77. Dust Ruffles (Pretty AND Practical)

23 Feb

For Southerners, having a bed without a dust ruffle is like showing up in public without your britches: Everybody can see your stuff! The horror!

Whenever I see ruffle-less beds in magazines and even – gasp! – real life, I always wonder, “Where do they stash all their stuff?”

The answer, here in Seattle anyway, is: In the basement. Oh, how I wish my fellow Southerners could know the joy of having a giant room in which to store all the stuff that Goodwill probably wouldn’t take, but that you, nevertheless, find yourself unable to part with.

Why do most home builders in the South opt for attics? You can’t go in them between the months of May and September due to the possibility of heat stroke. Maybe it’s because Southerners mostly use the space for Christmas decorations. Except for my sister who also has an extensive collection of Halloween decorations.

Now that I have a basement, I’m down to only one of those plastic under-the-bed boxes, but I’m not about to do away with my dust ruffle. (Despite all the complaints I get when I’m out of town and Geoff seizes the opportunity to put boy sheets on the bed.)

My waiting-to-be-revised, but relegated-to-the-back-burner (or “eye” for my Southern peeps) novel has a scene in which my narrator lifts the dust ruffle of her childhood bed searching for shoes she might’ve left behind and finds…nothing. She says, “What kind of person has nothing under the bed? My mother.”

While parts of my novel are somewhat autobiographical, that line is pure fiction.

My mother made the most of any and all storage space available. If you put something on the table and left the room, by the time you got back, she would’ve already stashed it somewhere. If you asked where it was, she always said, “It’s wherever you left it.” Um, no…

There’s no telling what all you might’ve found under the beds in my mom’s house: board games, bags of pantyhose, vacuum cleaner attachments, items waiting to be re-gifted, etc. You might even find some actual dust. My mom kept a clean house, but who bothers with cleaning under the bed? Not people with dust ruffles!

The best thing about having a bunch of random crap under the bed is that it leaves little room for monsters. On the flip side, though, if a real-life monster breaks into your house, you may have nowhere to hide.

Photo: Battenburg Dust Ruffle from Bella Home Fashions.

Do you have a dust ruffle on your bed? If so, what’s it hiding? Don’t worry, I’ll never tell…

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10 Responses to “77. Dust Ruffles (Pretty AND Practical)”

  1. 2blu2btru February 23, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    When I left my aunt’s house here in Florida, she gave me a quilt set with…yes…a dust ruffle! I love them! It makes the bed look that much nicer, hides some junk, and adds an extra bit of color. My BF doesn’t see the point. It’s a travesty. Good thing he has his own bed to leave bare of a dust ruffle!

    • girloutofdixie February 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

      For some reason, male folks view dust ruffles as purely decoration. I’m not sure what part of “hide the junk” they don’t understand.

  2. jenniesisler February 23, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I can totally relate to this! To this day I have a bed with a dust ruffle, and I live in MA now. Especially in such a small apartment, under the bed storage is a godsend.

    • girloutofdixie February 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

      Oh, yes, in my old apartment, I had all sorts of stuff stashed under the bed.

  3. ssanderson February 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Gotta love the dust ruffle! I haven’t really thought about it being a ‘Southern thing,’ but perhaps there are more dust ruffles on Dixie beds than other areas of the U.S.
    I think my mom even tried to vacumn under our beds, even though we had the dust ruffle! (We were fortunate to have a ‘full basement’ to store all the crap)

    Didn’t know you were writing a book….can’t wait to read it!

    • girloutofdixie February 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

      I’d be afraid the vacuum would suck up the dust ruffle and expose my stuff! But maybe I’m extra cautious since that one time when my vacuum ate an $80 laptop power cord.

  4. Karen cronacher February 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    There’s a mousetrap that could take your finger off under my bed, so yes, I love my green dust ruffle.

    • girloutofdixie February 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      LOL, Karen! That’s a mighty good reason to have a dust ruffle!

  5. reneemason February 25, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    That last paragraph really sums it up. Storage or a “safe room”?

    • girloutofdixie February 27, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Well, the homicidal maniacs tend to know that people hide under beds, so I reckon you might as well keep your crap under there…

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