I changed the sheets on my bed this morning because, well, it's Sunday, and that's the day to change sheets. I got to thinking about that, and realized that for probably fifty years now that task has been part of my Sunday morning routine. My mother pressed my brothers and me into unpaid servitude when we were very young, and one of my chores was to help her change the four beds in our house. All of our bedsheets were cotton percale and white, of course, and at first we didn't have any fitted sheets at all. A flat sheet would be tucked in all around on the bottom, then another one was used on top of it. Fitted sheets were a marvel to me.
My mother was loathe to lose me as unpaid help, and I remember the Sunday morning before I left for my sophomore year of college she insisted I help her change all the beds in the house before she would drive me back to Kent. I was understandably resentful (why couldn't my brothers do it?) and didn't realize until long afterwards that she probably just wanted to spend that extra time with me. Oh, that she had only said so. That was not our relationship, however.
I desperately wanted flowered sheets in the sixties, and finally got a set for my high school graduation. Of course, it was 1971 by then, and I was about to go away to college. The sheets we bought for the bed in my dorm room were flowered, of course, as were all the sheets I bought for years after that. Ben refused to sleep on flowered sheets, however, saying that men didn't use flowered sheets. I was skeptical since most of the sheets I saw in linen departments were flowered, but it seemed like a small thing. I bought a beautiful set of paisley sheets in soft pastel colors, and another set in pale yellow with a green leaf design. I think those were borderline for Ben, but he accepted them.
The sheets with the leaf design are the ones I put on the bed this morning. I am sure they are at least twenty-five years old, and the bottom sheet is almost worn through at one end. I remember my mother telling me that sheets were always at their softest and most comfortable right before you had to throw them out. The top sheet has small tears in a couple of places near the top edge. Bobo and Lucie - both gone now - used to love to dig in the bed sheets, whether toys were hidden there or not. I never minded, and now I am glad, actually, to have those small reminders of them.
The sheets I bought a couple of years ago are cotton percale, not sateen or bamboo or beechwood, and they are a pale cream color, which matches the decor. Flowered sheets are "out" now, and I would be hard-pressed to find a set anywhere, I suppose. I have no doubt they'll come back in style some day, and I'll be ready to buy some when they do.
I'm sure the sheets are ready for the dryer by now, and, really, that's all I had to say.