Getting Real With Lisa Van De Graaff

The other night, in one of those 3am fits to find the perfect sleeping position (and to resume my fanciful dream that was interrupted by fireworks outside), I rolled over in bed and stuck my foot right through my favorite, oh-so-soft, threadbare cotton top sheet. It had already been mended more than once, and the fabric just didn’t seem sturdy enough to hold a seam anymore, so off to the rag bag it went.


I decided to replace it with something that would make me feel like I was doing my part for the Earth and splurged on some organic cotton sheets. To my great pleasure, they were very soft right out of the packaging, so I promptly threw them in the wash. The were even softer as they emerged from the Earth-friendly wash with phosphate-free laundry detergent and a no-fabric-softener air dry, but they were more wrinkled than any item of cotton clothing I’ve ever owned.


I pulled out the ironing board to press them and make my Grandmother proud, and then I realized if I took the time to press the sheets, I wouldn’t have time to make dessert for our family’s celebration of a recently achieved goal (we now own one third of our home – Hooray!) My sweet tooth prevailed, and the wrinkled, but soft, sheets went on the bed. I could feel my Grandmother shaking her head.


That last, deep sigh brought with it some perspective (or some justification) – I will never achieve my mother-in-law’s hospital corners, my grandmother’s sparkling silver, my aunt’s parallel diagonal vacuum lines in the living room carpet, or my mother’s crisp creases in cotton shirts, but I am every bit as capable of making a loving home with very comfortable beds… and dessert after dinner.

In the words of the much esteemed Flylady: “Housework done imperfectly still blesses my family.”