed’ I’ve seen… how is it some people just find it so difficult! Is it as complicated as people make it look?!

  3. Ha ha, I’m with Rebecca, before I get in at night, I flatten out the sheet and then pull the duvet over.

    My 7 year old is duvet boy. He will happily spend his weekend in his pants and duvet.. no point in making his bed.

    My 5 year old, her room is a tip.. often she is found on the floor, under her duvet playing with her toys and teddies. So another bed not worth making.

  4. Denny Colledge

    Making your bed and folding up your “jammies” was a big thing with our parents when we were wee…and woe betide you if you did not do it. However my granny always said to fold back the covers and leave nightwear lying flat to get some air in about it all as she would say. I still prefer the second option, I suspect because it seemed subversive …..and you got away with it when you were living at granny’s!

    • Ah, yes. You just reminded me, dear Denny, that we were actually “fined” for not making our beds. A nickel was “docked” from our allowance each time we failed to do so. Since our allowance was only 25 cents, there were some weeks when my brothers owed my mother money! As a bed-making adult, tho, I have come to see the reason in the “airing out” view. Nowadays I still insist on making my bed each morning, but I do it after my morning walk. Thanks for reading and commenting — I think I would have enjoyed staying at your granny’s! xoxo

  5. Ruth Meisenheimer

    Congratulation to Samantha and her proud parents, as well you should be!
    Finally, something Harold and I have in common … We both like a bed to be made!

  6. That is so sweet. Now I need to watch that movie! I never make the bed–never have. My husband does, ’cause he’s the neat one around here. Actually it grosses me out that some people make the bed directly after getting out of it, when it’s still warm and even a little damp. Ack! Whew, glad I got that off my chest. And I’m glad your daughter is still allowed to come home. I remember that Navy seal saying that, and I thought, well that career is closed to me, and that’s OK. Fun post, as always, Alice!

    • Hahahaha!!! You slay me with your “some people make the bed directly after getting out of it, when it’s still warm and even a little damp” — Ack, indeed!!! (It’ll please you no end to know that I actually let my bed air out for a while before making it.) But enough about beds and their making! Thank you, as ever, for reading and for weighing in with a pithy comment. And for being one of the Extraordinary Non-Bedmakers!

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