Housekeeping Note:
Shirkery
5 June 2019

¶ I’m afraid that I don’t change the sheets as often as I used to do. It has become too laborious. First, there is the removal of all the toppings — the quilt, the bedspread — and the pillows. Worse, though, is the fitted sheet. Our mattress is slightly oversized, and pulling at the corners of the fitted sheet is quite arduous. I am not as strong as I used to be, especially since the winter’s weight loss — still ongoing, by the way, although not at its original clip.

I changed the bedding yesterday and am still feeling quite sore today — sore and, also, tired. Not too tired, however, to catch up with the ironing. Am I the last man on earth who irons his own pillowcases? It’s possible. (I’m not talking about paying somebody else to do it.) Not to mention the dinner napkins. I had let the ironing — clean but unpressed “linens” — pile up for three weeks. I had quite run out of napkins for the table; I’m not sure that buying a bunch of new ones is the answer.

I was a little less conscientious about the ironing this time. I folded the napkins carefully into their finished shape, sprayed them with water, and let the iron sit on them for a bit. That seemed to do the job.

I put “linens” in quote because I remember being quite shocked to learn as a boy that our sheets and pillowcases were in fact made out of something unappealingly called “percale.” I felt distinctly gypped. Do people still speak of linen closets? 

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