On Sunday, August 10, 1969, Mother and I had the biggest argument ever.
I made my bed every morning, but my method was never up to my mother’s exacting standards. One morning, my lack of perfection was more than she could bear. Coldly, she told me that it wasn’t good enough and that I had to do it over. Outwardly stolid, with emotions swinging from resignation to indignation, I attempted to comply, and remade the bed.
Not good enough, Sally Draper, she repeated coldly. The bedspread is terribly uneven and the pillow is a mess. Why do I bother to show you anything? Here, she said, sighing with disgust. I’ll do it, as she jerked the pillow off the bed. She rearranged the bedspread and made sure that it was even on both sides, different from my effort by perhaps half an inch. Then she went to work on the pillow. First she folded the bedspread expertly, exactly ten inches away from the headboard, and creased it with her hands. Then she placed the pillow atop the crease and folded the bedspread back over it. Childs’ play so far. Then she did something that I found absolutely incredible. She inserted one hand under the pillow and put her other hand on top of it. She ran her hands down either side of the newly created pocket holding the pillow, creating a perfect crease all the way to the edge of the bedspread. Then she walked around the bed and repeated this procedure on the other side. She told me THIS is the proper way to make a bed.
I was simply agog that she would go to so much trouble and insist that I do the same. I told her once the pillow was on the bed, the procedure was complete. She looked at me as though I’d slapped her. This was mutiny of the highest order. Sally Draper, you will make your bed the way I tell you to make your bed. Now do it correctly, and do it now! She jerked the perfectly made pillow off the bed, intending for me to remake it.
Mother, you’ll have to do it yourself, I told her. That’s crazy.
I walked out of the house.