In all facets of my life, be it sheets or shirts, I'm a tucker. It started in my youth and has lasted well into adulthood. Sometimes people make fun of me for it and other times people compliment me for it. Either way, tucking is a way of life, or at least a way of my life.
When I was younger, my mother had a rule that beds had to be made each and every morning. Lazy and uninterested in the housekeeping task at hand, I set out to avoid it at all costs. An easy solution was to simply toss the comforter over the crumpled mess below. Voila! Unfortunately, it wasn't long before my mom caught onto my antics. I knew I was busted when she asked if the lump in the middle of my bed was a small child or untucked sheets. Um, small child?
The key to quickly making a bed in the morning is having little bed to make. I first tried sleeping on top of the sheets but that wasn’t very comfortable or warm when the winter nights rolled into town. My dad's one of those guys who rules the thermostat with an iron fist. He thinks setting it anywhere above 58deg is just silly. "Put on a sweatshirt," was his answer to the fact that I could see my breath while watching 90210 in the den. Anyway, the only solution was to mess up as little of the bed as possible. I eventually devised a tucking method with the foot and one side tightly tucked with the other side being a short flap, ideal for minimum disruption during entry and exit. I'm thirty-three and I still make my bed this way.
“Look at what I’m going to do,” Allison sang as she tentatively grasped the top of the sheet and blanket on the tucked in side of my bed. After arriving earlier that day to visit, we were gearing up for the official slumber party.
“Do you have to? I mean, can’t you just get in on the open side?" I said while Vanna White-ing the designated entrance. "And, listen, if you have to pee in the middle of the night, you can…..,” I went silent as I watched her yank the sheets loose, emitting only a slight gasp as the tussle of blanket and linen fell into a messy pile. It all happened in slow motion.
“That hurt, didn’t it?” she asked with a laugh.
“You have no idea,” I replied.
The other tucking I’m notorious for is clothing. Again, my mother's to blame. She's the one who taught me that where there are belt loops, the top should be tucked and the waist should be secured with a belt. Anything else is just plain old sloppy. Color me conservative but I totally agree with my mother on this. Just don't tell her I said that.
“Oh my God,” Chicken exclaimed while pointing at my waist as I sauntered down the hallway of our dorm en route to lunch.
“What?” I asked looking at my Emory sweatshirt to see if it had a stain or some other unsightly defect.
“Maria! Sam! Oh heck, everyone get out here! Paige has her sweatshirt tucked in. Wait! Holy crap! She's gotta belt on too!"
“It just feels better,” I defensively explained. In all honesty, it was painful as hell shoving that excess sweatshirt material into my jeans. Especially seeing I'd gone and cinched the waist even tighter with a belt. But tucking-in was all I knew so I lifted my chin and went about my day confused and distraught that I'd committed a fashion faux pas.
That Steve Urkel moment of humiliation scarred me for life. I spent the next few hours regrouping, finding a solution to this newfound tucking flaw. Was I to forever part with my tucking habit? Did tucking only work with dry clean only apparel? I hemmed and hawed before settling on the most obvious solution. I tossed all sweatshirts and haven’t owned one since. Once a tucker, always a tucker.