Death With Dignity and the Supreme Court Nominee
Trumpian Attack on Old People

Some Old People's Household Habits

There was a mildly sheepish quality to my voice. I could hear it as, during a long phone visit with a good friend, I tentatively asked (while also wondering to myself if I could quickly withdraw the question if it were poorly received), “Do you ever go all day without getting dressed?”

Not counting sickness of the type that keeps you in bed hoping to die, I had never in my working life of nearly 50 years done that. That is, not until half a dozen years into my retirement and since then, I certainly had not confessed it to anyone.

To my great relief, we had a long laugh together about blowing off the morning shower now and then and not leaving home all day, noting too that as official old people – I'm 75 and he is 78 - there are days when, for no good reason we are too weary of mind, body or both to do anything but stay home. So why get dressed.

There were some guilty feelings the first times I did this and some imagined difficulty in getting to the mailbox “undressed” until I realized that no one would notice, in winter anyway, because I sleep in sweats. In my area, that's daywear for many.

Then my friend and I considered the bed. Or, rather, changing the sheets which I have always considered to be the most difficult and annoying housekeeping chore.

THE BATTLE OF THE FITTED SHEET
In that career half century of mine, I changed the bed every Saturday morning and dropped it off at the laundry along with all the other dirty stuff. Let them try to fold the damned fitted sheet.

FittedSheetsWitch

But that's not the only fitted sheet aggravation. Getting it onto the bed is an exhausting struggle but using a flat sheet is worse when it comes undone during the week. So to this day I live with the battle of the fitted sheet.

For 20 years or so, somewhere there in the middle of my adulthood, I switched to a duvet and comforter but as the years went by, as I got older, trying to get what amounts to an Andre-the-Giant-size pillow case onto the comforter doubled or tripled the bed-changing annoyance. I gave it up.

At that point, I also gave up the top sheet because whether at home, in a hotel, staying with friends, wherever I was, overnight I got so tangled in it that getting out of bed became an Olympic event.

With that change, I took up thin quilts figuring that I could add and subtract them as the weather and bedroom temperature required. That is, until I realized I would need to wash the bottom one, next to my skin, every week creating the need – when I retired and gave up paying others to do my wash – for two loads of laundry instead of one.

Good god, it never ends. Get rid of one hassle in life and two more pop up.

Have I made it clear how much I despise all bed chores? I would have been a terrific rich person; I'll bet Melania Trump does change her own bed.

Ah, but wait. There was a solution.

For decades, I had slept naked but in my incipient old age had switched to those sweats mentioned above. Now that my body, with all its sweatiness, discarded skin cells and other detritus, was almost wholly covered at night, What harm could there be, I said to myself, in laundering that bottom quilt and that bottom sheet every two weeks instead of weekly, cutting in half the time I would need to do combat with the fitted sheet.

Since my first confession to my friend had gone so well, I tried the bottom sheet and quilt wash schedule and not only did he laugh, what a great story I got from him.

He too hates wrestling with fitted sheets and his current living arrangement came with a king-size bed. It, as you undoubtedly know, is the size of a football field - six people could sleep together without touching one another. So for one week he sleeps on one side of the bed and the next week on the other side. Then he washes the sheets.

Like me, he has cut his fights with the fitted sheet by 50 percent..

GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE. OR NOT
We agreed too it gets harder with our advancing years to leave home or, more precisely, to want leave our homes. So often it just seems easier and more comfortable to stay home (with or without getting dressed).

I watch such changes as they come along and although I know perfectly well, as I've mentioned before, that if it is happening to me, it's happening to thousands, maybe millions of others, it was still a great, good surprise when a confession was met with agreement and laughs.

Another old friend in the same age range with whom I regularly have long phone calls told me recently that he too leaves home less and less frequently and was trying out a new home fitness routine to see if it keeps him as healthy as the gym he attends three times a week.

This friend reminded me that pretty much anything you want in life can be delivered - certainly in Manhattan where he lives if not everywhere else. “If this routine works out,” he told me, “I may never leave home again.”

I had another laugh over this stuff that day but not quite as hearty - maybe it is becoming too real...

Does any of this ring a bell with you?

* * *

RESISTANCE NOTES:
Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote in the Senate to confirm billionaire and public school ignoramus, Betsy DeVos, as secretary of Education. You know, the woman who has zero knowledge of public schools and believes guns should be allowed in schools because - grizzly bears. She and the vote are shameful.

Do not ever forget who cast this deciding vote. And do not, come the next Senate election, forget which senators voted to confirm her. It's easy to remember: Every Democrat opposed DeVos as did two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Every other Republican senator voted to confirm.

