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Almost a year ago, I was shopping with my girlfriend at Target. We’d just moved into our new place and we needed new stuff, like a panda bear trash can (her) and a wall-mounted beer opener (me). I easily spent half a grand on random shit that day that we never really needed, but I also spent money on the most essential household item in our home to this day.
I’d been exiled to the linens aisle because I’d been caught hiding with a book in my lap and my girlfriend had to page me over the intercom to find me. I walked up and down the aisle, perusing jersey sheets and Egyptian cotton comforters and goose-down pillows, and that’s when I saw the bed set. It was a bold decision that I still sometimes question to this day, but as soon as I laid my eyes on it I knew what my choice would be.
I picked out a blissfully pure, snow-white comforter for the bed. It was beautiful and completely impractical. I have a black dog and a cat, and they’re both assholes who like to do things like fuck with my life, so I had no doubt they and their fur would pose enormous potential risks for the creamy whiteness of the comforter. But it was too clean to resist. It came from a hotel collection line, for Christ’s sake, and every time I sleep underneath it I feel like a goddamn queen. But keeping it pristine has not been easy.
I never realized how filthy a place a bed was until I bought the perfect comforter. Besides sleeping, you also have sex in your bed, and probably eat and drink in there too. I don’t allow my animals to get up on the bed (a point of contention in my household) but if a corner of that comforter is close enough to the floor, my dog will find some way to come in with dirty paws and step on it. It’s too big and luxurious to wash in our washing machine, so I have to take it to the laundromat and pay them to wash it every time it needs it, which is basically every three days.
There’s no other color on this bedspread: it’s snowy, pure, glistening white, and when it’s clean it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. In the past year, by some miracle, I’ve managed to keep it close to perfect. But last weekend, I went out of town, and that all changed.
My girlfriend spilled red wine on our white comforter and I think our relationship might be over.
I left for two nights. Two nights, and she managed to spill an entirely full glass of red wine right onto the comforter. I almost had a heart attack when she told me, but luckily she’d bought me fried rice ahead of time and that helped to soften the blow. Plus, my mouth was full of rice when she broke the news which prevented me from cursing at her verbally for a minute or so.
We’ve washed the comforter and bleached the spot several times now, but the stain is still visible. The rest of the bedspread is still perfectly white, even whiter now thanks to all the extra washing, but I can’t stop obsessing over the one imperfect section. I feel like one of my dreams that I’ve been caring for and bringing to life for so long has been completely snuffed out. My hotel collection bedspread might never be perfect again, and that’s just something I’ll have to live with. Maybe next time I’ll choose something a little more practical. Or, I’ll just murder my girlfriend, wrap her body in the ruined comforter, and buy myself a brand new one.