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by Abigail Van Buren

New Mothers Deserve Break From Well-Meaning Visitors

DEAR ABBY: I travel frequently, both as part of my job and for pleasure. I have stayed in many really nice motels and hotels and have yet to figure out one thing I have found to be very annoying. Why do the housekeepers tuck in the sides of the top sheet and blanket?

If I'm staying at a hotel, the last thing I want to do is remake my bed -- and when I turn the bed down, both the top and bottom sheets come out. This is infuriating.

I have told the staff at the checkout desk, and they look at me like I'm a bit daft. I'd appreciate it if you would publish this with an answer, if you can get one. -- RUTH ANNE YOUNG, JONESBORO, ILL.

DEAR RUTH ANNE: Any traveler who has ever had to tear a bed apart in order to get into it will understand your fury.

According to a spokesperson for the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel, the "old school" of thought is that tucking in the top sheet and blanket projects an image of neatness and cleanliness. In many upscale hotels, however, "turndown service" is provided -- which includes not only removing the spread and turning down the bed, but chocolate on the pillow, closing the drapes, dimming the lights and replenishing the towels.