Now might be a good time, if you have a Republican senator or two, to call their offices and speak your mind. The main switchboard number is 202.225.3121.

Comments

Oh, Ronnie, what a wonderful way to start my day! Thank you! I identify with every one on the list. I have a pajama day once a week. I sleep with a bottom sheet and washable blankets which I wash every other week. I am more of a homebody than ever before. And may I add two more of my own? 1. Cooking is becoming more chore than joy, so I have started having 2 meals a week provided by Schwan's. It is a home delivery service providing frozen meals. All I have to do is put them in the oven or microwave and there's a good meal that I don't have to prepare. 2. Showering. Sloth that I am becoming, showering is no longer a hop in and out affair but tiring and worrying about slipping/falling. Right after I retired 6 years ago, I decided that every other day was quite adequate but lately Ronni, I'm embarrassed to say I skip 2 days in between showers. There I've made my confession.

I don't pop out of bed and get dressed. My rule is 10:00 if I'm going some place and noon if I'm not. I love my mornings being in front of the computer in my comfy long robe, sipping coffee. I am more covered up than I'd be in street wear but unfortunately social services often use the fact that elderly people don't get dressed as a sign that they are slipping mentally. I hate that because I've had my rule for decades. Having been self-employed most of my life I could pick my own hours.

I got new mattresses five years ago and never gave a thought to the fact that they were thicker than my old ones. Big mistake! I can't lift them to put a bottom sheet on. I have to wait until my cleaning service comes monthly to help. I bought an extra set of pillow cases and wash those in between but I miss being independent with making a darn bed!

I could not agree more with your pronouncement as "shameful" yesterday's confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. At least I can take some solace in the fact that the two senators from Illinois, along with the congresswoman from my district, are not drinking the Trump administration's kool-aid. Tammy Duckworth was very well spoken in her comments explaining why she voted against her.

My husband and I have increasingly become home-bodies over the past few years since retiring. He has health issues that make it difficult for him to exert himself much, and walking more than a very few minutes, or even just being on his feet for more than a half hour at a time is a challenging. Fortunately, we have a house full of books, records, videos, all sorts of wonderful things to occupy our minds. As Simon and Garfield once sang, we have our books and our poetry to protect us, and we consider home more and more as a haven from an increasingly hostile world. Fortunately there are no housekeeping police showing up at our door yet, as tidiness has taken a back seat to more interesting and distracting activities.

Thanks for this post! At 77, I increasingly want to stay home. I used to love going out for breakfast or lunch, but now I prefer my own cooked food. I was becoming mildly depressed thinking I was already a depressive as "they" say staying home is a symptom of depression. But why? And if we elders want to stay home more, why isn't that a joyous sign of aging rather than a symptom of something darker?

And, all those thousands of phone calls and letters opposing DeVos meant nothing to our Senators! Shameful. Truly. The voices of the people mean nothing to the robotic Republican party.

I read that, unless you are engaging in an activity that makes you dirty (such as gardening or serious housecleaning), you can leave the sheets on for 2 weeks as they don't get dirty. And most of us shower after becoming dirty so the 2 week rule still applies.

That was just the advice I wanted to hear. I have a California King bed and changing the linens was becoming a very difficult chore for me as I went from one side to the other to put the clean sheets on.

For years I have done like your friend does. I sleep on one side for two weeks and then the other for two weeks. So that hated chore is now done once a month instead of weekly as I used to do. That's my confession from a lazy housekeeper.

Since my latest illness I have a cleaning woman who now changes my linens so I am free from struggling with that bottom sheet. Hooray!

I quit cooking after making a holiday dinner for my son about 4 years ago. I was so tired by the time I put it on the table that it took me 2 days to recover. I said "no more" and meant it. Now it's easily prepared foods and Lean Cuisine for me.

Fun to read how we Elders sometimes change our ways.

In the interests of what I call discipline, I do get dressed every morning, and immediately make my bed. ( The latter to make sure I don't crawl back into it). I did downsize from that king size bed when there was just one of us left to sprawl, and that makes it easier.

Showering? A long time ago, my doctor said showers every other day or so were just fine. As we get older (he said) we don't replenish those oils that keep our skin healthy as quickly.

Again, against the tide, I try very hard to get out of the house at least once each day. Sometimes it is very very easy to stay in with books and music and computer time, but I seem to need the stimulation of outside time so I grab it.

