Every so often I get the idea that I'm going to trick my subconscious into making me neat and organized. At that time, I take on a low level task. This week it was to catalogue all of the cotton sheets I have collected over the years with a zeal most reserve for religion or charity.
When I was a young wife, cotton was out of favor (shocking , no?) cotton clothing, cotton tablecloths and cotton bed linens were nowhere to be found in middle class stores. We were offered no iron fabrics that were the texture of thread laced packing tape. If you exuded one drop of perspiration the fabric smelled like a used tire factory. We were uncomfortable. This was a dark era in American Life. I was disconsolate and often sang out my dilemma to the tune of Imagine (Yes, I am committing a travesty.)
Imagine there's no cotton,
It's hard but let's just try.
No terry, lisle or flannel
Your linen's gone bye bye.
Imagine there's no oxford for hubby's workforce shirt, Uh uh uh uh uh
You may think I'm a weeper but I'm just one of the wives.
who prays each day for a reunion with the fabric of our lives.
I won't bore you with how they were accumulated but I have three large storage tubs of cotton sheets and pillowcases. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll never be hungry for cotton again. This stash of bed linens are not differentiated. I have to unfold eighty-seven sheets before I come to the ones that fit my bed. I have sheets with hemstitched borders, with scalloped borders, with plain but wide hems. I have 300, 400, and 600 hundred thread count sheets. I have serviceable muslin sheets that must have been made for a penitentiary or correction facility. Their no nonsense off-white sturdiness fairly screams "I'm an overrun from a batch of prison sheets." I have flannel sheets imprinted with tiny wales, penguins and fluffy clouds.
|I'm the upper crust of sheets - hemstitched!|
On the appointed day I dragged the storage tubs to the middle of the floor. I had sticky labels, a good pen and a measuring tape. Yes, in my obsessive way I was going to measure and segregate my sheets in size piles so I could choose the ones I needed with certainty.
|Really? We're organizing sheets?|
After measuring three sheets I realized that no two twin sheets are the same size. There are long twins and short twins, The fitted sheets vary, some have elastic and some do not. Some have expandable webbing at the corners and fit all the way under the mattress. I quickly became imprecise and let it go. After a couple of hours, I bundled up piles of twins, fulls, queens and kings. I wondered who named all these bed sizes. I guess twins were meant to be placed side by side, identical. Fulls are not really full enough for two. Queens and kings? Really. A bed is all it takes?
I did not have any California king sheets which are sheets that could cover the state of Delaware.