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the she loves ny guide to etiquette and the like

the home: murphy beds

1.0 Summary
A defining characteristic of the Urban Gentleman is that he faces obstacles such as the Murphy bed, a fairly pesky contraption because, if for no other reason, the Bed can telegraph his intention to bed the lady. (The simple fact is that the gentleman must put down the bed before the gentleman beds the lady.) In his deft handling of the bed in the presence of the lady he moves toward victory; if he stumbles, he is defeated. So, the gentleman is probably best advised to treat the Murphy bed as he would a vase his grandmother gave him, or a sweater lovingly knit by an aunt.

1.1 Assumptions
Here, in the far reaches of this text, the gentleman begins to perceive that certain assumptions are made with respect to his pursuit of the lady. Here, for example, those maneuvers leading up to his need for any bed, let alone a Murphy one, are assumed to have been performed and are assumed to have been performed satisfactorily.

1.2 Why the Murphy Bed Presents a Problem, Back to Perceived Expectations
The Murphy Bed betrays the gentleman in that if he takes it down, he is telegraphing his expectations, which the gentleman knows will set off a chain of events that may very well lead to the gentleman who was about to bed the lady now standing no chance of doing so. This is explained by the Theory of Perceived Expectations.

2.0 Logistics, Option 1
The gentleman’s simplest, but not best, option for getting around the Murphy bed problem is to leave it down preemptively if he is anticipating a later need for a bed in the company of the lady. That it is down when the lady enters his apartment suggests that it is always down and helps to convince the lady that the gentleman’s intentions are not carnal. This is the easiest option, but not the best option for the clear reason that the gentleman does not want to have his apartment perceived as being any smaller than it actually is. (This is known as the Murphy Bed Paradox.)

2.1 Logistics, Option 2
The Urban Gentleman will wait for the lady to inquire about a bed, at which point the gentleman will reveal and bring down his Murphy Bed. Though this is far and away the best and most graceful of his options, it is only the true gentleman whose patience allows him to put this option in play. But, like the gentleman who had been waiting for the lady to call him and after a time did have the lady call him, the gentleman who waits for the lady to inquire about his Murphy bed finds the payoff to be well worth the wait.

2.2 Logistics, Option 3
The gentleman may employ a third option, namely to treat the bed as he would a gifted sweater from an aunt. That is, he will appear mildly embarrassed by the thing itself while he underscores the fact that he is proud of what the thing stands for. Just like so, “I’m not sure exactly what to do with this thing, but at least the mattress is good,” simplicity turns to genius. Thusly, it will be up when he presents the bed as a stop on the lady’s tour of his home, and as he does so he brings it down.