Saturday, December 19, 2015

My View #191 - Split Beds Long Ago

If you are of Russian background, you likely know more about split beds than anyone else. It is a good example of cosmopolitanism than most countries realize.(sic)

That scheme arrived in Canada 66 to 80 years ago, in a lot of small towns in Saskatchewan, and elsewhere. One year, a storm was blowing with lots of snow, and also it was nearly New Year, a few parties had planned weddings. Some folks wait for the camera, and some don't. Anyway, a very few lost count of time and cold, and a couple range a house bell at the wrong home, and were told to come in, out of courtesy. When they did, they were surprised there was no wedding, and wanted to go on. These thrifty people spoke, "Stay the night!'

"What about the wedding, and where will we sleep?"

"We can look after two stranded strangers."

"We are not married."

"You will see. Mother, bring the divider," and she did and everyone was eager to see what would happen.

The mother stripped the bed, flipped the mattress over, and a split appeared in the bottom. The divider was put in place and covered, making the two halves equal and ready for the boy and girl to go to bed.

"You shall see your friends in the morning. Sleep well. Breakfast early."

"This is far better than cold, bitter ground last night. Many thanks, farmer, for a good night's sleep. Please let me say one more word. Thank you, sir."

Letty Evans
September 30, 2010

Rather than a memory, this is a story Letty heard elsewhere and is re-telling, although various chaste forms of sharing beds have been invented over the centuries. Bundling in colonial New England comes to mind.

Curiously, split beds are enjoying a revival, so one partner can raise the head and foot of the bed separately from the other.