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Friday, February 4, 2011

Warm Baths and Downy Beds

You can probably surmise from the title that I am thinking about the cold weather, which has traveled to my area. It seems unlikely that anyone would disagree that "warm baths and downy beds" are the best antidote to cold weather, especially the downy beds.

Yet someone has. Yes. The Wall Street Journal ran a column in which their style editor urged us to get rid of the down comforters and re-learn hospital corners and tightly made up beds. Why is the writer against down? Because it looks "messy" and because it's "hot." Commenters rightly pointed out that if you are hot under your comforter, turn down the heat and save the planet (a little). As for "messy"--who's coming in your bedroom to inspect it anyway?

My mother was born in Vienna and so I brought down comforters into my marriage. The acrylic blankets and foam pillows of Mr. FS's childhood were no match for the cozy comforters and feather pillows of mine.

In the 60s or 70s, down comforters were brought to US consciousness by--I think--Terence Conran, who brought style to the masses. I remember seeing ads titled "the 30 second bed" showing that you could shake your comforter and lay it on the bed. Who cares if it's lumpy?

I notice that the controversial article on down was published in early January. I hope people weren't too quick to donate their down comforters before the cold winds blew in.

While I haven't weighed in on the ridiculous "Tiger Mother" "controversy" (engineered by the media, no?), I feel that the down comforter controversy is too important. So I have spoken out.

By the way, the title of the post comes from a translation of Homer's Odyssey. Alcinous, ruler of Scheria, kind of an earthly paradise where Odysseus washes up, says this:

we set great store by feasting, harpers, and the grace of dancing choirs, changes of dress, warm baths and downy beds

Are you a down lover? How are you keeping warm?


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

My down duvet is a must....we live in a 1912 bungalow with single paned windows...and the wind blows right through them...

I have a Hutterite white goose down duvet which is
an investment will stay on my bed and will not be moved!

It's what keeps me warm at night!

Funny about Money said...

Honestly. Sometimes I wonder what these style writers smoke.

Just now I have not one but two down comforters on the bed. It got down to 27 last night, which here in the Valley of the We-Do-Mean Sun is what we think the dark side of the moon is like.

Messy? This lady can't make the bed? When my bed is made up, it not only isn't messy, it looks downright (heh!) inviting.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I make our bed every morning, with hospital corners AND a straightened down comforter!

Artful Lawyer said...

Oh Lord, do not get me started on what the WSJ does when it tries to write about home issues....I'm still actively irritated by the article demonstrating that it is more expensive to cook at home than to eat out (by counting things like the entire cost of a bottle of olive oil or tin of salt in the dish - akin to pricing cars by including in each individual car the cost of a pallet of connectors intended to go into 50 cars...). AGH. And then the article on laundry that asserted that many Americans are so dumb that we 1) mix up toxic chemical concoctions to get things cleaner, 2) use the whole dang bottle - ya hoo! or 3) are so careless that we put lipstick and pens into the wash.

Idiocy frosts me.

I'm a "hot, messy" feather duvet person who is unapologetic. Nyeah nyeah nyeah!

Duchesse said...

Down is a way of life in Ontario, Canada. A fluffed, neatly-set duvet is not "messy"". Hot? Down comforters come in various fill levels.

That article is, as we say here, moose poop.

Frugal Scholar said...

@hostess--We have drafts running through the house too. I think down is a frugal investment: comforters last pretty much forever.

@Funny--We have two on the bed also. Plus I had a sweater under my pillow, so I could put on something warm in the morning. I must confess to a lumpy bed. I don't care.

@Terri--See above. I lack all domestic skills--save cooking.

@Artful Lawyer--Oh, I'd love to see that article. A friend ("friend"?) once charged me $50 for a few pounds of marinated string beans. I think I paid for a large bottle of olive oil there.

@Duchesse-"Moose poop"?!! I think I will add that to my lexicon.

Duchesse said...

This is the Canadian equivalent of bull----. Go right ahead!

Suzy said...

I'm a HUGE fan of quilts esp the ones I make (or someone gives me)! I like the room cold and would probably hardly ever turn the heat on if my dad didn't come down to stay with me. he's taking chemo and is always cold so I have to turn the heat on a bit for him and it's miserable.

If I didn't have quilts I'd do comforters or down though in Houston it's pretty hot even in the winter for anything but cotton but I love the cold days/nights when I can use my poly bat quilts!