Christina Antus wonders why classes in home economics never focused on the household tasks we need to know.
I don’t like folding fitted sheets.
If you want to call what I do even folding.
The only way to successfully fold a fitted sheet is to stretch out the elastic so it’s no longer “fitted” as far as definitions are concerned. Then you have some chance of folding it so it looks semi-respectable.
Folding fitted sheets is not something they taught us back in home economics. I learned how to sift flour, bake biscuits from scratch, formally set a table, care for an egg baby, and sew a pillow.
I did not learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
To this date:
- I’ve never sifted anything that wasn't a pile of socks.
- I’ve only bought rolls, never biscuits — not on purpose.
- We eat on paper plates and use our fingers a lot.
- My mother-in-law does all our sewing. The stapler does what she’s not available to do.
As for an egg baby, a lot of good that did for teaching me how to care for an actual baby. Especially since all I did was pack it into a Tupperware container and toss it in my backpack until class.
So, how to fold a fitted sheet would have been much more helpful.
My husband, who has had every job there is to have from drywalling to bartending to grave digging (I don’t think all three at once, but do you ever really know a person? I mean, really know a person?) used to manage a hotel and has opinions on how fitted sheets are folded. He backs those opinions up with an actual process to fold one ...
He is the only person I know who can fold a fitted sheet. But he never does the laundry so it’s a wasted skill. Instead, he watches me wrestle the fitted sheet like an alligator wrestles a hippo. Somewhere after the death roll when I’m laying on the floor in floral printed flannel, exhausted and wondering how I ended up here in life, he will say, without looking over at me, “You know, that's not how you fold a fitted sheet.”
Now, before you go and think he’s a total jerk for not helping me, please remember that we have four kids and are very tired. Also, he’s shown me no less than 400 times in the last 12 years we’ve been together. Those “sessions” end up with him showing me how to fold the sheet with an in-person step-by-step tutorial and me watching and nodding.
I have the memory retention of a kiwi; I recall none of the steps and have way too much pride to ask him to show me again. So I go through what I think are fine steps to fold a fitted sheet. I put ends together and wad it into a ball before smoothing it out and stuffing it in the back of the closet.
Of course, does anyone even care what a fitted sheet looks like? Besides my husband? It's under a top sheet that actually does neatly fold and at least one blanket that also neatly folds. If anyone asks why your fitted sheet is wrinkled, I think a better question would be to ask them why they're in your bedroom taking apart your bedsheets.
I gave up years ago trying to figure out the whole matching ends and scooping one pocket into the other while flipping this thing that goes over that thing until it’s magically a neat pile of square.
I am not David Copperfield.
Fitted sheets are stupid.
But I should note that they do keep the sheet on the bed. Well, unless you have some like mine without elasticity. When you sacrifice function for form, you could very well find yourself trapped in a floral flannel death roll at 2:00 AM, wondering how you ended up here in life.
Copyright 2021 Christina Antus
Image: Canva Pro
About the Author
Christina Antus lives with her husband, cat, and four noisy kids. When she's not wrapped up in her favorite fluffy robe writing, she's running, reading, folding forever-piles of laundry, and probably burning dinner. She can occasionally be found hiding in her closet eating candy. Christina blogs at HousewifeRunning.com. Follow her on Instagram at @housewife.running.