YAKIMA, Wash. — What is it with women and sheets? Maybe it is some men too, I don’t know. I just haven’t ever met a man that really gave two hoots about their sheets. Never, in any discussion on fishing or hunting trips, have any of the guys I have been with ever mentioned their bed clothes.
But if you listen to other people, mostly women in my world, there seems to be an abundance of discussion about sheets. Evidently thread count is important. Fabric seems to be something to consider. And, I guess there is actually a top and bottom to each sheet when they are to be placed on the bed.
I bring all this up because there have been a few issues lately at the Phillips house with the sheets. More specifically it has been issues with our little black Lab Bailey on our bed, and sleeping on our sheets.
Sure, we should have never let her get up on the bed in the first place but now she thinks of it as her preferred afternoon nap spot. She sleeps at night on a perfectly good dog bed in the laundry room, but when it comes time for a nap, she will slink off into our bedroom and spread out on the old queen size.
Most of the time even that is not an issue, as she will frequently lie on top of the blankets. But there are times when she decides she’d like to lay on the 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. So she will dig her way down to them by pulling at the blankets until she finds the sheets. That’s when the all the trouble starts.
“Dang it, Bailey!” I will hear my wife Terri holler from the bedroom.
I’ll look at Bailey and she will look at me and we’ll both head for the back door.
“Why do you let her do that?” Terri will ask me, like it is my fault she gets up on the bed.
Yes, I thought it was cute when she was a little puppy, jumping up on the furniture to lie next to me. And jumping on the couch turned into jumping up on the bed, but even that doesn’t really bother me and I told Terri so.
“It doesn’t bother you that after she does that I have a bunch of dirt on my side of the bed at night?” she will ask.
Heck, after sleeping in tents and on the ground with dirt, pine needles and assorted insects over the years on hunts and fishing trips, a few little dirt particles that can be easily brushed out of the bed are no big deal in my mind.
Apparently women don’t look at it that way. Or at least the woman I live with doesn’t.
The only issue I have with sheets is with those fitted ones. I try to help with laundry as much as I can but I have never figured out how to fold those stupid sheets with the elastic in the rounded corner. Over time I have decided that just balling them up and then sitting on them to flatten them out works the best. I’m sure Terri appreciates that.
I also help put the sheets on the bed after they have been laundered (usually after Bailey has decided she would enjoy the soft touch of sheets for her nap.) I almost always put the sheets on upside down and backwards. And frankly I’d be perfectly happy sleeping on and in them just that way.
Nope, that’s not the way they go, so after yet another quick lesson on sheet placement (we’ve only been married 41 years) the bed clothes are arranged correctly.
A few years ago, on our old bed, we had some fitted sheets that liked to let loose of the corners in the middle of the night.
I woke up one night and thought I was being strangled by an anaconda. The fitted sheet had sprung off the corner and somehow entangled me as I rolled over. I came up yelling and screaming until Terri quietly removed the sheet from my head.
I hated those sheets. I can’t tell you how many times I woke up with the fitted sheet just gone, and I was sleeping on the bare mattress.
To me, and most of my hunting buddies I think, we’d be fine sleeping in our sleeping bags for the long haul. But other people believe that sheets are pretty important. Bring it up at a dinner party and all of a sudden the room will explode with discussions about silk versus flannel, cotton percale versus sateen. You’re going to spend a third of your life in bed, might as well be on sheets you like, right?
Take it from me ladies, and some gentlemen, there are many of us who just don’t care. A sheet is a sheet. And if the bottom sheet is slightly dirty because the dog has taken an afternoon nap on them, I’m perfectly okay with that.
The only time I’m not okay with the sheets is when the fitted one weasels its way off the corner of the bed and tries to strangle me in my sleep. That’s when we have a problem.
If you want to discuss that, I’ll be happy to.
• Rob Phillips is an award-winning freelance outdoor writer who has written the Northwest Sportsman column for over 25 years. He can be reached at email@example.com