The Parable of the Comforter


Closest Google Image I could find to the real thing

Note: Another one from the vault, Jan 2008.

So, I got a gift certificate to Kohl’s for Christmas, and I knew immediately that I would put it towards a new comforter. The one I have now is a twin, and I have a double bed, so it’s not all that warm, and it’s lumpy and worn.

I went looking around at Kohl’s online, and quickly came across one I loved – a deep red with pink and green flowers. It was a little bold for me, I was used to more timid colors, softer pinks and greens mostly, and this bold red one just grabbed my eye immediately. The sale was incredible, about a third the list price, but I waited, a little afraid it was too bold, and the sale passed.

Finally I decided I had to go into the store to look at it in person. It turned out that a co-worker of mine and her husband were going off-island so I went with them. They dropped me off at Kohl’s and said they’d pick me up in two hours. Well, it took me almost that long to make my decision. I found my luxurious comforter quickly, as well as a green one, kind of a darkish pale green with exquisite flower detail.

And I just couldn’t decide. The green one was more what I was used to. It also was thinner. Still it felt more comfortable, safer, more what would naturally fit in my room.

The red one was cool, warm, thick, gorgeous-looking in its texture. It had its drawbacks, though. The green and pink flowers were more muted than they were in the picture online, the pink especially, which was so rich and lovely, was more like a gold. And the bedskirt was a golden color, and I’m not that into gold. The sheets that came with it felt really nice, but they were white, and I can’t stand white. God I sound so picky, it’s just this artistic color thing, I want my bedroom to look inviting to me, and white looks so sterile and so absent and so blinding in its nothingness.

I kept going back and forth. The red one still held my heart’s desire despite some of the in-person surprises. The red was so gorgeous, so artistically pleasing in its detail, and if the flowers were just pinker, it’d be so perfect. It had gorgeous detail around the edges. The green comforter was a little tame in comparison, but had less flaws. I could match it with more different sheets.

I went with the green one. I took it home. And I couldn’t like it. I tried, but I just couldn’t. It was kind of a darker pale green than anything else in my bedroom, and contrasted with those other things, it looked kinda pukey-colored. I waited until the morning, looked at in daylight, and tried again to like it, but couldn’t. A day or two later, I took it off my bed, put my old twin one back on, and felt immeasurably better. I decided that the green one was going back, that it was too much to spend on something I didn’t absolutely love, gift card or no. I wanted something quality I could keep for a few decades to come. I wanted the freakin’ red one.

Yesterday, I went off-island by myself, made my way around Mt. Vernon and Burlington by walking (a story for another blog). They had one red one left, and it was the wrong size. I returned the original green one, deciding to order the red one on the internet with the return money.

And tonight, wouldn’t ya know? The red one was on sale, the lowest I’ve seen it since the day after Christmas. Yesterday, it was more than a hundred dollars more. It was also clear from the available sizes left, that supplies were dwindling (and at the store they’d told me the pattern was getting discontinued). I pounced on it and ordered it at a great price. It should be here in a week or two.

The moral of the story though, is when you’re faced with a head vs. heart decision, even if it’s just about something as trivial as a comforter, listen to the heart, even if what your heart wants has more flaws. Logic has all its reasons, its rationality, and a lot of times, is very wise, but if you go only with that one, you could end up looking at something that looks pukey-colored for the next thirty years. wondering the what ifs of the other choice. Never settle. It’s not worth it. Go for what that heart really wants. Go after what you really love. Bold is beautiful.

I hope I still feel that way when it actually arrives!

Currently Listening:
“Use Me” – Fiona Apple – It’s a cover of Bill Withers, and I feel like there’s something wrong with the fact that I LOOOOOOOOOOVE this song, the lyrics are kinda demeaning, “I wanna spread the news/That if it feels this good gettin’ used/You keep on usin’ me/Until you use me up,” it’s like glorifying something horrible, but man the way Fiona Apple sings it makes the song sound so lustrous and sexy and glorious. I love it.

3 thoughts on “The Parable of the Comforter

  1. Yes, always go for what moves you… even if the colors clash with everyone else you own. Great story, and a wonderful reminder to live life with passion, zest, and a wee bit of extravagance. And I love Fiona Apple, too… Peace…

  2. Man. I’m totally late on this shit, but this story’s like speaking to me or something. (“DON’T GO TO LAW SCHOOL, TARA. STAY A STRUGGLING WRITER FOREVERRRRRR….” Or something. LOL.) I love it, though.

  3. Tara I had the weirdest fucking dream about you last night. I gotta make it quick b/c I’m going to work in about five minutes. Anyway I was at your house, except it looked nothing like your house, and it had two Christmas trees in this one room (???). One had all blue lights and the other had all the red/green/yellow/etc. They were both really huge, plump trees.

    So you and I were hanging out and there was all this weird stuff, someone gave me an empty basket, but then your mom came in the room and we were sitting in some huge bed and your mom sat in the middle of us, and I was all freaked out b/c earlier, hanging out, I had written all kinds of stuff on the comforter that went with that bed. It was some really nice pattern, and I had written curse words in neat cursive writing, so neat it almost loo0ked like it belonged there. Then I had also written some other things, like, “I think I’m an atheist,” or something like that, on the comforter, and I was afraid your mom would see it and we’d get in trouble. That was the end of it I guess, kinda blurry now, but I just found it weird, dreaming about you and comforters and your mom.


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