On the Ropes - Tom Roper

On the Ropes - Tom Roper

Mystery of the need for a well-made bed solved

Tom digs into his preference for tight sheets

OK, so I like to make the bed most mornings.

I was trained as a bedroom steward many years ago when I worked on the S.S. Prince George. It was a small CN cruise ship that did a weekly run to Skagway Alaska.

I started as a porter and worked my way through room service and then waiter bedroom steward. I will admit we were a bit hard on some of the old folks on Deck 2, the games and coffee deck.

Sometimes we would play the game of “whale to the port side” and everyone would shuffle over to the port side for a look. Then one of us stewards would call out “oh, she dove under, she’s on the starboard side.” Then the old-timers would shuffle back to the starboard side. It was a good way to get daily exercise.

But I’m digressing. I want to explain the making of the bed and how I came to like making the bed.

So, on the ship we would have 16 passengers to care for. We would serve them all their meals and of course we would make their beds and clean their rooms. The training included ample sheet length and we would make a very tight, smart and neat bed.

Sometimes the passengers would carefully slide into bed without disturbing the sheets too much. This was the best customer because in the morning it was a tighten, a pull and a smooth and the bed was made. So of course that made the job simpler and quicker.

OK, so now I get married and I have become accustomed to a well-made bed and I like to have the sheets tight and tucked in. My wife, on the other hand, likes to pull out the sheets and cocoon herself. It’s one of those situations that you have to say divide the bed fairly, say 60 per cent for the wife and 40 per cent for the husband and try to keep my sheets tight.

It’s not easy and so I tried to figure out why I liked it tight. Even when I would renew my Level 3 First Aid ticket I would volunteer for the final wrap on the spine board. Most people would feel claustrophobic tied up on the board and I seemed to like it.

I better call Mom and see what the issue is.

I explained the situation and asked Mom if there was any reason for my preference. Was there something that you did Mom? Well, you were a wormer and so I had a sheet and I would tie you down in your crib.

What Mom, you didn’t, wouldn’t that be child abuse in this day and age? Oh well, she said, it was the only way I could get you to stay in the crib and get a good sleep.

And so now it seems the only way I can get a good sleep is to have a well-made bed.

Go figure.

Thanks Mom.