martha stewart, i’m not

We got new sheets this weekend.

I was tired of flannel sheets.  I was tired of the way they collected hair and lint and fur and little bits of black things that I didn’t want to reflect on.  I was tired of sweating during my naps.  I was tired of feeling like I slept in one giant wooby.  So I went and bought new cotton sheets before the summer hit.  I bought nice white sheets, with what Eric assured me was a good thread count (hell, I don’t know…)

I was so excited to have new sheets that I got home and instantly stripped the bed, the pillows, the mattress cover and put the new stuff on.  My bed looked so fresh, so clean… so Pottery Barn.  I was happy.  Late that night when we were exhausted, I got excited again about my new sheets that I was sort of giggly when we went to bed.  I pulled back the covers and slid in.

And I learned a lesson:  wash the sheets before you put them on the bed.

It was as if Eric and I were parts of a giant letter and we were sliding into an envelope.  The sheets were stiff and smelled like a factory.  It felt like we were sleeping at a hotel.  The fabric was coarse against our legs, and I said a tiny thank-you to myself for having shaved my legs that evening.  I knew that it would have been even more painful if I had stubble.

We were both on our backs, staring at the ceiling, not moving a muscle.

[scripty]
PAMIE
So!  How are you liking the new sheets?

ERIC
Oh, this is great.

PAMIE
Yeah.  Yeah it is.

ERIC
Yeah, this was a good idea, the new sheets.

PAMIE
I think maybe I should have washed them.

ERIC
I think I just cut myself on the sheet.

PAMIE
Really?

ERIC
Yeah, I tried to move the pillow, and it gave me a paper cut on my cheek.

PAMIE
I’m sorry.

ERIC
Me too.
[/scripty]

But, the curse is I’m lazy.

[scripty]
Night two

PAMIE
I was going to wash the sheets today.

ERIC
But it seems that you didn’t.

PAMIE
I forgot.

ERIC
That’s okay, I’ll take care of it tomorrow.

PAMIE
That’s really sweet of you, baby.  We’re almost out of cat food.

ERIC
Wait!  Don’t move your hand!

PAMIE
Ow!  What was that?

ERIC
It was the sheet.  I was trying to get it out of your way, but you moved too quickly.

PAMIE
It broke my nail.

ERIC
It’s like sleeping in a MacDonald’s box.

night three

PAMIE
I am so going to wash these sheets tomorrow.

ERIC
I’m sorta used to it now.

PAMIE
No, this is really uncomfortable.

ERIC
Are you using that blanket?

PAMIE
No.  Dammit!  Why is it so hot in here?

ERIC
What is Lillith doing over there?

PAMIE
She’s sharpening her claws on the sheet.

ERIC
Oh.

PAMIE
This sucks.  Oh, shit.  I forgot to buy cat food.  Did you remember?

ERIC
No.  Do you think Martha Stewart goes through this sort of thing?

PAMIE
I don’t know.  She’s always drunk, she probably doesn’t even notice.

ERIC
She’s a drunk?

PAMIE
I don’t know.  It’s funnier that way.

ERIC
I was pretty funny tonight, huh?

PAMIE
Yes, sweetie, you were.  You were very funny up there.

ERIC
Yeah.

PAMIE
God!  It’s so hot!

ERIC
Do you remember last night when I was using all the bed?

PAMIE
No.

ERIC
I woke up and I was sprawled all over the bed and you were huddled on like an inch and you went, “Can I have a little of the bed?”  in this little muffled voice.

PAMIE
You treat me so bad.

ERIC
I know.  I felt so bad I moved all the way to the other side of the bed and only took up a couple of inches.

PAMIE
You felt it was my turn to hog the bed.

ERIC
You looked so sad.  You remember that?

PAMIE
No.  I remember you telling me that I wasn’t allowed to make any more jokes ever.

ERIC
I said that?

