Monday, September 18, 2017

Sheet Fits

I may be neater than many bachelors; at least, I like such things as bed linen, socks, and underwear to be folded and stored properly. But after many moons, I concede that I have met my match in that diabolical monstrosity called the fitted sheet.

Removing a fitted sheet from the dryer and attempting to fold it neatly, or approximately neatly, or just in a way that results in something other than a mound of crumpled cotton, is an exercise in frustration.

You would think that folding these sheets would not be very difficult. But handling one eventually leads to the conclusion that fitted sheets were designed by M.C.Escher. They have the properties of Möbius strips or Klein bottles. When you think you have the ‘inside’ facing in one direction and begin folding, you discover that the infernal thing has no inside and no outside. By some esoteric sorcery the inner seam magically appears on the outer side. The ‘long’ and ‘short’ sides somehow change positions randomly. You become impatient, grouchy, irate. Life is too short to try to make sense of the thing. Miserable wretched object, I’ll show you… and you wind up stuffing the misshapen mass of fabric into your linen closet, where it sits smugly on the shelf, a clean but smirking reproach to your sense of decency and order.

Of course that source of solutions to every human ill, the Internet, will provide you with guidance on this matter as it does on all others. I have watched a video in which a woman, with a few deft twists of her wrist, causes a fitted sheet to assume a perfectly docile, rectangular shape with no more effort than would be required to fold a napkin. I cannot follow. I can only gasp in awe and say, like Professor Quirrell, “What is this magic?”   


  1. Why does no one ever comment?

    1. How can one fathom to understand an object so mysterious as the fitted sheet (especially following a description as thorough as yours)?