Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clean Sheets

Well, I'm still not feeling altogether well, but since Mike and John have made such a fuss about it, I guess I'll go back to work today. When the rest of my office comes down with the Stomach Virus from Hell, I'll have them call you guys to complain.

In line with my theory that great minds work on the same wavelength, I would like to point out three events that all lined up yesterday in the Great Karmic Crapshoot of the Universe: Mike wrote a post about sweat, Fiona posted about her unfortunate bodily reaction to certain perfumes, and I did a few loads of laundry.

Trust me, this is going somewhere.

Of our five senses, the one we most often think of and rely on is sight; but some scientists believe the sense of smell may have been more important to our evolutionary development...early man probably smelled predators long before he saw them. When something is wrong, "we smell a rat," a bad deal "doesn't smell right," and really bad news can "stink to high heaven."

Smells can be good, too. The smell of bread baking in the kitchen has long been used by canny real estate agents to get prospective house buyers into a homey mood and we plant flowers to scent the air. The sense of smell is closely linked to memory: how many times have you visited some place from your past and had a sudden, overwhelming sense of being there in the past because of the smell of the place? (I last experienced this when I walked into my old high school for our 30th reunion, and was almost instantly swept back to the 1960s).

We spend bazillions of dollars each year on soaps, deodorants, perfumes, colognes, and other things designed to cover up our natural scents...not all of which work as intended, as Fiona has discovered. But we each have our unique smell, and it's important. A baby recognizes the scent of its parents, and I'm quite sure I could identify Agnes in a pitch black room just by the warm and wonderful smell of her hair and skin.

All of which finally brings me back around to the laundry.

One of the loads of wash I did yesterday included our bed linen, and let me tell you, there is nothing in all the world like the smell and feel of clean sheets. It's a sensation that only lasts a few brief minutes, but I think it's one of the great pleasures of life. Agnes probably thinks I'm crazy, but the smell of clean sheets just brings a sense of comfort, peace, and security that nothing else quite matches.

And this seemed like a good topic to write about today, since I've been feeling pretty sheety for the last few days, anyhow.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

WC Fields stated that what he liked best about being successful was being able to sleep on clean sheets any time he wanted to.

You are not alone.

(Who else would know something that obscure?)

Mike said...

9 paragraphs to set up one bad punch line. I'm going to have to practice to get that good.

fiona said...

Oh Oh I agree! Especially if they have been dried outside on a (dare I say it here in CA) washing line.
No smog in Scotland, the air is fresh and beautiful.
@Mike - like a dog worrying a bone you are LMAO

Anonymous said...

People think it's weird that I'm a 30 year old guy and I wash my sheets twice a week. I just tell them there is nothing in the world like laying in a made bed with freshly washed sheets.

John A Hill said...

Chris also loves the smell and feel of clean sheets.

Both Chris and Hannah have a very keen sense of smell.

When Hannah was little she had a cat that never slept on the bed unless she was sick. We learned (by watching) that he would start sleeping on her bed a day or two before we knew that she was sick. I always assumed that he could smell a difference that we couldn't. He turned out to be a great way to pre-diagnose an illness and get a jump on taking care of it.

Anonymous said...

You KNOW you've home sick one too many days when the highlight of your day is fresh clean sheets. LOL