Sleigh Me

by Marinka on April 19, 2015

You know what? I love my bed. I’ve had it for years. It’s a sleigh bed, which is admittedly an odd concept. Why do we want to pretend that we are on a sleigh when resting? And why don’t we call it a sled bed, which is a lot catchier and would also appeal to children more. Not that we want them anywhere near our bed, of course. This isn’t that kind of post. But still, sleigh or sled—why are racing down a hill in a slumber? I don’t know how anyone can keep their eyes closed with all those trees looming in the vista.

And yet, I love my bed. Probably because I don’t focus on its sleighness. So the other day, I came home and wanted to crawl straight into bed. Now, the world is divided into two types of people—those who have to take off their clothes before climbing/crawling into bed and those who can do it in their street clothes. The latter group, the street clothers, are the ones that Mama hasn’t gotten to yet.

“If you lay down in bed in street clothes,” she has explained to me patiently, “it is as though everyone you see on the subway is in bed with you too.”
In case you think that mama was describing a festive scene of free love, let me reassure you: No. Mama was describing a scene of Dickensonian filth and despair, transported to the NYC subway and, by extension, my bed.

So on one hand, I had Mama and her admonition. On the other, I had my natural born laziness. It was anyone’s game.

I got into bed fully clothed and gasped.
But not because my bed was racing down a snowy hill. And not because my fellow commuters were snuggled up beside me.
I gasped because there was something unexpected in bed with me. Something hot and metal and hard and crumply.

“What the fuck is this?” I thought, and then I knew.

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I raised myself from the bed and walked into the kitchen where Mama was whistling a happy tune and cooking, except with no whistling.

“There was something in my bed, and it’s still there” I BabyBeared.

“Yes,” Mama said and although it was good to have confirmation that I wasn’t having a visual and sensory hallucinating episode, it raised some other questions.

“Is it what I think it is?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. I noticed, by the way, that whenever anyone asks if something is what they think it is, it always is. So really, I don’t know why people are so coy and even bother asking instead of just making a declaration. I guess it’s one of those things that passes as a “social nicety” like greeting people and not stabbing someone.

“Yes, mashed potatoes,” Mama confirmed.

If you are not from the former Soviet Union, this will sound insane to you. And if you are from the former Soviet Union, this will sound insane to you (Exhibit A: me.)

When Russians make mashed potatoes, they are terrified that they will get cold. (The mashed potatoes will get cold, not the Russians. The Russians are the ones who are terrified. Jesus. I’m reading Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen” and it’s making me absolutely insane about grammar. It’s a miracle that I’m still able to speak. A miracle that no one has been praying for, by the way, but still.)

Anyway, I have no idea why of all things the Russians have to worry about they are fixated on the temperature of the mashed potatoes, but the Superpower with intergalactic bragging rights came up with a solution to this national crisis by wrapping the pot of mashed potatoes in newspapers and putting it under a pillow in the bed and covering the whole damn thing with a blanket.

Now I know what you’re thinking—“what a grand idea! Why didn’t I think of that? A few mashed potato warming sessions and my insanity defense will be all set for that murderous rampage I’ve been planning!”

But what I was thinking was eerily similar to what I’d been thinking for the past four decades whenever I found a newspapered pot of mashed potatoes under my bedding: WHAT THE FUCK?!

Followed closely by: why are mashed potatoes the only dish treated this way? What about soup? (Soup can be reheated; mashed potatoes not so much.) Why newspaper? (What else are you going to do with the newspaper that you already read and/or the Business Section?) Why under the blanket? (To keep It warm) Why under the pillow? (To keep it comfortable) Why don’t Americans do this? (Who knows why Americans do anything.)

So here you go.

With this quick and easy fix, you no longer have to live in fear of cold mashed potatoes.

And it has the extra benefit of keeping fellow commuters out of your bed.

Really, for what more could you ask?

One year ago ...

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Vansant April 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

So it was like a Subway mashed potato party, home edition, which is cool, because mashed potato parties ON the subway have become so every day blah…


Susan Weinstein April 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Hot yams.


April 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

You’ll never know how much I’ve missed your blogging. Blog. Writing.


anna whiston-donaldson April 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm

This is hilarious, and very, very strange.


dusty earth mother April 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

It was a happy moment when I saw your name in my inbox. And an even happier moment when I found out that your mother put mashed potatoes in your bed. I love you both.


Steph April 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

This was coyly hilarious. Thank you!


the mama bird diaries
April 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

I am so glad it wasn’t a mouse.


Nancy Davis Kho
April 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

To paraphrase Daniel Day Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette, “In my experience, it’s always worf waiting for Marinka.”


Liz @ ewmcguire April 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

So confused and happy reading this. I’ve missed you! xoxo


April 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

I never have newspapers at home. Guess my mash potatoes would be wrapped into pages from Vogue.


Kizz April 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Best. Bedwarmer. Ever! Next time you’ll be prepared with a spoon.


magpie April 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Oh, you are delightful. I think I’ll send this to my husband, and maybe he’ll deliver mashed potatoes to my bed.

PS I need that grammar book, right?


April 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Mashed potatoes? That’s sick. We Italians put much nicer things into other people’s beds, like, you know, horse heads.


Julie Sucha Anderson April 21, 2015 at 12:27 am

I was thinking the same thing — why not soup? Pancakes? Cornbread?

Enjoyed the read.


Anna Lefler April 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

I have to say: finding warm mashed potatoes in bed? Nothing but upside.



Sarka April 24, 2015 at 6:55 am

I’m from the state which was also located behind the Iron Curtain (Czech Republic) and we put pots with food into beds as well!

But we do it only with rice (when it’s almost done, we put it between the blankets to finish – not to save the energy but to be able to make it in advance and be ready and hot on time), not with mashed potatoes, that’s probably some Russina speciality.


Sarka April 24, 2015 at 6:58 am

Oh, and without newspapers. Just wrapped in dish towel. Newspappers would make the blankets dirty from the print colour.


April 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

I’m with Sarka on the newspapers. If your Mom thinks the NY subways are disgusting, which they are, the NY newspapers are worse. And there is NOTHING, and I mean nothing, worse than cold mashed potatoes so Russia for the win.


Roshni May 5, 2015 at 1:39 am

I’m also wondering how Baby Bear would have felt on discovering a bowl of just right temperature porridge in his bed!


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