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Do y’all know what a ‘comforter’ is?

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by | Sep 4, 2018

A comforter? To add to my list of things I do not understand in America; bedding (again, not the most profound observation but nonetheless I shall continue). As part of our adventure we, of course, had to secure a place to live. As previously noted America do not do fast shipping. So, Monday night was spent on the, rather plush, carpet of our newly found apartment. Here, I encountered the stark realisation that, now 24, floor sleeping has consequences; mainly back ache. Sixteen year old Emma would scoff, back ache. However, praise be, our mattress did appear on the second evening and for the passed week we have had the pleasure of a mattress on the floor; at this point I truly am thankful for that. However, one challenge has been deciphering American bedding. Mike and I tracked down and attended Marshalls – a shop similar to TK Maxx for some context. Now, ‘duvet set’ to me includes a duvet cover and two pillows- if you are lucky four. An easy task, though Mike and I found ourselves standing in an overcrowded shop aisle, scratching our heads (literally, my scalp is sun burned) wondering why ‘sham’ and ‘comforter’ are included in this new set, along with something called a flat sheet; which gives me flashbacks to stories of hospital flat sheets and something about tight corners? What is not included, is a duvet cover.

Like any well trained millennial, I googled, and from my search I have discovered that a ‘sham’ is a pillowcase, of which they will provide you with two. A comforter, is a cross between a duvet and a quilt. Mike and I discovered pretty early on that our 12.0-13.5 tog winter duvet would not be required in Austin. Despite this, a comforter still remains a somewhat foreign concept to me. Our comforter has no ‘duvet cover’ (apparently this is not the done thing) and is printed? As a person who once prided themselves in their varied duvet cover collection, and frequent washes of these, this still gives me shivers. How often do you wash a comforter?! A rhetorical question, as I am still unsure.

Underneath said comforter, you use the infamous flat sheet- though between the two of us, Matron would not be impressed by our hospital corners. This piece of bedding stays between you, the fitted bed sheet and the comforter. Then, finally, the well known and familiar fitted sheet. Phew. Sorted. In this shopping trip, we also treated ourselves to a bedside lamp and one bedside table. Progress!

Bed dramas aside, it has been a week of firsts. Mike had his first ever day of lectures as ‘Professor Mckellar’. The staff and faculty, as always, have been supportive of our move and, from what I can gather, instrumental in helping Mike to find his feet. Myself, ask where a Starbucks in Hyde Park, Austin is and I can give you some very detailed descriptions. I jest. In between frequent coffee’s (iced), books and knitting, I visited a local gallery ‘Women and Their Work’ to meet with one of the fantastic staff to discuss some volunteering opportunities. This week they begin the gallery transformation for their planned ‘Red Dot‘ event to encourage mingling of some fantastic artists and the opportunity to showcase/purchase some of these incredible art works. My first shift is this Friday, so stay tuned for some information about this gallery and their work!

This weekend was Labor Day weekend and, apparently, is well known to rain every year without fail. Unfortunate for us, as we did not leave the house with appropriate rainy day clothing. This is a far cry from my Glasgow packed bag, which normally provides clothing and accessories for all four seasons in one day. I never thought I would be thankful for rain, but since yesterdays thunderstorm the temperature has dropped to a cool 26 degrees and I can finally realistically consider wearing make up without fear of it immediately sweating off- a small success. Our Labor Day weekend we visited Barton Springs, which is beautiful. We made the rookie mistake of making this a spontaneous trip and therefore had no gear to enjoy the pool itself, but the walk was stunning regardless. Another rookie mistake was not packing enough water; always important to hydrate when it’s 38 degrees, whoops. Though having packed no appropriate swimwear was probably for the best as the queue for entry was impressively long. In the evening, we bought tickets for the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival with some superb acts, one of which included an electric dog collar much to the delight of some in the audience (some a little too much delight).

So that’s it! Another week completed, we are into September now and I am told the heat becomes much more bearable. I have not braved the first FaceTime home yet, maybe one of this weeks challenges.