Pride goeth before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
I should have these words emblazoned somewhere on my body, somewhere practical, like the palm of my hand… (Hey, there’s that tattoo I’ve been looking for! Ha ha).
Remember the other day, when I was telling you about the fabulous deal I got at the State Fair on Egyptian 400-count cotton sheets?
They came in one of those clear plastic zippered cases with a white and gold embossed card in the front, proudly declaring it to be one fitted sheet, one flat, and two pillow cases of 400-count Egyptian Cotton. Sounded good to me, especially at the asking price of $20. A steal! How could it be that cheap? But how clever of Erin and I to have found it! Boy! We’re really something, aren’t we?
Did you hear that little bell?
But still, I rationalized. The merchants must've gotten a great deal, they have no overhead as they are in a building across from the Baby Animal Barn…
There’s that bell again.
So I bought them, even though the guys behind the counter seemed concerned when we unzipped a little corner, to feel them...
What was that? Did you hear that?
I bought a set. Brought them home, pulled them out… And they were light. Really really light. Almost transparent. The tag on the sheets, tucked well inside, said “100% microfiber”, “Keep Away From Flames”, “Do Not Iron” and “Made in China”.
Wait. Did you hear that? Was that another bell?
Microfiber? Isn’t that a synthetic? But… But… Cotton is a natural fiber… And what do you mean, “Keep Away From Flames”? I mean, I keep everything I own away from flames! Isn’t that what one does, keeps things away from open flames?
Why are they mentioning this specifically?
Wow. Back in the day, the little “Made in China” tag was enough to let you know you’d just been ripped off. But would the people who brought us the Beijing Games do that to me for $20? I mean, just because there’s no way to return these either to the store or the manufacturer…
There it is again. Did you hear that?
So I washed them, hung them out on the line in a surprisingly strong and hot beginning-of-September wind. The wrinkles that had been folded into the sheets in their plastic carrying case are still there. They do not smell like line-dried cotton sheets. Frankly, they look and feel quite a bit like parachute material. They look like they wouldn’t necessarily start on fire as much as they would melt…
I went to Macy’s in my dash for lunch today, just to see what Egyptian cotton is like. What do I know about Egypt, cotton, or Egyptian cotton? For all I know, it’s one of those things like Prairie Oysters or Corinthian Leather, which are neither oysters nor leather…
Could “Egyptian Cotton” be the Madison Avenue way of saying “polyester”?
So I went to Macy’s. And there, amongst the outrageously expensive linens and first-rate beddings – there it was. Egyptian Cotton, all the way up to a googol thread count. Or 2000. Something like that. A top sheet alone was on sale for $137.
And next to the sheets were pillow cases, just for you to feel.
You know what Egyptian Cotton feels like? Like a baby’s cheek. Like a rose petal. Like the skin on a day-old chocolate pudding.
Ah. Well. You hear that bell? I do! That’s the bell I was ignoring while I was busy patting myself on the back for having had the cleverness to have walked through the double doors of the building across from the Baby Animal Barn to purchase Egyptian Cotton linens.
Such a deal!