Thursday, September 06, 2012
In my ongoing examination of how my wife, Cupcake and I, (and ostensibly most married couples) differ, there is no better place to start than the bedroom. Even people generally oblivious to their surroundings can spot the difference between a man’s bedroom and one that has experienced “the female touch”. (Sounds so much better than “the iron fist” but they produce the same results.)
First of all, no self-respecting macho guy would think to buy such boudoir trappings as bed skirts and pillow shams. The entire bed skirt and sham industry would go down the tubes if they relied on their male customers.
Being a life-long student of the female psyche, (my vain search for the correct switch to turn them on has become a quest for the “mute” button) I do have some insights into this bed-dressing behavior. I suspect, for instance, the purpose of these frilly mattress adornments is to hide the dust-bunnies that live under the bed. I can’t for the life of me think of any other purpose. The skirt does make hiding one’s self beneath the bed more effective, but the colony of dust bunnies makes one sneeze, which negatively impacts on that effectiveness. Plus it scares the dust bunnies.
The purpose of pillow shams, on the other hand, continues to elude me. It seems they are pillows in name only because if you use a shammed up pillow as a… well… a pillow, you will be inviting the ire of your missus. These extra-frilly pillow-cases are special and using them as an actual pillow might… well, I’m not really sure of the downside, other than Irritable Wife Syndrome, but it must be dire, indeed, for the reaction it gets.
Cupcake’s approach to our duvet cover is classic head scratching material for me. To her credit, she truly was appreciative of the duvet and cover I’d bought her for Christmas a few years back. The cover, in particular, was top of the line with a thread-count in the thousands or millions or some other big number. It is beautiful and luxurious looking and Cupcake treasures it so highly, she covers the duvet cover with another cover to protect it. Seriously! It’s like displaying the Mona Lisa with a paper bag over it to protect the pigmentation.
Another readily apparent difference in bedroom behavior by gender is how flat space is utilized. Let’s compare and contrast. On the top of my chest of drawers, a surface area approximately a half a meter by one meter, I have a picture of the boys, a basket with pens, batteries, a jackknife, etc. and, at bed time, the contents of my pockets.
Cupcake drawers are enormous. (Not her undies, her chest of drawers, I mean.) Her drawers outnumber mine, nine to four and she easily has three times the surface area to work with. It’s a good thing too. Besides four or five pictures of our kids, there are a bunch of photos of our friends and relatives kids as well as a number of pictures of kids I have no idea who they might be. Additionally, there is a TV, a satellite receiver, a DVD player, a hair dryer, 12 scented candles, three different skin lotions for three different body parts (New Olay for Elbows; now with eye of newt!) and a statue of Jesus. Dusting the surface is an all day event. Cupcake has become much more diligent about keeping her drawers dust-free, however, after I mentioned when she leaves it for a few weeks, it makes it easier to track the mice.
Cupcake also has a “hold-all” basket on her drawers with a list of contents far too numerous to list here. Rest assured there are enough liniments, lotions and potions that would rival Mary Kay’s. (Not that I’ve been in Mary Kay’s bedroom… I swear, honey!)
Another glaring contrast between male-oriented bedrooms (as enjoyed by single males) and every other bedroom in North America, is the choice of wall fashions. Since I’ve never had my own place, I can only imagine the wall art would consist of tasteful, highly stylized erotic imagery or, depending on the maturity of the male; “Call of Duty” and Katy Perry posters.
Cupcake would rather die than live with a video game poster on her bedroom wall. She favors more photos. There’s our wedding picture, our first anniversary picture, our “six month of dating” picture and our “oops, we dropped out hat” picture. Then there is the big picture of a bunch of pinkish flowers to contrast with the dusty rose hue of the walls. Neither color would likely be found in the bedroom of a single man with average sensibilities.
I can actually recall the conversation when we picked out the color scheme of the bedroom years ago.
“”I don’t care,” claimed Cupcake, “what color we go with, as long as it’s not blue. Or green. Or yellow.”
She then reeled off virtually every color in the spectrum, and some I’m sure she made up (ecru?) with the exception of dusty rose. My bedroom palette fate was sealed. Like I cared.
That lack of caring is exactly why, however, women end up in charge of adorning the bedrooms of the nation. A vacuum is created aesthetically because when men are in the bedroom, we’re not thinking window coverings, wall fashions or color schemes. We’re more interested in either sleep or sex and neither usually involves having the lights on, which makes all that decorating pretty much irrelevant. We spend the vast majority of our bedroom time with our eyes closed. Why would we care how it looks?
And that, gentle reader, is the main difference between the genders and the reason ecru exists.
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