I bought sheets today.
Yeah, I know: "so...? Big whoop." But what you have to understand is that is so not who I am and what I do.
For years I got by with the sheets that came with the bed I kinda, sorta inherited from my Uncle Ed (who wasn't really an uncle but a WWI buddy of my grandfather's. Yes, World War ONE); however, given that said sheets were at least 60 years old it came as no surprise when they finally wore out. Okay, wore through--(1) I'm a big guy, and (2) with things like sheets and socks and underpants I tend to cram 'em all in the washing machine, using force if necessary, throw in a bunch of Tide detergent (using the TLAR method: "That Looks About Right"), and let 'er rip, maybe throwing in a couple of extra rinse cycles as lagniappe. Abrasion eventually takes its toll.
And so it came to pass that soon after I moved from Charlottesville, VA to Richmond (1991) I found myself in need of new sheets. Now, Mom had prepared me for a lot of things in bachelor life (including laundry, which you've noticed I ignored), but she failed to give me a crash course in sheet selection. Left to my own devices and based upon my limited understanding of such things, I simply went to the nearest Big Box store, found the least expensive sheets available in colors I could tolerate (white not being one of them), and made my way home. Of course, these wore out surprisingly fast (well, maybe not surprising to you, but certainly to me), so I repeated the cycle every couple of years.
Finally, I caught on that bed sheets varied greatly in price, quality, and composition and these factors had a significant effect on longevity, but then a number of questions arose: Natural fibers or synthetic? Cotton or cotton flannel? Pima or Egyptian cotton? High or low thread count? Regular, sateen, or satin weave?
Sweet Jeebus, I just want(ed) something to sleep upon.
Well, thanks to the miracle of the Intarwebs and my serious info-addiction I'm better educated now and capable of making informed decisions concerning my bed linens, which I did the other day when I bought some nice burgundy-colored 325 thread-count sheets at a very reasonable price (especially since I now know what constitutes "reasonable"). I would have gotten the 600 thread-count, but they were more than double the price; these seemed a good compromise.
Concerning beds, I finally had to disassemble Uncle Ed's a few years ago when the mattress wore out and I started shopping for a new one. His was a weird size, a "3/4 bed," common at one time, essentially non-existent now. You can have a mattress custom-made for these beds should you ever encounter one, but that's a horrifically expensive proposition. I decided it was easier--and cheaper--to buy myself a new one.
I seriously considered the Gothic Wrought Iron number, but decided my bedroom was far to small to show it off properly (that, and I'm not a 16-yr.-old Goth girl). I settled on a platform bed (no box springs to buy... ever!!!) by Amisco, the Newton:
In some Alternate Universe where Bizarro G. W. lives a neat, clean, pet-fur-free, naturally-lit, minimalist life, this would be the sleeping area. In our world, however, this is my bedroom:
If you click and enlarge you'll see the new pillowcases behind two old, faded, thinning ones. That's Pattern Recognition by William Gibson on the bed. There are boxes of books under the bed and monolithic piles of books in the two corners you can't see. The white bookcases are ones my father made for me when I was five. The ugly blue blanket keeps the slightly too-short mattress from sliding away from the headboard. I picked up the Elvis beach towel during my first visit to Duck, NC in 2005; it blocks the morning light quite effectively. Those are purple Christmas (Halloween?) lights I never use surrounding the towel. You will, of course, kindly refrain from making comments about the dust and cobwebs.
Not seen: Sid the Cat doing his usual shedding of white hair upon everything (he was under the bed when I took the pic).