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Fitted Sheets by Teresa Carson

Fitted Sheets

by Teresa Carson


At the age of fifty-six, I don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet. Even worse, I feel
folding fitted sheets into small neat rectangles that fit on shelves in an orderly
fashion is beyond my abilities. I am not kidding. Every week when the sheets come
out of the dryer I start folding with optimism—this time I will surely figure it out—
and end with rumpled messes, which spill on the floor when anyone opens the closet
door. Every week my belief becomes stronger: I am broken in some fundamental
way and thus incapable of learning how to fold a fitted sheet. I trust my ability to
understand complex scientific theories such as dark matter or to fix an outage,
affecting sixty-thousand phone lines or to travel alone in a foreign country but not
my competency with easily-mastered-by-everyone-else-in-the-universe tasks such as,
applying make-up, buying shoes, blow-drying my hair, managing money, cooking
simple meals, housekeeping or tending a flower garden. It has been this way my
whole life. I get by because you can get by with wrinkled sheets in disorderly closets,
by pretending you’re above worrying about such nonsense but, truth be told, week
after week I’m in the basement trying to figure it out.