Rebecca and I both agree that one of the most delightful moments of the day is that longed for one in which we finally slips between the sheets with our arduous diurnal travails behind us. A bit of reading, a bit of knitting, and then peaceful oblivion, snuggled next to the kitty and pup. And the most delightful moment of the week is when one slips between freshly laundered linens – as yet unsullied by man (in this case, woman,) or beast. The anticipated ecstasy of this moment was something Rachael could not (or would not) grasp. She could not understand why I would be so irked when I changed all my bed linen, went out – usually to choir practice, as Thursday is my bed changing day and also choir practice evening – and then came home expecting this wonderful “clean sheet moment,” only to find her hot sweaty little self in a tangle of my sheets and blankets, my bed now a rumpled mess and absolutely not the crisp, lovely arrangement I had left. At first, she argued against the delight of clean sheets – why was I so finicky, what was the big deal, and why should I feel that it was a treat just for me. Well, I countered, it was after all, my bed. She had her own bed and I never mussed it up. Then when she felt that these arguments were no longer viable, she feigned ignorance, claiming that she could not possibly know when my sheets were clean, (and, once again, what was the big deal anyway?) So I made a little laminated sign that I put out on the bed every clean sheet day. She often missed this --- once her contacts were out, she couldn’t see… etc, etc, etc. Aaaargh! Her bed was very nice, and in the summer, much cooler than mine, but mine seemed to have irresistible charms.
Once, years ago, after a really, really horrible evening at work, I came home at midnight, desperate for the solace of my bed. I flipped back the covers, only to find that Leslie, my darling cairn terrier had crawled under the covers and thrown up potatoes on the sheets. I got hysterical, really hysterical. Rebecca, noble girl that she is, got up, came in and totally changed the linen on my bed while I sobbed in the corner. Finding Rachael in my bed was no where near this. In fact, I was often happy to find her there, just not on clean sheet night.
Now that she has moved into her own apartment, I miss her often and wish she were her with her interesting prattle and good company. But on clean sheet night, I always give a little sigh of relief that Rachael will not be in my bed when I get home, and Margaret is too old to get up on it and mess it up until I assist her. There will be virginal sheets, clean and untainted by any occupation but mine. Aaaaaaaah!