There’s a lesson in all this, I’m sure.

On September 3, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

How was your summer? Ours was good, and now I’m going to try to make the story of a lazy, poorly-photographed, mostly-housebound summer into fascinating reading without lying too much, or digging through the thesaurus for a bunch of pretentious adjectives. It’s going to be a strain, so bear with me. Or, if you’re in the mood, take off your shirt and bare with me. (I’ll be wearing flip-flops.)

I know summer’s not officially over until September somethingth, but for all intents and purposes, when you have a kid going back to school / it’s Labor Day weekend, summer’s over. Santa Barbara gets a reprieve because when the tourists leave, the beaches clear out and we raise our melanoma-scarred faces to the sky and give thanks for what often turn out to be our warmest months, September and October.

But — you know what? I don’t want to write about my summer. I want to write about this ridiculous thing I realized last week.

About six months ago my husband decided that our pillows needed to be washed. The pillows on our bed. I think Jack had been mildly under the weather for a couple of days and had had a bout of night sweats. So when he woke up and saw steam rising from his pillow, he declared that he was taking ALL the pillows to the laundromat.

This, I felt, was a mistake.

“The laundromat ruins pillows. They just stuff them in the washer and dryer willy-nilly, and they come back all lumpy. Don’t do it,” I said.

“I am going to do it,” Jack said. “It’s easier.”

“I don’t care how long it takes or how many times I have to check the dryer and rotate the pillows for optimum shape maintenance, I am going to wash the pillows here,” I said. “You take your pillow to the laundromat and see what happens.”

“I will,” said Jack. And he did. And at the end of the day he picked up his pillow at the landromat and it was a lumpy disaster of epic proportions.

“HA!” I said triumphantly. “I told you so.” I showed him the rest of the pillows, which I had washed and painstakingly tended all day long just to prove a point.

“I don’t give a shit, at least it doesn’t smell like sweaty hair anymore,” said Jack.

I took all the pillows to the bedroom and put fresh pillowcases on them. I put the lumpy one on Jack’s side. Smugly. And he slept on it for six months without complaint. Every time I changed the sheets I made sure he got the lumpy pillow, while I got the nice, flat pillow.

Then, last week, Jack spent some time reading in bed and propping himself up with all the pillows he could find. And so it happened that when he remade the bed, he (inadvertently, I’m sure, because when Jack says he doesn’t give a shit, he really doesn’t give a shit) gave me the lumpy pillow. Later, when I came to bed, the room was dark and I was tired and as soon as my head hit the pillow my first thought was, “This is the lumpy pillow,” and my second thought was, “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE MOST COMFORTABLE, WONDERFUL PILLOW I’VE EVER SLEPT WITH IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE.”

The lumpy pillow is now My Pillow. It’s like sleeping with someone who understands me. It’s a pillow to hug and spoon with all night, and if you try to take it from me you will see the white hot eyeballs of fury lunging out of my head. Or, if I’m tired, I’ll just say, “Hey, give me that pillow,” and yank it out from under your head.



24 Responses to “There’s a lesson in all this, I’m sure.”

  • You need to take all the pillows to the laundromat. It will be like sleeping in heaven.

  • I’m not sure about that. I think they neglected this pillow in some special way that’s going to turn out to be magically unrepeatable.

  • The lesson is of-course…She who lumps last last, lumps best! So, I guess you hubby is out of lucky!

    Thanks for the giggle!

  • Now you have me wanting a lumpy pillow.

    (Why does that sound so dirty?)

  • I really, really loved this post. Had to send it to my husband; reminds me of us. Cheers to lumpy and clean pillows and marriages that survive lumpy and sweaty ones!

  • I certainly hope you named it. But not “Lumpy,” though. I expect more from you.

  • I have named my pillow “Brph.” No vowels are necessary to express my love.

  • I have been known to yank my fabulously lumpy pillow right out from under my husband’s head. All our Sleep Cellulite are belong to ME.

  • This was the perfect post for a Saturday morning reading. That particularly includes the comment labeling vowels as expendable for communicated affections de lump.

  • I threw two pillows away last month because I found Izod LaCoste pillows at Ross for $8.95 each. They are firm and large and mine were – I don’t really want to know what mine were. Not good is all I have to say.

    Here’s my trick for drying large items that tend to go all lumpy: stick 3 CLEAN tennis balls in the dryer. You’ll never have to check them because those balls do all the work and they come out perfectly, (especially good for comforters)

    Just never use the tennis balls for tennis.

  • I dry my pillows and comforters with a clean tennis shoe (actually never worn because I just picked up a cheap pair from Payless years ago just for this) but that tennis ball thing sound like a good idea, too.

  • I love this post. I have a Favourite Pillow and if Ian steals it, leaving me with Greasy Heavy Flat 50-year-old Feather Pillow, I take the Precious from under his sleeping head no matter how early he has to be up in the morning.

  • This comment will not be from the Dryer Archives. I forgot to say how funny this post was.

  • I read “The lumpy pillow is now My Pillow” as “The lumpy pillow is now Mr. Pillow,” and I nodded in agreement. My pillow is, of course, Mr. Pillow.

  • Mr. Pillow! I might have to petition the court for a name change. And Suzy, I do the tennis ball thing only if I’m trying to dry a down comforter. In the instance of pillows, I will them to lay flat against the dryer drum for the duration, and I flip them at regular intervals, and clearly I have a problem. Are there meetings for this?

  • loved this + “I think they neglected this pillow in some special way that’s going to turn out to be magically unrepeatable.”

  • I love reading your writing, no matter what you’re writing about.

  • every pillow i own is lumpy. i do this intentionally too. i buy the $5 cotton pillows from walmart, take them home, wash them twice, and then dry the hell out of them. i can’t sleep with flat, firm pillows. they drive me nuts.

  • I loved “it’s like sleeping with someone who understands me”. I laughed out loud–I usually sleep with someone who really doesn’t understand me at all. But some nights I bring my iPad to bed, and then I really feel known, you know?

  • off-topic but a friendly heads-up to peanut: mavis staples has a new cd out. i heard the first release during my travels today…in illinois…and thought of your turtle in santa barbara.

  • Aw, Lori, you remembered!

  • Pillow wars! I thought I was the only one involved in the diabolical cat and mouse game that is switching pillows to get the exact one I want!

  • I came to your site from OffBeatMama, and I’m so glad I did. This story made me laugh out loud and nearly cry from trying not to laugh out loud. Thank you.

  • Clearly you had fiberfill (which I like). I took our comforter to the cleaners and said, This is SILK WADDING INSIDE, DO NOT WASH. They washed. It was not magical. It was such a lumpy disaster it was thrown out.