As a life-long perfectionist, I’ve struggled with deadlines—there’s always something to polish up! I’ve questioned every casual sentence I’ve ever uttered at a party. And I have cleansed my pores so thoroughly that I look like I’m wearing an Instagram filter when I leave the apartment. But through therapy, I’m slowly learning to accept my faults.
Namely, that I cannot and will never be able to fold a fitted sheet.
Look, I’ve tried. And in a lot of ways. Martha Stewart says to start with two adjacent shorter edges in each hand, bringing the right corner to your left. (Why can’t it be left to right, Martha?) Then, put your hands inside the corners of the inside out sheet—but wait, when did we flip the sheet inside out, Martha? Ask a Clean Person‘s Jolie Kerr’s take involves a super-cute illustration that sadly makes me go cross-eyed once the hands start looking like shadow puppets. In a video, Marie Kondo lays the sheet out elastic side up and starts by folding it into thirds—this looks so easy, but reader, let me tell you…
My linen closet (or to be real, my linen Rubbermaid container on a shelf in the hideous sliding mirrored doors closet in my home office) will never look like those in Real Simple. I’ve given my best, but the results are bad. They’ll always be bad. So, I can keep looking at the pitiful results of my efforts or say, “fuck it,” and put in no effort at all.
For my mental health, the best way to fold a fitted sheet is balling it up and stuffing it underneath the more neatly folded top sheet and pillowcases, hiding my shame like a stash of candy in an office desk drawer. If I’m feeling varsity-level domestic, I’ll shake out the fitted sheet first to make sure there aren’t any socks trapped inside—but how often do I feel that way? Ha! Not often.
I’ll find those socks when I make my bed. It’s not a big deal. WOW. Who said that?!
I can’t begin to tell you how liberated I feel. Or the embarrassing amount of time I’m saving, given that I wash my sheets every other day.
My friend Aubrey laughed when I told her about this, “You talk like you’ve discovered the greatest life hack of all time!”
That’s because I have, Aubrey.
My therapist, Quinn, whose advice I take even though he has a ponytail, has asked me what I’d like to work on next. But honestly? Maybe this is enough to change. Maybe the real solution for dealing with my perfectionism is to not shit all over myself for wishing things were perfect in the first place.
Writer’s Note: Oops! Did I accidentally end this humor piece on a legitimate takeaway? Sorry about that…and sorry to my very-real therapist Quinn for gently mocking his ponytail.