Thanks again for your recent addition of "resistance" news. I frequently want to add to the discussion, but at the present time, am uncharacteristically speechless. I did send off a small donation last night to help the Standing Rock Sioux in their (and our) latest setback. That's something, I guess.

Thanks for your "confession". My husband has been retired since 2012 after a fall and I am retiring this year. He also sleeps in his sweats and unless he goes out wears them all day. Due to illness and lingering issues from the fall, he is going out less and less. In preparation for retirement I am ordering leggings and long tunics to wear in the house so I feel semi- dressed :). Right now I am fearful of staying in all the time and not having enough to do since I go to work 5 days a week. The prospect of retiring is both scary and something I am looking forward to.
Someone needs to come up with a better solution than fitted sheets. They could make a fortune. College students (I work @ a University in Residence Life), use sleeping bags and sleep over the bedspread so they don't have to wash sheets, but with all the bathroom trips during the night this would be a problem getting in and out of the sleeping bag.

Betsy DeVos is an embarrassment to our country....It just gets scarier by the day!! Four of the men on the confirmation committee received money from her. That should have disqualified them!!

I am so happy that I am NORMAL!! Since retiring I usually end up getting dressed, but it might be at 2:00 PM....Showering is every 3rd day unless I have something I have to attend and used to be every morning. I change my bed every two weeks. I enjoy staying home as well and will make a list of things to do and places to go and then end up procrastinating for a few days so I can fool around with my art projects watch mysteries, read and keep my "jammies" on!!!

I don't have trouble with the fitted sheets, but also purchased ones that are very roomy and don't require the extreme calisthenics to get them on. My husband, while he was still at home, had a horrible time with fitted sheets and after spending an hour and a half to get them on one day, when I was at work, took a magic marker and wrote TOP, BOTTOM and SIDE on them in big huge 3 inch letters....much to my chagrin..but it simplified it for him. We ended up laughing a lot about that!!

Oooo, so glad to read I'm not the only one slobbing around in nightwear. I do shower every day and put on other fleecy slobbing gear. More and more I resent going out and I saw a lovely cartoon the other week of an older person with the caption "I have plans, then realise they involve getting dressed and going out".....love it. It's very normal here to find Spanish people in their jammies and dressing gown in the middle of the afternoon - I've even seen some at night at the airport, meeting family, all in their nightwear.

Keep up the good work with Resistance. I watch Robert Reich's podcasts every day and am every bit as horrified and sick as most of you on TGB are. He has good practical advice and is so lucid and eloquent.

I'm 84 and the last family member of my generation still living and all my friends of my age have also passed on. So I had no peers to compare aging with. That's why I am so happy I found TGB a couple years ago.

Ronni's posts and the comments have helped me realize I'm not alone. As to this post, I've cut back to showering every other day (unless I need to go out), wear light-weight sweats for sleeping and around the house: heavy-weight ones when I do go out. My daughter takes me grocery shopping once a week and to all medical appointments. Sometimes we stop and have lunch. I'm perfectly content to stay home the rest of the time.. I have emails and texting to keep in touch with family, the internet to browse, my Kindle to read and tv.

Like Darlene, I cook easy to prepare meals and stock up on Lean Cuisine.

As for the Devos vote, I will let my Republican Senator know he will never get my vote.. a local tv news had reported his office had been flooded with calls and emails and he chose to go lock-step with the Trump Party and not the Montana people.

Having a regular routine is what keeps me going every day. And part of that daily routine is showering, shaving and GETTING DRESSED.
After all, I am not an animal.

Great post!

I don't go all day without getting dressed. Even if my husband The Engineer is away on a business trip, I still take a shower and put on clean clothes.

Besides, somebody has to feed Puddy The Cat and give her fresh water and then give her more food in a little while.

I almost always go somewhere during the day. I may go to the supermarket or across the street to check the mail or to get coffee and a blueberry scone at the local CoffeePlace.

If the weather is good, I'll go out for a walk .

The battle of the Fitted Sheet is absolutely a problem. It's really hard to do it by myself, so I wait until The Engineer is around.

We don't fold them - take them off, wash and remake the bed - problem solved. For the extra sheets we have I just stuff them into the zippered plastic bag they came in and toss them on the shelf.

I want to know happened to fitted bottom sheets. My wife never likes the way I tuck in the bottom of the top sheet and blanket. I just can't do "hospital corners". Her mother was a nurse.

I only shave when I have to go to a party or the wife starts mentioning the "dry spell" we are about to have - she does not mean the weather. :-)

I hate putting on the fitted sheet cause it's bad for my back so I generally wash it only once/month. I do wash pillow cases more often and top sheet and the cover on top of that -- because I have a long-haired cat.

