Last September — no, it goes farther back than that.
Back in October 2015, I got a slightly better paying job, which meant I finally had the extra scratch to re-do our bed linens: new sheets, new pillows, new mattress pad, new duvet cover, and it was basically the best day of my life.
I should probably preface this whole post with one very important truth about me: I love bedding. Like, love love love it. Back in the states, I had at least 6 bed sets, and I switched out the duvet cover and shams whenever the mood struck me. I could re-decorate my bedroom daily. If I had my way, our wardrobe would be stocked with hella sheets and blankets. I love walking through homewares stores, and I get lost in interior design pages. It’s not surprising in the least that I have lost hours standing in the aisle of Target contemplating two slightly different colour yellow sheets (twice). Bed linen shopping is my favourite.
SO, back to The Best Day of My Life 2015. I found a great pair of bright yellow sheets that were high quality and ridiculously expensive but also 75% off. But I also saw this pair of gold printed sheets that were of sightly lesser quality and were ridiculously expensive and not on sale. I sent a picture of them to Joel, who said they were “too busy.” But they were gorgeous. And I kept thinking about them. After debating whether or not it was worth it to spend over $100 on a single sheet set that Joel would hate but I would love, I decided they weren’t worth it. Maybe later, when they’re on sale.
Flash forward One Year. The sheets still haven’t left my mind. Every time I passed the bedding store over the course of that year, I would be haunted by the gorgeous gold print sheets that could have been. But they were never on sale, and it was never the right time to buy them. And then one day, we decided we needed a summer blanket. And I was charged with finding “something that feels like sheets” that also satisfied my need for “colour” while at the same time satisfying Joel’s need for “nothing busy.” I mean, shopping for bedding is fun, but shopping for bedding for two opinionated people who don’t have the same taste in bedding is sometimes the worst thing ever.
It took 4.5 hours of back and forth between 5 different stores on 3 different levels of the shopping centre, muttering about “printed sheets or solid doona or printed doona and solid sheets.” Nothing exactly fit or blew my skirt up, except for this one green, vintage floral print blanket — that just SO happened to be modelled with my dream gold printed sheets, and that I just SO happened to be lusting over as long as I had been lusting over the sheets, and that just SO happened to be on sale. So, after lots of deliberation on whether to just get the dream sheets and the dream doona cover, and deliberating if I could afford both of them (because separately it could be a splurge but together was way too much), I threw my hands up and said “Fuck it” and bought the doona cover, and the affordable white sheets as a compromise to my pattern hating Joel. I left the store, dying that I didn’t buy the dream sheets when I had the chance.
However, the bedding Gods smiled upon me, and Joel was stoked for the new blanket. Well, as stoked as he can be, or at least pretended to be for me. And the blanket looked nice against the stark white sheets. So it wasn’t a total loss.
I really wanted those damn sheets. And after a week of obsessively thinking about them, I once again threw my hands in the air and said FUCK IT, and bought them. I brought them home, washed them, made the bed with its matching blanket, and fell in love. And even Joel thought they looked nice.
The sheets glowed in the sun, and they were so comfortable. I felt triumphant.
A few months later, I noticed there were huge discoloured areas where our bodies touched the sheets. Very odd, considering we didn’t use any bath products or lotions with peroxide or bleach, and I washed and dried according to the care instructions. But the tops of the pillows, and the top of the fitted sheet were pale yellow compared to the rest of the fabric, which was still gold.
I sent pictures to the customer service of the store where I bought the sheets, and they said I could replace them, no problem, they had never heard of this happening before. When I took the sheets back to the store, they were sold out of my size. OF COURSE THEY WERE. They said it would take 2-3 weeks to get the sheets back in stock, if I wanted to wait. Of course I didn’t want to wait, I had spent 3 months on my dream bed and I didn’t want it to end. So after an eternity of considering other sheets to exchange them for, and talking at length with the cashier about which sheets were best, I settled on another pattern that I hated but hated less than the other ones. I’d only have to wait two days for our size to come in. Which sucked, but a few days was better than a few weeks.
Two days later, the new sheets came in. I went to pick them up, and LO AND BEHOLD, there were my gold sheets of glory, in our size. I brought them up the counter, and the same cashier that had been really helpful was there. I told her I how excited I was, and she said they got an unexpected shipment. I asked if I could just take these instead, since they were what I really wanted, and she said no. She had already done the exchange, and she couldn’t do an exchange on top of an exchange since it was an exchange on a faulty product. I tried my best to beg her, but she wouldn’t budge. I took the shitty sheets home, wondering how fucked that was. I didn’t think it was so big an ask, and it was a simple issue (not one cent in price difference) and something I would have (and did, when I worked in customer service) worked out for a customer. I wrote another email to corporate, asking if there was anything that could be done. Corporate basically wrote “nope, sorry, you had your chance, suck it loser.” So I wrote off that store forever. It was dead to me.
The shitty sheets never became un-shitty, and after a few weeks went into the donate pile. And I sneered every time I walked past the store.
They put those beautiful gold sheets in the window, and I’ve had to pass them weekly as I leave the grocery store. It’s a strange thing to be haunted by bed sheets, but there I was. I haven’t been able to find a pair of sheets that I like as much, and it killed me to see them drop lower and lower in price, knowing that they were dead to me.
So, a couple weekends ago, I let myself do the unthinkable: I went inside the dead store and went to the clearance section and checked, just checked, if they had our size. OF COURSE THEY DID. They may have my size, and they might be 50% off, but this place is dead to me. I put the sheets back and left quickly. I felt dirty.
As I was walking home, I thought to myself, “why did I think it was ok to give ex-boyfriends and bad jobs and McDonald’s infinity billion chances after fucking me over, but I wrote off this one store after one bad jib? What’s the point, if I love the sheets so much, can’t I just let it go?” “Yeah, but you left those boy friends and jobs for a reason and you don’t eat McDonald’s because it’s terrible for you. You don’t have the money to spend on those sheets. So stop it.” Shut up, brain.
And so, the arguing between my good brain and my bad brain continued arguing all through the week.
right up to the point where I threw my hands in the air and said FUCK IT, and brought the sheets to the register, and more so when I tapped my debit card on the machine, and even still when I brought them home. And even MORE arguing when Joel came home and didn’t hate them. And yet MORE arguing when I impulsively threw them in the washer and dryer, because it was 9* and dark outside and they wouldn’t have dried in time even though the care instructions said to line dry only SHUT UP GOOD BRAIN — and finally, when I made the bed with the glorious new sheets, and got into bed and felt the inevitable scratchiness of karma, and Joel said “wow these sheets feel rough,” my brain all at once came together in unison to say “Yeah you really shouldn’t have bought these.”
SO yes, I was in a foul mood all night, as the scratchy fabric ruined my dream bed, and I felt more guilty for spending the money. That sucked. It seems, through like these sheets and I are not meant to exist in a perfect union. I’ve been Googling “how to soften sheets that you put in the dryer because you can’t control your impulses and now you’re stuck with shit sheets,” (apparently the trick is washing them with baking soda, and rinsing them with white vinegar) and I’m holding onto hope that they’ll continue to soften over time.
And that I’ll be able to curb my bedding habit.
Doubtful. But hey, we live in hope.