I have a huge affection for fine linen.
The textures, the patterns, the vivid colors. In my ultimate linen fantasy, I have linen for each season of the year. Oh the possibilities!!
I’d then need a walk in linen closet. Can you imagine?
I tell myself that having seasonal sets of linen is a major decor statement. I tell myself that I’d actually be making an investment because I wouldn’t have to keep washing the same set of sheets over and over. Washing them all the time reduces their lifespan, ya know?
I will talk myself in and out of this idea over and over because it amuses me
Truth is I will never have seasonal linen or a walk in linen closet.
I recently befriend a man who said he was linen iliterate. That comment really cracked me up.
I offered him some linen tips. He accepted them rather graciously.
I told him about thread count, about my favorite suppliers for linen and why. I shared about a blanket I purchased last year that is of a plush pile – don’t ask me what it’s made out of. It’s THE most deliciously soft blanket ever — very much actually like a stuffed animal soft.
I also shared with him the flannel sheet trick which I discovered at a lovely little bed and breakfast in MIlwaukee. I adopted the trick for my very own. Take a regular sheet, top it with a flannel sheet, add another regular sheet and you get a divine weighted sleeve of warmth. It’s delicious
He was rather intrigued by that
As the weather has gotten colder this man commented that it was going to be a double flannel sheet weekend. It’s true it was going to be a cold one! I shared that I was recently given a down comforter and I was experimenting with keeping the heat turned off at night.
I can now add the down comforter to the pile called my winter bedding.
I declared that the entire thing seemingly required a bit of choreoraphy.
See, the down comforter is weighty. It’s not the right size for my bed and it’s rather bulky. I place it on my carefully layered winter linen ensemble but it’s too thick to tuck in between my legs. I can roll over scooting the normal bedding in as I roll, leaving the down comforter to lay on top. AND, If I do this just right… it’s actually deliciously warm and wonderful.
Yet if I don’t do it just right — then whole thing gets terribly discombobulated
and then I can’t sleep.
Which brings me to the story — The Princess And The Pea or the Princess and the Boulder!
I was once at a hotel where the bedding was all wrong, the bottom sheet wasn’t fitted and came untucked, the flannel pad on the bed, also not fitted was very thick and had these rigid ripples to them. It didn’t lay flat. The top sheet had a hole in it that my toe kept finding and the coverlet underside was that horrific scratchy nylon poly crap that should simply not be allowed on anything labeled linen. I ditched the coverlet. It layed stiffly in a heap on the floor. I was left with a holy sheet, a knobby blanket and this stupid thick pad beneath me with the ripples in it.
Hotels in general seem to spire in me what might have been a life time of allergies that I have managed beautifully by nutritional supplements. With the exception of hotels. I get the sniffles, my face and skin reacts and my eyes become gel – like and googly.
That night besides the linen being completely all wrong I was freezing. What ever self temperature gauge the room had was not managing the temperature. I was very frustrated. I started to think of the fairy tale the princess and the pea and how she could detect a pea even with a huge pile of mattresses beneath her, for the life of me I couldn’t remember the rest of the story. I could just see the whimsical image of her. The not knowing how the story ended was driving me crazy. I started to berate myself for being picky, high need, particular about my linen. A snob.
Then I said to myself hey wait a minute— I wasn’t dealing with a little old pea in my bed. This situation was a mighty boulder!!
Needless to say I didn’t sleep a wink, I was a googly eyed miserable tired mess the next day, all at the cost of $197.
The hotel staff and I had a bit of a chat.
I still don’t know the real story of the princess and the pea.
Karen Hanrahan | writer
commentary about all things wellness
Blog: Best of Mother Earth