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Were You Raised by Wolves?: Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood [NOOK Book]

Overview

Perhaps, in your parents' eagerness to smooth life's bumpy road, they took such good care of you that you never learned how to be a self-sufficient human being. And now here you are, all grown up. What next?

You may think you don't really need to know how to make a proper cup of coffee. You've never given much thought to your listening skills, or how one goes about saving money, or stocking a bar. But knowing these things will really make you a much more well-rounded and ...

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Were You Raised by Wolves?: Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood

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Overview

Perhaps, in your parents' eagerness to smooth life's bumpy road, they took such good care of you that you never learned how to be a self-sufficient human being. And now here you are, all grown up. What next?

You may think you don't really need to know how to make a proper cup of coffee. You've never given much thought to your listening skills, or how one goes about saving money, or stocking a bar. But knowing these things will really make you a much more well-rounded and all-around more charming and useful person, one who is more apt to be invited over for dinner. In fact, a lot of us might benefit from having a few gentle hints about housekeeping, habits, and behavior lobbed in our general direction. With advice and information ranging from How to Boil an Egg to How to Go a Whole Day Without Spending Money—in chapters as diverse as the Upside of Being Single and Lonely and the Hangover: Badge of Courage or Waste of a Day?—Were You Raised by Wolves? will help you come away more confident about important issues such as where the hell to put those flowers somebody brought over last night.

So let's all of us embrace our adulthood, shall we? If your mother still chews your food for you and your dad still fills your gas tank, it's time to put on those big boy pants and jump into the deep end of the pool where the grown-ups swim.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061755651
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Christie Mellor is the bestselling author of The Three-Martini Playdate, The Three-Martini Family Vacation, and You Look Fine, Really. She lives with her husband and almost-always-pleasant children in Los Angeles.

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First Chapter

Were You Raised by Wolves?
Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood

Chapter One

Home Sweet Home

Make your bed!

Yes, it seems like a simple concept. And no, I am not your mother. I can't really make you make your bed. I understand, really I do. You are on your own, and no one, blessedly, is there to tell you to make your bed and pick up your t-shirt from the floor. It's your apartment, why shouldn't you leave your bed unmade? You're going to be out anyway—maybe all day, maybe all night. And why does it need to be made every day, anyway? You're only going to be sleeping in it again tonight.

But there is an idea used in law enforcement called the "broken window" theory that holds that if there is a broken window on a building, and if it is not immediately fixed, then it sends a signal to the neighborhood that nobody really cares. Vermin move into the building, graffiti springs up overnight, and garbage is dumped on the doorstep. More windows are broken. So, along those lines, I am suggesting that if you leave your bed constantly unmade, it sends a signal (to you) that it's also okay to leave your stinky socks on the floor, your dirty sweatpants slung over the chair, and a moldy crust of pizza sitting on top of a stack of magazines. You may think you're the sort that would never dream of leaving food lying around, but these things creep up on you, just like that broken window. You leave the bed unmade for too long, and pretty soon you find yourself sitting in a pool of your own waste, eating out of a takeout container in front of reality show reruns. If you jumped out of bed every morning and just made your bed,then it would be done, and it would put into stark relief the other spots that you could, in fact, neaten up just for the sake of possible visitors, a sense of esthetics, and the betterment of humanity in general.

How?

The easiest way to make a bed is to sleep in a completely maintenance-free bed to begin with, as they do in Europe. Simply cover your bed with some sort of down-filled duvet, which will require nothing more than fluffing and straightening once you pop out of bed, and easily camouflages any lumps or stray Underoos that might be stuck under the covers.

However, you may have heard your mother, or grandmother, or some ancient, eccentric aunt discussing "hospital corners" or "hospital folds," or reminiscing wistfully about beds off of which one could "bounce a quarter." Aren't you curious? Haven't you always secretly wanted to know what a hospital corner is, anyway? Doesn't it carry a vague suggestion of stern, unsmiling, yet beautiful women in starched white uniforms, coming at you with thermometers and bedpans? No, you say, with a slightly worried look on your face. You have no idea what I'm talking about. But someday you might be visiting a friend, or a relative, and you'll be staying in their guest room. And this kind friend or relative who has put you up for the night, or for three days, won't have a bulky duvet bedspread. You will need to know how to properly make the bed. You will need to uncover the mysteries of a hospital corner.

It could be just another bit of trivia to add to your store of knowledge, but in case you haven't yet made your life easier by purchasing a fat duvet and simply have been putting up with a messy, half-made bed, here is how a standard American bed is made: Place the fitted bottom sheet, the one with the elastic thingys on the corners, over the corners of your mattress. Tug it and smooth it out, until you have a vast expanse of unwrinkled sheet.

Then place the top sheet as evenly as possible on top of the bottom sheet. You'll want the fat part of the hem to be up where your head will be. Line the top edge of the sheet with the top edge of the mattress; the sides and feet end should hang down about a foot or so. Starting with the foot of the bed, fold the top sheet under the mattress. Start in the middle and work your way to the corners, and you are ready to undertake your hospital fold. This is very difficult to describe, but since I can't be there with you, to tell you which part to tug on and which part to fold under, I will just do my best and draw you a few diagrams, and then we can all go have a cold beverage.

Okay, so after fitting the fitted bottom sheet, and placing the top sheet on top of that, and having tucked the top sheet snugly under the mattress at the foot of the bed, tuck the corners under the mattress on the long side of the bed, making sure that the folds are flat. Pull the sheet taut as you fold in the sides. The corners should fold neatly, like origami. Add your blanket, repeating the previous step. (Also, if you don't have a fitted sheet, then simply do more fabulous origami hospital corners in all four corners of your bottom sheet, as I did when I was a child, apparently before elastic was invented.)

Fold the top sheet back over the blankets at the head of the bed, pulling the sheet back about half a foot, and tuck under the side flaps.

Slip pillowcases over the pillows.

If you have a bedspread or thin quilt, place it on the bed. Folding the top of the spread down, lay the pillows on top, then fold the spread back over them, leaving part of the spread tucked under the pillows. Place any remaining pillows, teddy bears, or decorative inflatable party dolls over the bed covering. Now, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

A ridiculously neat bed brightens up the whole room, and by glaring contrast points out how messy the rest of the room might be. You might want to take this opportunity to look around and pick up a few things, before you have that cold beverage.

Were You Raised by Wolves?
Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood
. Copyright © by Christie Mellor. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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