Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Stupid Blanket That I Hate

Scratchy red wool.  Some kind of plaid.  Royal-Stewart-Tartan-MacCallen-Something.   My dad sent it years ago for Christmas.  And because of that, the blanket is traumatic.  No matter how many times you wash it, it smells like anger and tastes like cigar smoke and sounds like opera.   The blanket sounds like opera.  Yes.  

It is The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  


The Stupid Blanket That I Hate vies for a spot on the bed with The Beautiful Duvet That I Love:  Smooth, sleek, lightweight, shades of lovely blue.  It smells of fresh air and sunshine.  It doesn't sound like opera.  It doesn't sound like anything at all.  But if it did, it would be the ocean or gentle rainfall or something soothing.  Not opera.

My husband loves The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  He doesn't know that I hate The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  But he likes it and it makes him happy.  He doesn't understand that it's wrong for the room and wrong for my head.  He doesn't know how The Stupid Blanket That I Hate holds me in its thrall.  And so he drags it out every fall like clockwork and throws it over the bed on top of the The Beautiful Duvet That I Love.  So that when I look at the bed I am transported back to my childhood full of choking cigar smoke, raging temper tantrums, diagramless crossword puzzles (can you imagine?) and opera.


I try different ways of dealing with The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  When I make the bed, I fold it in half lengthwise and line it up on his side of the bed, covering it with The Beautiful Duvet That I Love, arranging the pillows meticulously to make sure that there is not one single centimeter showing.  At night I get into bed gingerly, lest I pull back The Beautiful Duvet That I Love and see The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  When my husband comes to bed, I try very hard not to notice that The Stupid Blanket That I Hate is showing on his side.  And then I snuggle under the Beautiful Duvet That I Love with my back to my husband and  . . . well, you know.


The way that I have set up this scenario is an awesome piece of passive-aggression, if I do say so myself.  The Stupid Blanket That I Hate reminds me of growing up unhappy and scared with my angry family in a house filled with cigar smoke and opera leaking out of the windows.  And I get to blame my husband every time I look at it.   He doesn't love me enough to see that, because I hate The Stupid Blanket That I Hate, he should hate it too and offer to help me get rid of it because HE LOVES ME THAT MUCH.  But I guess he doesn't.  Le sigh.


Sometimes I think that I am being ridiculous and I should just get rid of The Stupid Blanket That I Hate.  Just ball up that bad boy in a Hefty Cinch Sak, toss it in the hatchback and off we go to Goodwill.  But I'm not a monster.  My husband likes that damn blanket and I can't help but see it as a metaphor for our marriage.  I'm not willing to throw it away, even as unhappy as it makes me.  I'll keep it around for his sake, but only if I can hide it and not have to see it or deal with it.   Just like all the little issues you develop over the course of twenty years of marriage. You can deal with it.  As long as you have a Beautiful Duvet That You Love to balance out The Stupid Blanket That You Hate.  That doesn't smell like anger and taste like cigar smoke and sound like opera.  No matter how many times you wash it.

15 comments:

  1. I have a blanket much like this I grew up with. One of my Dad's Army blankets we had on our beds as kids.
    For some fucked up reason I really, really want one of those blankets right now.

    It's going on my list for the next drive down to Mom's.
    ~Psychotic Break~

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  2. Damn...that was deep. Great writing.

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  3. Beautiful. Like the sound of cicadas. Sounds pointless, but its edge shears away to the recesses. Sharply.

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  4. metaphor for a marriage. seriously good stuff.

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  5. I love the way you wrote about this. The final few lines are just so true. We all have those things that would not really be bearable without those other things that are smooth and light and sound like rain and smell like sunshine. You could get rid of the blanket, but I just feel like maybe something else would take it's place, or maybe having the blanket to represent these feelings actually makes it easier to have them, because there is a focal point for them...

    Love this post.

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  6. And she's baaaaaack! So so good, darling!

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  7. Your passive-aggressiveness is a textbook model for us all... I'm very proud of you

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  8. Maybe you could try to get him attached to another blanket and get rid of this one?? We have a blanket in my house I used to hate...somehow I eventually got to like it. Now that my husband is sick (he originally got it when he had cancer and I thought it was a morbid item to keep) I not only LIKE it again (I already had begun to like it more over the years) now that he has cancer again I love it. I might never get rid of that blanket now.

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  9. I thank everyone for the kind words. As far as advice about the blanket goes, I appreciate that it comes from a good place. But I'm not writing for advice. It's creative writing about me, marriage, symbolism, memories, so many things. Not about the blanket and how to keep it or get rid of it or how to fix how I feel about it. Thank you, everyone. Namaste.

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  10. Whoa. Beautiful and eerie and full of hate and love all balled into one post. I really think you need to get rid of that blanket!

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  11. oops. sorry for the advice. just BLAH BLAH BLAHHING over here.

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