I have a theory that we’re all feeling discombobulated and unprepared, like people who woke up seven minutes ago to realize the alarm didn’t go off.
The reason we feel this sloppily organized is because of misleading advertisements.
Of course, advertisements aren’t the only reason we feel this way. Oh-ho-ho, no. But the advertisements are something I can address, because I seem to see a lot of advertisements.
I saw one just a minute ago, in fact. It was a bedroom scene: big windows, nice curtains and a bed. On the bed were sheets, blankets and a comforter. Each layer was spread neatly on the bed, then folded down and turned back and tucked under and flipped up.
The effect was like seeing rippling waves from the window of a plane. Anyone could see that opening this bed and unfolding the sheets, blankets and spread so a person could get under them and go to sleep was going to be a process, probably one that demands the word arduous.
Then there were the pillows. I counted six before annoyance got the better of me. “Six pillows!” I muttered. “No bed needs six pillows.”
Yes, I have six pillows on my bed. Seven, if you’re picky; nine if you insist on being as anal as a fourth-grade arithmetic workbook.
But there’s a difference between my pillows and these pillows: My pillows are regular. They’re pillow-sized and pillow-shaped. Six regular pillows are fine, because two people might prop them up and do a little reading before turning out the light.
I also have two other, smaller pillows about the size of zipper binders. These are as useful for sleepers as tire blocks are for mechanics – and for almost the same reasons: Wedged under a neck or in the small of the back, they keep a person as firmly in place as a bale of hay secured to a truck bed with a bungee cord.
Only one pillow on my bed may be said to be decorative. It isn’t decorative – it’s just a regular pillow – but it’s the odd one out, so fine. Call it decorative.
In the bedroom advertisement, the pillows are all decorative, and no two are alike. You have heart-shaped pillows, square pillows, round pillows and one that looks like a pistachio-flavored kielbasa. Anyone can see that these pillows serve one purpose: to accessorize the bed.
You certainly wouldn’t use them to sleep. Anyone planning to sleep in that bed would, first, toss every last pillow into a distant corner, and, second, begin to peel back the various subcutaneous layers of sheets and blankets. Surgical experience would be useful here, as would a summer post-doc at an archaeological dig.
Perhaps I’m making too much of an advertisement. I should glance at it and move on.
But here’s the problem: If I moved on, the place I moved to would be this one, about how to save money by making your own plastic wrap. Simply mix a cup of white wax, some pine rosin and jojoba oil and melt it in the oven. Dip a cloth into the melted mess, let it dry and just like that – in what for me would probably add up to about 18 hours – you have exactly one sheet of reusable plastic wrap.
It’s this kind of thing that makes my eyes look so swirly, in case you’ve been wondering. For one thing, this article seems to think everyone has wax chunks, pine rosin and jojoba oil sitting around next to the shampoo.
Furthermore, who makes plastic wrap? If you don’t want to wrestle with filmy, clingy stuff that folds in on itself and gets all bunched up even before you rip off a piece of your finger with the serrated edge of the box, buy containers with lids. You’ll be all set, and without ever having to Google “remove wax from bottom of oven.”
Shall we discuss the next thing my eye falls on? It’s a home-decor tip: Granite countertops are out.
Shall I list all the reasons a person with granite countertops may not want to have them removed and replaced on the say-so of some clickbait writer? Or shall I just accept feeling discombobulated and thrown together until nature and politics take their course?
I thought you’d say that.
Write to Margo Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org.