Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cheap Bedding Befuddlement, The He-Man Writer’s Club, My Geeky Triumph

I got unaccountably sad and frustrated a few weeks ago about our bedding. I decided it was holding us down and creating bad Feng Shui and a host of other ills, and I dragged Mr. Typist off to the mall to buy a new “bedroom set”. After a long slog through Big Department Stores Number 1, 2, and 3, we ended the day exhausted, confused, and empty-handed. All we were looking for was a simple, cotton duvet cover and some nice sheets in an attractive color. Stand-alone duvet covers (not the full comforter, just a cover) were nowhere to be found, except for one place, a specialty home store which stocked exactly three, all of which were the same ugly gray pattern in the wrong size.  Everything was either cheap, garish, or a terrible texture—and all of it was shockingly expensive. Having not bought bedding in years, I was appalled. Is this what’s been going on the whole time? Is this what we’ve been reduced to choosing from for the place we lay our heads to rest? Beaten down, we finally settled on a sale set that was a decent purple and white with little fleur-di-lis accents. However, when we got it home and out of its plastic carry case, we discovered that it was made of super-cheap polyester that slipped and slid all over our mattress, and was of such lightweight and crappy quality that not one night went by without the pillowcases completely working their way off of the pillows, and the top sheet ending up on the floor. The “comforter” was a puffy piece of nothing, which rather that lying on us, just sort of floated above us in mid-air, gliding over the papery top sheet in a languid haze.

Mr. Typist gave it a heroic effort, but finally collapsed in defeat a few days ago. I found him sitting on the edge of the unmade bed, head in hands, mumbling that he “just couldn’t handle it anymore.” So we went back to the old bedding, which, while faded and a bit shabby, at least has a rich, cottony heft and doesn’t slither away in the middle of the night like a drunk one-night stand.  Since I go years and years in between buying basic things, when I do need to buy them, the drop in quality and choice is really noticeable. I have no idea what’s going on, but when a lady wants to buy a high-quality cotton bedroom set in America, I would think she’d be able to find one. I can’t face another trip to the mall to find something suitable, so I’m going to have to take my chances online. An initial click through has not left me filled with hope.

What does have me filled with hope is my writing group, which I’ve really been enjoying. I’ve found it very supportive and energizing, and I’ve gotten some inspiring ideas from it. However, according to this person we’ll just call Mr. X, I’ve really lucked out. You see, Mr. X started his own writing Meet-Up group, and he does not abide fools. He’s had it with all of these whiny writers and their wimpy need to connect with each other, and he’s not afraid to say so. His promo for his super-special, exclusive Meet-Up says:

“I started another Meetup recently and asked for killer writers. I got none. Instead, I got dozens of people "wanting feedback," "needing motivation," or "wanting to connect with other writers." Not what I wanted. At all. However, I am a Writing Pro/Coach and can provide those things people are craving. For a fee. Look, I've been in writing groups. They suck. They're weak. Even university classes are weak. They're like group therapy for angsty, anxious, gutless wannabes. They're mostly worthless. This is not that. This is the shit. You can go spend your money on those classes and your time in those groups and you can languish along, whining with a dozen other folks about "how hard it is to be published," etc., etc. Jesus. Kill me now.”

I’m not sure what sort of terror Mr. X has experienced at the hands of writers trying to get feedback and motivation in, of all places, a writing group, but it must have been pretty horrifying. I wish him the very best in finding a posse of “killer” writers willing to pay him for his God-like guidance on their fledgling work. As for me, I’m pretty happy with my little group of lady-writers who chat and write together and encourage each other.

And now I must share my Geeky Triumph of the Week—after about thirty tries, I finally defeated Beaumont in The Secret World! Yeah, yeah, I know you don’t care, but trust me, this was a really hard fight. I had to kill off a bazillion adds, and some truly evil wolves, all the while staying out of the constantly-spammed Area of Affect spells…it was a huge challenge, and by the time I was finally close to burning him down, my hands were shaking so badly I could barely touch the number keys. But I finally did it! Beaumont is dead, and I can move on to questing in the Valley of the Sun Gods. All day yesterday I felt like a bit of a superhero. The feeling faded fast, but it was nice while it lasted. It’s too bad it can’t be made into a supplement, maybe something called “Vitamin Beat the Boss”, or “A Boost of False Confidence Quelled from a Silly Video Game”.

--Kristen McHenry


Dale said...

I buy stuff every ten years or so too, and every time it's worse. It gets crappier and crappier and although there's ten brands, if you look closely you can see that the same Indonesian factory actually made all of them. You either take that one or learn to make the stuff yourself. I thought living in a consumer society should at least mean that in your capacity as a consumer you got catered to, but I guess not.

Kristen McHenry said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Dale! I feel bad complaining, but I'm not a huge consumer. It's just that when I want good quality stuff, I want good quality stuff. I don't like to replace things, so I want to purchase goods that will last, but everything seems cheap and specifically designed to unravel in six months now. This is definitely a new phenomenon. I still have a copper-bottomed pot in my possession that I've had since college, when other cooking items I've bought a year or two ago are already dead in the water. It's a bit alarming.