Sheets -- So Complicated?

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a little while are well familiar with my periodic obsession with (and confusion by) ordinary objects in life. Yep. It's that time, and I'm at it again. Not too long ago we talked about shower curtains.

Today, it's bedsheets.

Wait. I heard that. Who groaned? And which one of you said, "There she goes again?" We already know that. I said that in the first paragraph! Today is one of those days where I lost my second cup of coffee under the Keurig Coffee Maker spigot because I forgot I made it, I have to clean the entire house for a football party, and I'm not in the mood for any backtalk.

I mean ... sheets. They are things you put on a bed to keep the mattress from getting all yucky. (That's a technical term.) Since this is a PG blog, no one is permitted to delve into the ideas of what might make a mattress yucky. We have all kinds of emails from people with nothing to do to speculate on things like that for us.

Waaaaayyyyy back at our wedding, DH and I received this really nice set of blue sheets. They came from JC Penney, and I vaguely remember registering for them because that is what the couple is supposed to do at a wedding. (Hey, I warned you. Step that mind awaaaayyyy from the gutter. Away. Back, back. I was referring to registering for domestic-type things the couple does not have and will not/can't afford to buy for themselves. This isn't a bachelor party, it's a blog.)

When I first got these blue sheets, I thought they were ... okay ... but they weren't quite what I thought the height of expensive sheet-dom should be. So, after awhile, I bought a set of satin sheets. Big mistake. See, I like to actually sleep in my bed, under actual covers. I prefer not to slide off the bed to sleep on top of the covers that slid off before me.

I do find satin sheets to be a great source of comic relief where the cats are concerned, though. Picture this: Big Black Cat, calmly strolling up to big bed, and casually jumping up to settle down for a quick snooze -- only to find the comforter sliding swiftly and mercilessly toward the other side of the bed and taking Big Black Cat with it. He digs in with all 10 claws, but by then it is far too late, and he is hanging off the side, taking the fitted sheet with him to lie in a pile of rapidly shedding fur and red satin on the floor.

Then there are the pillows with satin covers on the satin sheets. Picture this: Tired mamma gently moves the covers from atop the pillow and climbs into bed. Pillow shoots across the room and slides gently onto the floor. Mamma retrieves pillow and tries again. She lays down, every so carefully, and as her head hits the pillow, the pillow slips away again like a wet bar of soap in the shower, and her head hits the bed instead. At this point she usually chooses a nearby piece of laundry and scrunches it up to use as a pillow instead. After all, she is one tired mamma.

Needless to say, we only use those sheets once or twice a year when I forget how hard it is to sleep while hanging on for dear life.

So, we had silky-type sheets, then satin. We tried flannel, which is fabulous ... while it is new ... and winter. Otherwise they get all pilled up and are pretty warm for any month in Virginia that isn't January or February. In a normal house, these pills would be an excuse to ask for more sheets for Christmas, but in this house it's an opportunity for Entropy and Chaos to cause clutter. See, DH doesn't believe that pills are a reason to discard sheets. Only when they become so threadbare you can see through them do they become worthy of removal from the linen closet ... and onto the paint cloth pile in the laundry room. I don't know if I should mention that we haven't painted any room in this house since we moved in back in 2002. I'm not sure how many sets of sheets the laundry room pile can hold. Really.

As this struggle continued over the years, those original blue sheets really softened up in the wash, and now they are the most wonderful feeling sheets I have ever found. When they are on the bed, I feel like I'm truly royalty (in the modern sense, not the King Henry sense like my prior post). Of course, by this time, the sheets are getting pretty worn themselves, with a hole in one corner even. Uh oh.

So, one day, while walking through the mall, I saw a humongo (another techincal term) sale on Egyptian Cotton sheets. These have to be just as good as the silky-type ones, right? Of course, I buy a set. At that point I realize that I have the driest feet and most horrific fingernails and toenails on the planet. Every time I use those sheets, I feel, "scrape ... scrape". The two times we tried to use them, I went through a jar of hand and feet lotion each night, and it only worked for about 10 minutes before I would hear again, "scrape ... scrape." I think there is seldom such an awful feeling as one's own "rough" skin catching fibers in Egyptian Cotton sheets. Even cat fur is too rough, I think, for those sheets.

In this great, multi-year quest for the perfect set of sheets, I have come to the realization that much of sheet-dom is just odd. I mean, we cover the sheets with comforters and bedspreads, so the only thing we should really care about is how they feel, right? Then why are there so many colors and patterns to choose from? Why do we care if our sheets are blue, or red, or whether they have patterns of snowflakes or trees? Either the spread is on, or the lights are off and we are sleeping. (Okay, for those of you walking near the gutter again, maybe we aren't sleeping, but I doubt even then many of us are really thinking about the pattern on the sheets. If so, well ... that's more information than any of us really need to know about your life.)

Sheets ... more evidence in my growing observation that most things are absurd if you think about them long enough.

As it turns out, I had my perfect set of sheets all along, and they were my wedding sheets, but I don't know what kind they are, and I doubt that the brand name/type even exists after all these years.

Now what?


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