The dependable bed of coats disappeared from our home during the holidays the last few years. We switched from small intimate gatherings to large catered affairs, where coats would be whisked away by a smiling black tie server and replaced with a numbered ticket in our guest’s hand. It was all so grownup. But I confess that during these parties I would go upstairs to freshen my lipstick and as I glanced at our perfectly made bed with its plumped pillows and coverlet pulled taught, it looked decidedly bored. It seemed to be wanting for its own version of a holiday duvet. A Holivet as it were.
My cousin’s Scott and Lorette had their annual family Christmas party yesterday. As it was winding down, I went upstairs with my brother to the bed of coats to try and extract my Mom’s black coat from the sixty-seven other black coats. It took us three tries, but we had lots of laughs before we hit it. Never mind the fun of checking out the other coats without actually feeling the pressure and desire to purchase one.
I can recall from both memory and family photos, falling asleep on the bed of coats as a kid, the sounds of the party becoming the soundtrack of my dreams. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love Sinatra.
And I can’t help but think that maybe the coats are having their own holiday party. You gotta know that the tan cashmere is eyeing the black leather bomber jacket. And you can bet that some skanky mitten is slipping her fuzz into the lower wallet end of a herringbone tweed car coat. The satin evening cape is spread across the pillows, tag exposed, lining crushed. Plaid felt sleeves are entangled in the back slit of an organic wool jacket, even though every coat there knows it came to the party with the fleece-lined windbreaker.
The recently purchased vintage reclaimed fur is looking down its nose at the ten-year-old trench with frayed cuffs, although it would kill to cop a feel of its lining. The organic wool peacoats are getting stoned and the hockey jackets are hoping they’ll slip off the bed so they can grab a glimpse of the game playing in the den with the sound turned off.
Bed of Coats means one thing. There’s a party goin’ on!
Barbara: Oh, Deb, I love this. You’ve just turned an ordinary thing—a possible mishmash or mess or blight on the lovely cleanness of a bed—and made me look at it through your charming eyes. Because you’re right! A bed of coats is all these things. It represents your friends and loved ones gathered close; it is every walk of life thrown together, regardless of status or style; it is no-holds-barred connection. I will never look at the bed of coats in the same way. Now I will see something sweet and heartwarming. And oh so devilishly funny as I imagine the shenanigans this seemingly haphazard, certainly cozy group of coats might be getting up to. And PS: I LOVE the holivet!!