Taking Comfort in a Comforter

Friday, July 20, 2012 | 3 Comment(s)

Back in college i had the coolest friggin bedspread of all time.  It was this retro style 70's comforter that featured the entire range of safari and zoo animals.  It was multi-colored, but faded in that way that gave it the look and feel of a shag rug.  Actually, i don't think it was a retro comforter, i think it was more a comforter made in the 70's.  If a Brooklyn hipster were to see this comforter in a thrift store, I believe they would have the same insane impulse that kids on the street felt for Air Jordan's back in the 80's.  aka.  they'd cut you for it (hipsters would probably only cut you in line, of course, since they are by-and-large humungous pussies).

This comforter has been in our family for years.  I think it was probably one of my parent's comforters as a kid.  I'm almost positive that my brother had it on his childhood bed at some point.  It was that awesome.  I mean, who doesn't want to sleep in a multi-colored menagerie of animal love?  the answer to that question, of course, is "most female humans."

Thankfully, i went to Wesleyan University, back when it was full of hippies instead of hipsters.  (the fact that i just wrote a sentence that includes me in college and the words "back when", does make me want to stab myself in the leg, chest, and neck; but i digress.)  I mention this about the hippies (ahem, us hippies), because in a most preppy or rigid college environments -- lets say UVA or BYU -- i firmly believe having this bedspread would have saved me the walk to health services to get condoms.  This comforter was bright, loud, and animal-filled enough that any girl who wakes up thinking about what her "outfit" is going to be that day would never take said outfit off in the general proximity of my bed.   

But hippie girls are special.  And i mean that.  The wonderful women i encountered in college saw the comfort, company, and craziness of those magical two-dimensional animals and hopped right in to join in the Seuss-like adventure (aka. making out and dry humping.)  Thank goodness.  I really didn't want to graduate college a virgin. 

Here's the thing.  The day I did graduate college, I drove myself (and said comforter) directly to my awaiting apartment in Downtown Brooklyn (not Park Slope, not Williamsburg, more Fulton Mall -- we lived above a T-mobile kiosk/store).  And, as i adjusted to my new digs (um. NYC, June, 2001 -- yes, more readjusting was soon to follow), I threw my furry friends back on my bed, and readied myself for the flow of sophisticated and modern New York women that I was sure were heading to our apartment as I was still trying to find the perfect for the Pikachu pillow my best friend had given me (even i knew it had to go under the bed).  

There were a few problems with my plan.  One, I mostly met Harvard girls my first few months in the city (2 of my roommates had gone there).  Once you've spent 5 or 6 years with the pot-smoking, adventure hiking, crude joke making, perfect women of Wesleyan, adjusting to the Harvard social scene is a bit of a stretch.  They weren't bitches, mind you (well, not all of them), they were largely unbelievably well mannered.  My humor, however, just didn't play.   I would tell a poop joke, and they would still be waiting for the punch-line through the deafening silence.  Awkward.

The second problem is that after about 6 months in the city (got a bartendering job, WTC buildings fell, lost said job, took a road trip, got a new job at a substance abuse center doing psyc research), I finally was there to see a woman's reaction to my amazing comforter.  

The look was a combination of laughter and terror.  If i were to guess, I would say her mind said something along these lines:  "Holy shit is that his comforter . . . ahhh, look at all those animals . . . is this guy 14? . . . . wait . . . is this guy some kinda weird pedophile crazy person who is going to want me to play mommy/baby sex games or something . . . . is he gonna eat me? . . . he's a funny guy and all . . . but . . . i am NOT getting naked near that thing."

Funny thing.  When i turned from her expression of semi-horror, back to my bedspread, i saw it too.  Twenty-three is too old for a cartoon bedcovering (if you are planning to be sexually active . . . . ever). 

My first purchase with my first paycheck from my first "real job" (as i considered it back then) was made at a NYC Bed, Bath, & Beyond Megastore.  I got the most grown-upy thing i could actually see myself sleeping under (IT HAD TASSLES!!!).  Secretly, while i understood that this change needed to be made, I still thought (think) that the animal comforter was the crème de la crème of my sleepy-time snuggles.   At the time, I probably thought this concession is what it meant to be an adult. 

I'm happy to say that I slept under that comforter for the next decade or so.  The tassels eventually ripped off and were replaced by the open-socket joints of fabric calling out to there lost fringe.  The soft white underside became a more splotchy beige-colored minefield of grime that even dry-cleaning couldn't restore to neutral.  My wife made me get rid of it a few years ago after declaring it unfit for humans.  I did as she said.  And that, is closer to what it means to be an adult. 


  1. "they'd cut you for it (hipsters would probably only cut you in line, of course, since they are by-and-large humungous pussies)."

    Funniest thing you've written in months.

  2. I hope this is because i've been dealing with more serious subjects and not because i've lost my funny.

  3. It was a Pikachu LAMP. Geeze, I'm seriously under-appreciated.