There are many things I love about my boyfriend (although at my age and with an amicable divorce behind me, I am still slightly embarrassed to use the term, “boyfriend,” even after five years together). The things I love most about my boyfriend are probably not on anyone else’s top 10 list – they are the quirky things, the tiniest details, the qualities I was too dumb or immature to look for when I was in my 20s. At the top of my top 10 are: my boyfriend lets me talk to him throughout a movie and never gets annoyed. I whisper questions and theories and sometimes things that don’t have anything to do with the movie. And he answers me. I also love how compatible we are. Now, “compatible” does not sound sexy when you are looking for a partner in your 20s or even 30s, but to me, it is one of the loveliest words in the universe. It makes our love easy, natural and practically stress-free. And finally in my top three is the fact that my boyfriend is fully capable – he can cook, clean, fix stuff, buy his own clothes, achieve in business, and is more than happy to share the load with me. After years of choosing people who needed “saving,” I am delighted that a higher power chose this beautiful, capable man for me.
So on those occasions when my boyfriend and I have a difference of opinion, I try to be accommodating. Such was the case when he said to me one night, as we were getting ready for bed, “Those streetlights outside our window are too damn bright. I think I would sleep much better if we had black-out curtains.”
The thing is, I thought I had purchased black-out curtains when I redid my bedroom several years ago. But my curtains are so beautiful that I did not complain when they didn’t, in fact, block-out the street lights (or the full moon or my neighbor’s security light). I have never wanted to replace the curtains even so, because I love the way they look and of course, it is much too late to ask for a refund or re-do at this point.
But my boyfriend’s request was simple – and of course, any relationship is filled with these small compromises, right? So I started researching my options. I wanted to keep the look of my simple, spa-like handmade curtains – a perfect linen color – and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on new ones. I couldn’t find what I wanted – the products either looked to “industrial” or were too expensive or just not the right solution.
And then, like magic, The Balancing Act hosted guests Ellery Homestyles, LLC and its SoundAsleep™ Room Darkening Curtains. As a blogger for TBA, I was invited to try them out – can you say perfect timing? I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the SoundAsleep website http://www.soundasleepcurtains.com/ —it showed a wide variety of designs, colors and lengths. I chose mushroom, because it was closest to the color of the curtains I already have in our bedroom. I wasn’t sure about the length, so I made my best guess.
Within the week, my SoundAsleep curtains arrived and I hung them up without even bothering to iron them. (They will definitely need ironing!) Since I already had curtains, it was so easy to put the SoundAsleep panels on the same rod. I did not, however, use the valance that came with them – I’m not a valance person, I guess, and none of the styles seemed right for my room, although the website does offer several variations. The curtains’ color was a little darker than I thought it would be, but the fabric looks really nice – high quality and a heavier heft than linen.
My boyfriend and I could barely wait for the sun to set, the streetlights to come on, and the black-out to begin.
Not a filament of light came through the curtains! However, since I had apparently ordered too long a length, the puddle of curtain on my carpeted floor prevents the SoundAsleep curtains from lying close against the window pane. Because of this, a little bit of light escapes on either side of the window. Once I get the right size and perhaps a smaller curtain rod, this light will be blocked, too!
To note: each panel is sold separately, but they are really wide. You need two to make the window look balanced and well-designed, but seriously, one panel would cover my window. The price is fantastic; $29.99 for each panel. In my research both online and off, that was one of the less expensive options, especially for the quality of the SoundAsleep curtains. I think the curtains look better and more modern without a valance, but that’s just my humble opinion. And I will have to figure out how to iron them. It may be a job for the dry cleaners…
Even with just one of my two street windows blocked with the new SoundAsleep curtains, our room is DARK! (See the picture.) Thanks to my trial run, my boyfriend was happy, I looked like a hero, and we both slept as well as we do when we go to the lake – which is totally dark (no streetlamps in sight!).
My next step is to order the right length and a slightly lighter color, and four more panels (enough for the other two windows in our bedroom). Since these are the official curtains of the National Sleep Foundation, I’m guessing I’ll be sleeping like a guest in an expensive hotel room (you know how dark those hotel room curtains are!). I just hope my boyfriend doesn’t sleep SO soundly that I can’t wake him up early now and then. 😉