I Have a White Duvet. Do you Have a White Duvet? I Have a White Duvet.

by Shaina

I got a white duvet cover.  And I buttoned it over my old down comforter.  The comforter itself is stained with old beer spills and nose bleeds, and my idea was to put a cover on it to hide my transgressions and evidence of being a human, as we do.  And I remembered the part of this book, “The Happy Hockey Family,” a picture book I grew up with.  In one part, the youngest kid in the family, Baby Hockey, has a white coat and hat, and she says ‘I have a white coat.  I have a white hat…They are new and awesome, etc., etc.,” and then a car comes and splashes mud on her and she says “I have a white hat.  Do you have a white hat?  I have a white hat.”  And I’m not sure about the layers of the lessons in the story–is it just a cautionary tale about the dangers of buying white things…or is the moral more about how life is bound to fuck up your shit?  It wants to be a story about optimism, about how the baby no longer has a white coat but still talks about her white hat, but then I think another car comes (and the page implies that it messes up her hat too or something)…so is it, in fact, a cautionary tale about having expectations?  Is it a story designed to teach us that we have to just roll with it when life keeps throwing mud at us?  I could have bought a colored duvet cover…but I wanted white because…well, it looks clean…or is it because deep down I like disappointing myself?  Or am I mocking myself?  Humanity?  I put the new, white duvet cover on while drinking a glass of Emergen-C.  That shit is orange.  But it’s funny, because the difference between my duvet cover and Baby Hockey’s experience is that I am the dangerous force posing hazard and wreckage to the white, while Baby Hockey probably had every intention of taking care of her jacket and hat…but that reminds me of the time my friend fell asleep in my bed and spilled a whole beer all over my white sheets, and therefore, it seems that both internal and external forces are possible origins for wreckage in the realm of white things.  So I think that it’s just about chance.  I think Jon Scieszka endeavored to warn me that life is likely to throw mud on my jacket.  But that it’s my choice how I cope with the tarnishing of white.  So the questions are these: does chance, then, determine how jaded a person becomes after too many mud moments?  Or is it the person’s moral fiber?  Is one stupid or resilient if one never switches to a dark colored coat or sheets?  Am I secretly obsessed with a clear picture of my and the world’s transgressions and flaws?  And, of course, is this a topic worth exploring at all?

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