It's not good to take too many showers cause it dries out your skin.

I've become very political -- unusual for me. Just arranged to have pre-printed postcards addressed to our two Senators. On the part where I'll write my message I have "From a George Constituent" at the top. 100 postcards for each Senator. I won't bother writing to my Representative cause it's a waste of time. I also call my Senators and email them. I'm part of Indivisible Georgia District 10 and went to the Atlanta March and several local rallies.

I am lucky to live near a University town with a Police Chief who believes in protecting ALL people!

Great post Ronni! I got into the slothful routine of hanging out in my pjs and robe all morning when I was a family caregiver. I was only in my 50's at that time. I am now 67, semi-retired and this habit is getting worse. I used to shower and dress around 10:30, now it is often after noon. I have not spent the day in my pjs (yet) unless I was sick. My wardrobe however is getting to a new low in style, fit and appearance, so there is not much difference in my "look" even when I'm wearing street clothes these days. I have suffered from chronic pain, since I was in my 30's so I do like the morning shower, whenever it may be taken.

As for staying home more, I too have become much more of an introvert (aka hermit, recluse...) in recent years. I live in SoCal, a very congested area, full of many things - some wonderful creative people and many jerks. Just a local grocery shopping run can be traffic, rudeness and put me in a bad mood. Of course, I frequent the dollar stores and thrift shops in my effort to live w/in my means and retire. Some great people shop there, some not so much. Maybe I'd feel differently about getting out and about more if I had more high class errands and a social life consisting of nice lunches and theater dates!

I have long defended these "slothful" habits - I keep my life together in my mornings in my robe - chores, deskwork, planning, cat time, reading, etc. In terms of being less sociable than when I was younger, I was an only child, so I play well by myself. I have lots of projects and interests. I do enjoy my friends, but I have no desire to be surrounded by Other People constantly. I would find all the personalities and the family joined-at-the-hip dynamic stifling. Looking back, I wonder how I coped with working full time in offices, dating and keeping up with my other activities in my younger days.

So are these "cocooning" trends about us aging? Or perhaps about coping with a mad outer world that seems to be spiraling out of control?

For years and years I've worn a man's t-shirt and PJ bottoms (pockets!) to bed.

About 6 years ago I added a huge hoodie to this ensemble when I got up. Everything is sorta coordinated darkish. I pass.

I too hate leaving my house. I'm so very happy being by myself and filling my days amusing myself.

My dry skin , dryer now, only allows showering every 5 days. I track it to remind myself.

I have a helper for the sheets and the wood hauling.

XO
WWW

I started purchasing king sheet sets for my queen sized bed a few years ago. They are easier to wrangle on, and all the extra fabric can be tucked under the mattress. I have also thought of taking a Sharpie to label the edges!

I just got home from the hospital after spinal fusion surgery. Elastic waist pants, pjs, house dresses (not so long ago I said never ever, but, well, here we are) I consider myself Dressed Perfectly Fine as long as my top and bottom colors match:) 5 days in the hospital with no bathing was detestable, humiliating, and demoralizing, and I'll save up my energy on these upcoming mostly-in-bed days to get that shower done. Alas, much of the hospital stay was detestable, humiliating, and demoralizing, but that's another story for another day or blog.

Unemployed, 55, unemployable for at least the next 6 months. SSDI app filed but I have as much hope for that be approved as I do for * getting a soul, heart, brain, or courage from the Wizard of Oz.

We are allowed to chose our small pleasures, and cast off tasks that have no return on investment of time nor energy!

I was so glad to read your blog this morning. I have given myself permission to just have a shower every other day. I don't get as hot and sweaty when I exercise any more so I don't need a shower every day. I have a wardrobe of comfortable pants I buy at Costco and colorful T shirts to wear in the house. It makes it easier to just put something on each day without having to really think about it.

I am 69 and I realize that I don't go very far away from the house very often. I do get out but I really think about the logistics before I go. It is clear that every year reduces down some of the choices I make about outside the house activities. I also notice that traveling in airplanes wears me out a lot more than it used to.

I really appreciate your blog and your updates.

Great column today. All of the above for me except I do get dressed everyday.......part of my therapy, don'tcha know :) And the same about these new darn extra-deep mattresses...........me, once a month to change those sheets only with another "trick": reverse the sheets after 2 weeks. That's to say to put the bottoms to the top & reverse the sides! In the "olden" days when we hung sheets in the basement to dry during the winters, that's what my mother did. Works like a charm!

