“The Bedspread from Hell”, column for June 26, 2012

Sometimes the people I love refuse to take me at my word. Usually, this annoys me, but at times, I don’t mind it. It depends not on what I say, but what I mean when I say it. I expect them to know the difference. What else is love for?
Recently, when I told people I didn’t need help, I never meant I didn’t need their attention. Lucky for me, they knew this.
It started one morning when I made the mistake of getting out of bed. During the night, the bedspread had slithered onto the floor and lay, like a snake, coiled up and waiting.
I did not know this, but I’d seen it happen before, and often said to my husband, “We need to do something about that bedspread or one of us is going to trip over it and get killed.”
Guess which one of us tripped.
Not only did I trip, I launched myself across the room and landed face first on the tile. All in one fall, I split my lip and my chin, cracked four teeth, and fractured a bone in my foot.
I refused to look in the mirror. When my husband got a good look, he nearly passed out. Then he drove me to the ER, where they stitched me up, put my foot (the right one I need for driving) in a cast, and gave me a list of doctors to follow up with.
I never liked that bedspread. I came home and locked it in the closet. Then the calls began.
“You did WHAT?” said my sister. “I’m coming out there!”
“I don’t need you to come take care of me,” I said, “I’m fine.”
She didn’t come because (1) she knew my husband would take care of me (he didn’t want to answer to her). And (2) her daughter said, “Mama, if you go, she’ll end up taking care of you.”
Instead, she calls every day to say, “Honey, how are you?” That’s what I really needed.
My children also offered to help, each in their own ways.
“I don’t need you to do any thing,” I told them, “it’s enough to know you want to.”
So they call and send videos of my grandboys. Good medicine. That’s what I really needed.
When my friend Linda offered to help, I said I didn’t need it. But I let her drive me to see doctors when my husband has to work. I could take a cab. But cabbies don’t make me laugh like Linda does. That’s what I really need.
I even turned down my friend Diana’s offer to bring dinner. She brought it anyhow. It was fabulous. The best part was the wrapping: Lovingkindness. That’s what I really needed.
Yesterday, my oldest called to say he was driving from L.A.
“You don’t need to do that!” I insisted. He laughed.
“I’ll be there by 5,” he said, “and I’ll make dinner.”
He arrived at 4, with all the fixings for zucchini marinara.
We ate like starved wolves, talked and laughed and talked some more. Finally, I excused myself to take my fat lip and aching foot to bed. I drifted off to sleep listening to my boy and his stepdad talk like old friends.
This morning we drank coffee and discussed draft picks for the Warriors. (I think they ought to pick Orlando Johnson because he’s terrific, and not because I used to babysit for him.)
And this evening, while my husband grilled veggies for dinner, I watched the sunlight play on my boy’s face as he sat frowning, studying a script.
That was what I really needed.
I told you all that to say this. I don’t need you to do anything for me (not even a get-well card, unless you really want to). But promise me this: That thing you’ve been meaning to take care of, like the bedspread that falls on the floor and turns into a snake? Don’t put it off. Take care of it, before it bites you.
Finally, never be afraid to say what you don’t need. You might get what you want. Some of us will do anything for attention.


  1. Beth Jackson Gambrell says

    Did Sharon Randall get up on the wrong side of the bed?
    Heck no, she just got up and wrapped her foot around the spread
    It must have slid off during the night
    ‘Cause when she tripped on it, she went on a “launching” flight
    She cracked 4 teeth and split her lip and her chin
    Boy, what a pitiful shape she was in
    And broke a bone in her foot and had it put in a cast
    It’ll be 6 weeks before she can put her foot on the gas
    Her son came and that made things all right
    As he stayed and helped her mornings and nights
    It was bad enough but we are glad it wasn’t worse
    ‘Cause she might have had to shout out or even “curse”
    On her next speaking engagements, she’ll have another experience to tell
    About her life at home and “The Bedspread from Hell”
    But the next time she is speaking to her avid listening crowds
    She can tell them about her flight of which even Captain Sully would be proud.

    Sharon, I really am sorry about your accident and pray for a quick recovery. We are all praying for you….and love you dearly

    Beth (still, the Campobello Gal)

  2. Sue Mouck says

    Hi Sharon,

    You know there are easier ways of getting a new bedspread, and come to think about it, the best part of summer is that you do not need spreads or blankets, at least when you are in the middle of a heat wave with (finally) an end in sight. Rest well, I do hope you have lots of really good books to read, loveyoulots Sue

  3. I have always hated the bedspread on the floor thing, and decided long ago to buy a bed with “posts” at the foot so it would “catch” the spread and blankets. I have a slay bed with tall footboard now that works even better. Only mishap is those slick, shiny spreads that I love!
    Loved this story and lots of the ones before this one!

  4. I have a quilt from hell that matches your spread…Sent you the details in a card….

  5. Two days ago, after wondering if the day might come and thinking for weeks now that I really ought to sew that edging back onto that wool blanket where it was a bit loose, I caught my own foot on that exact spot and tore it a good one as it flipped me across the room–only, I landed on carpet and totally lucked out. Bruised but not broken.

    Coming here and reading that you just went through your bedding trying to do you in, too…! Goodness. Rest up, heal well, and I am so glad you have so much love buoying you up.

    Me too.

  6. Jim Kelsay says

    Hi Sharon

    Hopefully you’re getting better daily.

    Injury wise I’ve been hit by a car, fallen out of more than one tree (I’m nothing if not stubborn)
    and more dents dings and scratches than I care to remember. I’d like to thank you at this time for the heads up about evil bedspreads, I had no idea!

    As a small assist in your recovery a song from Simon and Garfunkle that always makes me smile.


    Take care.

  7. phyl spoon says

    From the bandaged face at Marie’s memorial to this latest insult to your pride to say nothing about your body. Only you would find humor in this attack.

    Just an aside, loved the new haircut!! Think new image.

    Phyl and Bo

  8. Bonnie Whisler says

    Ah, Sharon, you make me smile. I know that you’re getting better. All the people that love you would not allow anything else. You’ll be glad to know that we don’t have a bedspread.

    You mentioned grandsons. Aren’t grandchildren more than wonderful?

  9. Davey Myers says

    Heck of a way to get attention Sharon. I can think of many, less painful, ways of getting attention. What lovely attention you did get though. Hope you are feeling better and, if not, I know a good nurse in PG that would be glad to give you bunches of attention and hugs to go with it. Take care and throw that bedspread away, or etter yet, burn it!

  10. OUCH! I’ve been using a walking stick when I walk the dogs twice a day and it has saved me from several falls. Of course, I make up for it by falling out of my son’s truck (missed the running board with my foot). I hope you’ve got good pain meds, and a foam pad on that tile floor!

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