Friday, February 10, 2006

Duvet dilemma

I am not a particularly superstitious person. I have no qualms walking under ladders. I have never felt the need to throw salt over my shoulder and I do not wince at the thought of putting shoes on the table. And yet I found myself in a particularly awkward situation this week.

My mum has recently had the rather unenviable task of emptying my late grandpa's flat of all his stuff before the flat is sold. She spent three days boxing up anything that was worth keeping, throwing away anything that wasn't, and hauling everything in between to the charity shop. Or, as she calls it, the 'good as new'. 90 years on this earth and it all comes down to boxes and bin-liners.

This week my folks were down in London for a flying visit. While they were round at my brother's house, my Dad called to say that he was going to 'pop over to drop something off.' I immediately assumed it was a Folio Society book that he had ordered for me which I will not read but which will look impressive on my book shelf. But I was wrong.

Twenty minutes later I opened my front door to find my Dad standing on the doorstep holding what looked like a pile of washing. Rather puzzled, and without asking him what he was doing, I stood aside to let him in. And so he dragged the bundle up the stairs and plonked it in the centre of my lounge.

Me: What's that?
Dad: A double duvet. Mum and I have twin beds so we don't need it. We thought you might like it.
Me: (Trying not to concentrate too much on my parents' sleeping arrangements) Well, why did you buy a double duvet if you don't have a double bed?
Dad: We didn't buy it. It's from the flat.
Me: Which flat? (Pause) (Realisation) You mean, Grandpa's flat?
Dad: Yes.
Me: You've brought me Grandpa's duvet??
Dad: Well, it's a perfectly good duvet. And we don't need it because we have twin beds.
Me: Yes, I get the bit about twin beds. I'm just not sure what you expect me to do with the duvet of my dead grandfather!!
Dad: Well, you can use it.
Me: You want me to sleep in my dead grandpa's duvet?
Dad: It's been washed.
Me: I don't care if it's been fumigated by pest control. Grandpa died in bed for God's sake!
Dad: No, he died on the bed. Not in the bed. He wasn't actually in the duvet. He was just lying on it. And the cover's been washed.

So, here's the dilemma. Do I throw out a perfectly good double duvet (which I need, since mine is falling apart and is not quite warm enough for winter) just because it once belonged to my Grandpa, who has since died? Or do I resist the urge to fall prey to superstition and use the duvet, bearing in mind that a new one costs about fifty quid and if there was one thing Grandpa hated it was needless waste?

4 Comments:

Anonymous d said...

every time you drink a glass of water in london it's been drunk by 7 people before you

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Laura said...

use it, it may become kind of comforting. You will feel guilty if you chuck it

3:33 pm  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Oh, that is a really hard one. I could see a case for both sides, which must be enormously helpful to you. What does Sheinkeit say?

9:04 pm  
Blogger R.x said...

d - i might never drink water in london again. and did you know that you are never further than 1 metre away from a rat in london too? why on earth do we stay here??

laura - thanks for the advice - i am tempted to go for a half way measure - so i think i'll keep it (you're right, i'll feel guilty if i chuck it out) but i might put off sleeping in it for now - or until the weather gets really cold

mc - very balanced response. no word yet from sheinkeit. watch this space...

9:36 am  

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