Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Neat Freaks Endangering Family Health

There I was, doing my best to maintain order in the world while Martha Stewart remains incarcerated. I figured the least I could do is make most of the beds on most days. It gave a neat appearance to rooms that always look as though the toys are going to mutiny at any moment and just hurl themselves at me. So having developed this GOOD habit, what do I read? Unmade beds are good for you! A theory I would willingly embrace, but I could think of no biological, mental, scientific or sociological basis for. Well it turns out researchers with a lot of time on their hands have rushed to my rescue. Obviously a researcher was lying in bed one night, unable to sleep, trying to come up with an idea for a research project. He starts itching his ankle and, voila! The next day a massive study is begun. I assume that's how these things work. Apparently a neatly made bed is hospitable to the ordinary household Dust Mite. They take up residence there, breeding by the millions and having little insect orgies on your body all night. Fortunately they are too small to be seen by the naked eye, so this theoretical horror movie is something that can be visualized only by your insomniac brain. I have seen pictures of dust mites. They look like prehistoric carnivorous proto-reptiles. Although I suppose the "scientistics" can claim they look like just about anything. Would we be as fearful if they looked like microscopic Teletubbies, Booh-Bahs or SpongeBob SquarePants? Anyway, they LOVE neatly made beds which are nice and dark for the dust mite orgies, and also trap humidity that gives them the perfect dust mite climate. I've heard the dust mite travel agents refer to it as "Club Bed." The frolicking critters hate un-made beds because it just ruins the swinging singles atmosphere and looks messy besides. I KNEW there was a health-basis for my natural inclinations. I just couldn't figure out what it was. It is not just a matter of aesthetics, either. These dust mites chomp on your dead skin and then burp up "allergens," which are either annoying or fatal to your average household sleeper depending on the sensitivity of your system. (Okay, usually not fatal, but we must err on the side of caution here.) So if you have allergies or athsma, the dust mite problem is not insignificant. My solution to all this is to continue making the bed to the best of my ability. In the first place, my best efforts are not "all that" incredibly neat. We have the excess pillow problem, the Can't Quite Reach That Far problem and the hidden object with weird shape problem. (I once accidentally made the bed with a lump in it so large that I didn't figure out it was the 3-year-old until I noticed the lump was having respirations.) My other solution is to not dwell on what scientists are able to see with their high-powered equipment. Yes I know we are crawling with microscopic protozoa not to mention armies of gingivitis warriors battling our gums. I can't think about it! I want YOU to think about it so I can forget about it and regain my peace of mind. I don't care what's happening at a level I can't see as long as it doesn't cause any symptoms! But I am grateful for the scientific basis for that occasional unmade bed. Now if I could only get the scientists to agree that the best food for breakfast is chocolate.

8 Comments:

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