PAMIE
Yeah, I woke up and I had all the pillows and you had none.  My head was on like, five pillows and I woke you up and went, “Baby!  I need a pillow for fuck’s sake!” and you were like, “I’m sorry baby,” and you started giving me your blanket.

ERIC
That was nice of me.

PAMIE
Yeah, and then I told you that I was joking.  That I obviously had all the pillows and I wanted to offer you one.

ERIC
And I said?

PAMIE
You grabbed two pillows and went, “No more joking from you.  You are not allowed to joke anymore.”

ERIC
Like the light in the car.
[/scripty]

One day I drove Eric to the breaking point.

I sing in the car.  I like to sing in the car.  Because no one can hear you outside the car it’s like your own little recording studio.  You can sing as loud as you want to whatever you want.  My first car when I was in high school had no radio so whenever I drove people around we would all sing our own songs.  It feels really good to sing at the top of your lungs.

Anyway, on this one particular day I was singing Prince’s “Kiss”– which gets pretty screechy, you know.  It was followed by “Brass Monkey” which I was singing along with some sitting-in-the-passenger-side-dance-movements that were sort of complicated but rather smooth.  Eric drove in silence.

We get back to the house and Eric is storming around.

“What is your problem?” I asked.

“No more singing, okay?  No more singing.  You’re killing me.  I can’t take it.  Why does it have to be so LOUD?  Huh?  What is with you singing so loud right in my ear?  Why?  No more singing.  That’s it.  None.”

“You’re banning me from singing.”

“I’m gonna go in the other room.”

The next week I wrote a sketch based off my desire to sing at the top of my lungs in the car.  It went into last year’s festival show.  It is still one of my favorite things that I’ve ever written, because it’s so much fun to do.  After Eric saw the sketch I think he softened a little.  He tried to make it up to me:

[scripty]
ERIC
Hey, baby?

PAMIE
Yeah.

ERIC
There’s a Jewel song on.  You wanna sing?

PAMIE
I don’t sing in the car anymore, remember?

ERIC
“I breaks the yokes I makes the smiley face!”  Come on, baby.

PAMIE
I don’t want to.

ERIC
Are you still mad at me?

PAMIE
I don’t know, am I still grounded?

ERIC
Alright, let’s make a deal.  See the overhead light?  When I flip on the little light on your side of the car then you are allowed to sing.  If I flip on the little light on my side of the car it’s my turn to sing.  If I flip on the big overhead light, then we both can sing.

PAMIE
It’s like a laser light show in here.

ERIC
Okay, your side is on.  You sing now.

PAMIE
I can’t just sing. I have to want to sing.  I don’t want to sing.

ERIC
Oh!  Oh!  This sounds like Weezer!  You know you want to sing the Sweater Song.

PAMIE
I don’t.

ERIC
The light is on.

PAMIE
What happens when it’s daylight out?  How will I know the light is on?

ERIC
I will always announce the light being on.

PAMIE
Thanks.

ERIC
Baby.

PAMIE
What?

ERIC
I’m sorry.

PAMIE
Yeah?

ERIC
Yeah.

PAMIE
Well…

ERIC
Well, what?

PAMIE
Well…well….”Well I’m here!  To remind you! Of the mess you left when you went away!”

ERIC
She’s back, ladies and gentlemen!

night four

ERIC
It’s now past the point where you can wash these sheets, you know.

PAMIE
I’m washing them this weekend.

ERIC
Right.

PAMIE
Maybe when you buy cat food, then I’ll wash the sheets.

ERIC
I’ll buy the cat food.

PAMIE
It’s not like I’m the one that’s upset about the cat food.

TAYLOR
Meeeah!

PAMIE
That’s right, Taylor, it’s you who wants the food.

ERIC
Jesus Christ, I’ll buy the cat food, okay?  Both of you!

LILLITH
Mew?

ERIC
You too.  Now all of you, wrap yourselves up in these cotton knives and go to sleep!
[/scripty]

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