I got new sheets today. But, not really new. And … well, here’s the story.
I have never had a romantic relationship.
All my relationships have been romances.
I have never been in love.
I have fallen in love with virtually everyone I have ever known.
I love being alone.
I hate being alone.
I have always been alone.
I have never been alone.
My earlier post was about being “lonely”. There is a myth about the Eskimo having hundreds of words for “snow” – and I think we ought to have hundreds of words for “lonely” because it comes in so many different colors and varieties and intensities.
I have a very few very good friends with whom I spend quality time. They love me very much. I live with family members who love me very much. I like spending time alone. Always have. When I whine about “lonely” I – most often – mean a lonely born of having fallen into believing that there is such a thing as “in love” and I want to be with a man who lights up when I come in a room, who makes me light up when he comes in a room, who sits next to me and casually runs his fingers up and down my arm, takes my hand now and then, wants to be with me in a romantic way, like “Wuthering Heights” and musicals without dying and the ghost on the moors shit (well, maybe a little of it, actually) and THAT’s what I mean by “lonely”.
Because, honestly, I am with people almost ALL the time.
Today, for example, I spent most of the day with my Mom. She loves to shop. I was happy to take her to her favorite department store and I mentioned that I would like to look for sheets. She remarked that I never bought anything so she was shocked, and, too, excited, because her favorite department store – she assured me, almost giddy with it – had a wonderful selection of sheets and I was sure to find something.
But, you see, here is who I am. I have two sets I use in rotation. Both are ancient. Both are extraordinarily high thread count and worn to silken, soft, smooth, caressing texture from literally decades of use. And both, sadly, are dying. The elastic is losing its hold, the seams coming apart, and here and there, the cotton worn so thin, I tear it simply by touching. I am SO in love with one set – a Ralph Lauren pattern from – I think 20 years ago – here it is –
– that I have searched everywhere from E-Bay to CraigsList to – well, EVERYWHERE – for the same pattern to no avail.
We get to the bedding department, about which my Mother was so excited, about which I was both doubtful and hopeful, and lo and behold, the entire section is blocked off with bright yellow caution tape. Closed for inventory. LOL. However, my Mother is not just a regular at this store, she is there so often she is almost a mascot. She spoke to the clerk and explained, “My son hasn’t had new sheets in 20 years and he never shops and I told him you have the best selection.” The clerk raised the tape for my Mother, the Queen, and asked only that if we decided to buy anything we check out only with her so she could adjust the counts.
I found a pattern I liked, on great sale. I was almost in love. Right thread count. Right colors. Right feel. Of course, it did NOT come in Full Size.
Okay, guess I’m not to have new sheets yet. So, we moved downstairs to the Mother-clothing-department and as we did, I said I had long thought I might want a bigger bed anyway, was a little sorry that when I’d given away the bed I had from Libertytown – passed it on to my niece since I would never have children, since I wanted it to stay in the family, since I wanted someone I loved as much as Sissie had loved me to have it – I was a little sorry I hadn’t moved up to a Queen size bed then.
My Mother said, “You don’t need more than a full size bed. That’s plenty big enough for just you.”
Even my Mother. I said, “Well, thank you very much for pointing out that I have always slept alone and will always sleep alone. I so appreciate that today. So, so much.”
She said, “That’s not what I meant.”
I said, “What did you mean, then?”
She said, “Oh Charlie, why don’t you go see what you can find on sale in men’s and we’ll meet back here later.”
She wasn’t even trying to be funny.
Which was good, because I wasn’t laughing.
I met up with Mother about 45 minutes later and she told me that she’d remembered she had a set of sheets she never used because she didn’t like how they felt, they were too soft for her, but maybe I would like them since I liked that really worn, used feel. She determined that instead of dropping her off at her place, I should come in and up to her place and look at them, and while I was there I could fix her clock … it wasn’t ticking right.
I did. Go up. And fix her clock … it was a pendulum switch issue. And damn if that set of sheets isn’t nice; although white, which is not my usual thing, and only two pillow cases – and I have seven pillows – but, details. The pillow slips have details of white embroidery on the edges. Mother said, “They’re too fancy for me, but I bet you like them.”
I said, “Yes, I do, nothing is too fancy for me, Mother. You know that.”
She said, “Oh Charlie, go make the clock tick right, please?”
Goodnight. And here’s a Susan Sontag article from BrainPickings on “Love, Sex and the World Between” (and stuff – CLICK HERE) and a Davey Wavey YouTube about the ridiculousness of monogamy …
… and Dan Savage talking about the same thing.
So, I guess, you know, my full-sized bed should work just fine … right, Mother?