Monday, September 04, 2006

"A Comforter Is NOT A Bedspread!"

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…this is an awfully silly way to start a blog. But there is some significance. Let me delve into my past for a moment, and try to explain…

For those of you who are over age 40, you might recall playing and recording tapes on a cassette player/recorder that ran on batteries. Countless times, I would sit by the radio waiting for my new favorite song to come on so that I could press “record” and “play” at the same time and have a recording of a song that I could play over and over (and over and over) again, without having to spend money on a “45” (remember those?). The tape player also served another purpose besides pirating songs from the AM stations: my friends and I would have countless hours of fun recording “interviews” with each other, recording silly skits, and of course, recording our voices while singing along to our records (I have many hours of tape with my best friend Maria and I singing along to our “Donny and Marie” albums--she was Donny, I was Marie, and we always had our hairbrush microphones ready to go)!

One observation we made along the way was that everything would come out in “fast motion” when we placed new batteries in the tape player after making recordings while the batteries were dying. Although this was very annoying when recording music, it was absolutely hilarious when you were taping voices! Depending on how used up the batteries were, you could end up sounding like a munchkin from the Wizard of Oz, or undecipherable like a rodent squeaking.

Well, here’s my confession…when I was about 14 (yes, I admit, I still did silly things like this at that ripe, old age), I needed a new bedspread, as the years of my dog Daisy laying on it and clawing at it had rendered it a “hole-y” mess. However, I noticed from catalogs and advertisements that these new things (well, they were new to me, anyway) called “comforters” looked pretty cool, and I decided that I wanted one of those. Since my mom didn’t drive, we took the bus one day to a department store called Korvette’s that was in a town about 15 miles away. We purchased a pretty comforter, got back on the bus, and went home. I burst through the door, ran into my room and pulled it out of the bag. As I excitedly placed my new cover onto my bed, I realized that something was amiss. Why didn’t it look like the advertisements? Something didn’t seem right…hey, wait a minute! The ones in the catalogs had something on the bottom that covered up all of the junk under the bed. And hold on…what about those fancy pillow covers? What are they called…shams? Why didn’t I get those? Wow, this comforter thing really didn’t work without all of the extras.

At this realization, I alerted my mom to the fact that we would have to return to the store to get the missing pieces. Totally aggravated, she decided that she was just going to return the comforter altogether and exchange it for a bedspread, the cheaper option since it required no accessories to make it look “complete”. However, since she didn’t drive, we would have to wait until all the conditions were right and the planets aligned for her to take the bus again to that faraway town.

At fourteen, patience was not one of my better qualities (actually, is it anyone’s at that age?). I started to get on her case about returning the comforter, and I could see that I was just annoying her a little bit more every time I brought it up. One day, while I was talking on the phone to my friend and tooling around with my tape recorder (whose batteries just happened to be dying), we came up with this great idea to ask my mom just one more time when she would return the comforter…so we could get her voice on tape and listen to her yell like Alvin the Chipmunk. I turned on the recorder as my friend sat on the other end of the phone egging me on. “Just ask her. Ask her now!!” And then, I asked her the question that would prompt such a response out of her that it made family history.

“…When are you gonna go return it?” That’s it. One simple question. What followed had my friend laughing so hard on the other end, she almost wet her pants. I tried so hard to keep my composure, but I just couldn’t help to let out little bursts of laughter as my mother totally went nuts! The words uttered out of her mouth would become famous in our family, and brought up time and time again, no matter what the situation: “ I think you’re under the wrong impression…a comforter is NOT a bedspread…!” To this day, I have relatives who will jokingly barb me with these words for something as simple as me trying to decide on whether to get the chocolate-peanut butter bar or the coffee cake at Starbuck’s!

All’s well that ends well, and when I immediately played back the tape to my mother, even she laughed. We all got a kick out of that tape then, and it still makes us laugh now, almost 30 years later. And sometimes in life, a "comforter" just isn't a "bedspread", and vice-versa. And it's all good, anyway. No matter what, the bed will still be covered.

My mom has unfortunately passed on, but I knew somehow, someway, I would get her tape played to a larger audience…so here it is, Mom. I’m sure you’re resting in peace up in heaven on a beautiful, soft comf…oops, I mean bedspread!

(In order to hear this audio clip, please click on the September 4th post below)


Carine said...

Very good Lisa! you go girl!

Lisa said...

Thanks, Carine!! You and Teri were my inspiration! I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope to post as often as I can.

Teri said...

Dear Lisa...I love it! That's what I'm talking about...that little bit of sideways perception that helps us get through life one comforter at a time.

Looks great chica. Keep it up and I will stop by as often as my time permits. I can tell that I will enjoy your musings!

Ciao for now...

Lisa said...

Thank you, Teri. Coming from you, that means a lot, as I respect your writing style and thoroughly enjoy your "sideways" views on life!

When I say that I want to post "as often as I can", what I mean is that I hope it's more than once a month!

Take good care, and thanks again!

Summer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Summer said...

Lisa, what a nice way to start your blog!! i love the voices on the tape and what a tribute to your mother...may she rests in peace.

Lisa said...


Thank you so much! My mom was a great lady, and I miss her terribly. Telling stories about her keeps her close to me, even though she's been gone for 21 years!

Kacey said...

Your mom would be thrilled to know that you have loved and cherished that recording all these years. I know --- I'm a mom to a bunch of mid forties kids! They don't share my passion for the written word, even though my firstborn is a reading specialist. The way words are put together paint amazing pictures for other, like-minded souls to hang in their mental museums. On 9/11, "Antique Mommy" wrote, "a confetti of life raining down into the streets"---I am still rolling that around behind my eyes. Beautiful! So is this post! I think I'll have to post a picture of my comforters, pillows and bedskirts that I have spent the last year making. Your mom was right---a comforter is not a bedspread! It is so much more. Thanks for visiting my space. It is my pleasure meeting you. Kacey