Having just purchased a new bed, one larger than I’ve ever had before, and consequently, new bedding to go with it, I am once again reminded of those formidable tags that hang off of home furnishings and threaten you with jail time if you so much as wave a pair of scissors in their direction. You know the tags I am talking about, right? The ones that are large, white and read Do Not Remove UNDER PENALTY OF LAW…
As a child I was both intrigued and frightened by those tags. My parents had a set of stacking foot stools: dark wood with mustard yellow colored fake leather cushioning, about 2 ½ feet square, and one stacked on top of the other. Take them apart and you had two foot stools. Stacked, you had one uncomfortable too-low-to-the-ground seat. Still, I suppose it was a better option than making guests sit on the floor when the sofa was already full.
Anyway, on the back of those stools were the Penalty of Law tags. I pondered them often. I am not sure if they had the word consumer on them back then. If they did, I didn’t know what consumer meant. So I didn’t understand why the tags couldn’t be removed. How would they know? I wondered. And how quickly would the police show up at my door if I removed one of the tags? It just didn’t make sense to me. My parents owned those foot stools. They paid for them. They were in OUR family room. But the tags, they belonged to THE LAW. Cut them off and it was obvious: you’d go to jail.
Of course, later, when I was older, I realized that wasn’t true at all and I had my fun cutting Penalty of Law tags off furniture anytime I came across them. Especially the ones on furniture that belonged to me. I understood the word consumer by that point.
But now, once again, I’ve got tags hanging off my new mattress and my new comforter and new pillows and I am a little wary about touching the tags. I think it’s because the bed we bought, it has a 30-day (or should that be night?) sleep guarantee. My husband and I bought the bed, but if we don’t like the quality of our sleep over the next 30 days, we can call the store and exchange the mattress for a different one. Or so they say. And so, I am reluctant to cut off the tags. It’s my bed, sure. But if I cut off the tags and then decide in a few weeks that I don’t want it anymore, will they come after me for removing the tags? That old fear has crept back upon me. Christmas is coming, and I’m not willing to be penalized under the law for cutting the tags off a mattress before my 30-day trial is up. In other words, I’ve got things to do HERE. I’m not knitting a stocking, like Martha, from a jail cell.
So far I like the bed. It’s comfortable. It’s large. It’s so large, in fact, that there is no need for ANYONE to touch me while I am sleeping. That includes my husband. And the dog. There’s room enough for all of us. Each in our own little area. Only… my little area of comforter, it’s got those damn tags hanging off of it. When I pull the comforter up at night the tags hit me in the face. And it’s night time, I’ve just climbed into bed. I don’t feel like getting up to find the scissors. So there I am, with the tags waving in my face all night long, taunting me.
Last night I slept with the tags in my face and my pajamas on inside-out. It’s not something I normally do, wear my pajamas like that, and I didn’t do it by mistake. Snags begged me to. The weather man had forecasted some snow showers for our area today, and Snags’ kindergarten teacher had told his class that if they slept with their pajamas on inside-out it would make it snow. The sleepy-time version of a snow dance, I presume. So Snags took his bath then came downstairs with his pajamas on inside-out.
“They’re only calling for an inch of snow,” I told him.
“Yes, Mom. But PLEASE, if you and dad would sleep with your pajamas on inside out too we might get like eight FEET of snow!” he said excitedly.
I sighed but agreed to try it.
I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. We didn’t get eight feet of snow, but there must be close to five inches of snow out there right now. The roads are messy. Schools let out early today. I bet they’ll be delayed tomorrow. We have to shovel.
I thought we were in the middle of a global warming crisis. The only explanation I can find then, for this snow, the extra snow above what the weather man called for, is the trick of the inside-out pajamas. I think I’ll have a word with Snags’ teacher for even suggesting it, for encouraging this snow along.
The snow that fell is the dry fluffy kind. The kind that doesn’t stick together well at all. Snags came home from school today and made a snowman by scooping snow into a Glad Ware container and sticking a carrot into the middle of it. He wanted to bring it inside, store it in the freezer. I wouldn’t let him. I told him he couldn’t do it, UNDER PENALTY OF LAW.