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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2005-02-07 - 9:31 a.m.

Bed Jackets R Us

I woke up early this morning – too early to get up, shower and dress, so I decided to read. Too early, apparently, for the thermostat to have turned the furnace up to “Mother,” so the reading lasted only about four pages before I snuggled down under the covers again. My husband, noting my now arctic arms, suggested I needed a shawl for reading in bed. “A bed jacket, that’s what I need,” said I, recalling the satin-trimmed pink, blue or aqua ones of bygone days. Bygone days when a new mother spent a minimum of five days in the hospital after the birth of a baby, luxuriating in her new and dainty sleepwear, including a bed-jacket.

“That’s what you need – a bed jacket.”

“I doubt they even make them anymore,” said I, thinking they probably went out of vogue about the time it was decided that new mothers could take their newborns home the same day they were delivered. How times have changed. When I was born in 1931, it was believed that a woman needed a minimum of ten days to recuperate from labor. By the time I delivered my first child nearly twenty-one years later, the time of “lying in” had been reduced to five days, but even so, I had one of those frilly bed jackets that tied around the neckline with satin piping. They were still considered de riguer hospital attire. I think I received my accordian-pleated aqua one as a baby shower gift – "something for the new Mommy." By the time my second child was born two years later, I had wised up to the facts of nursing and cotton flannel was more my style. Fashion be damned!

“Oh, on the Internet – I can see it now – Bed Jackets R Us,” Ed suggested.

Sure ‘nough! You can Google anything, it seems. I typed in “bed jacket’ and up came dozens of sites, including my favorite at Old Crone Stitchery - a burgundy chenille one button jacket - a Valentine special!

They describe it as a “jacket so beautiful you could wear it anywhere. Cuddly for bed, beautiful enough to wear to the Opera.” Indeed, this bed jacket looked as though it could be worn with my jeans. Far different from the ones I remember, such as those found on this vintage site I visited.

Old Crone – indeed!

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