Ronni, this whole thing with *45 has me really scared & worried of course. If only someone could get him to listen.............I just read an article that said when JFK took office he declined the white house chat with IKE & apparently regretted it. Because in 3 weeks he asked IKE to return so they could "talk". But that wouldn't change * attitude.........he only listens to himself........scarrrrrrrrrrry. Dee

A little hint about the bottom sheet : Always wash them without folding and putting them away. Instead, put the sheets in the dryer separately, and when the bottom sheet is still damp, take it out and arrange it over the mattress, tucking the elastic edges under the mattress. If it is a cold damp day, tun the heat up a bit so that the sheet dries thoroughly. As it dries, it will tighten, and you will be left with a smooth looking surface. Now you are ready to put on the top sheet, the quilt, and the bed cover on, if you use one. This saves my fingers from damage, and keeps me in a much better frame of mind—I love clean, fresh sheets!

What I found most disturbing about DeVos, is her focus on advancing private education, at a risk to public education. Maybe this is part of the Republican strategy: Keep the masses undereducated and ignorant, a la Ann Rand!

I live alone and I'm a lazy slob. There, I said it.

I shower every two or three days, more often if I get dirty or have to see someone. But dry skin is a huge problem in this climate. I change the queen-size bed maybe once a month. The fitted sheet for whatever reason has a lot of slack in it, even over my new, thicker mattress. My problem is tucking in the tail of the top sheet and blanket, because that mattress is HEAVY. In the morning I pull all the covers up into their proper position before I get out of bed, then I slide out the side. Very little left to do then but throw the bolsters back into place.

I get dressed every day (sloppy casual, sweats, tees, etc.), usually by 10 or 11, so that I don't have that as an excuse to not go out, or in case I have to ("could you possibly pick up the kids this afternoon?"). But I rarely go out. Simply no desire to do so. I'm an introvert, prefer solitude, do almost all shopping online. I'm quite content with my pets, TV, and computer. Once a week I go out for groceries, but that's about it. I try to force myself to go for walks when the weather is nice, but it's hard to get motivated.

I still cook some, but use a lot of frozen dinners too. My favorite skillet lives on the stovetop, not in the cabinet, because it gets used almost daily. I only wash dishes when I'm out of clean ones. Only wash clothes when out of clean ones.

Housework in general is a lower priority than anything else I can think of. So the house is a pit. But it's my mess and I'm mostly comfortable with it. Yes, some guilt but zero motivation.

As I said above -- lazy slob.

I'm in good company...change the sheets on Queen size bed every 2 weeks- pillowcases when I wash my hair - close to the day my wonderful housekeeper cleans....husband helps make the bed but I'm the chief linens washerwoman. I like to take a hot bath every night to read, relax and soak my weary arthritic bones.

This morning I had to get dressed by 9 am in order to go tutor my student in the literacy program at my local library. Yesterday I stayed in my PJ's until 2:15 pm since I was just tired out from a busy weekend, plus my Monday mixed media art class. I wouldn't have gotten dressed at all but I had to get groceries with husband, and go to Yoga class at 5 pm. One nice thing I noticed is I felt much better after a 1 1/2 hr nap and able to tackle what I had to do.

I just returned from the gym and while on the treadmill saw a poll on ABC showing the approval rating of Betsy DeVos as 70% approval ----- say what???

Is this one of those alternative facts?

Thanks for the topic today-- It is good to compare.

Love this post. But I must be out of the mainstream. My whole life I have spent the occasional entire weekend in my jams and never thought a thing about it. So what if that makes me a lazy homebody? I worked very long hours for many years in uncomfortable business clothes and feel no shame if I want to be comfortable in my downtime. As Momcat Christi said above, "We are allowed to choose our small pleasures...".

Better yet, I'm staying with a friend in the Florida keys this week and right now I'm wearing a pair of striped linen trousers that completely look like (and are as comfortable as) pajama bottoms. Out in public!

What a prize-winning post!! And obviously lots of people wanted to discuss it! (I'm not talking about Betsy DeVos, a sickening but currently unsurprising development.)

I'm another who's relieved to hear I have company. Here's my weigh-in: I NEVER spend the day in my bathrobe (over an oversize tee shirt I sleep in) because I associate it with being sick and miserable. So--although I may keep it on until I shower around noon on the maybe three days a week I shower--I make the bed and get dressed without fail, even if I've got a cold (which I virtually never do--my immune system has actually gotten better; I think it's because I've had all those bugs).

I just finally threw in the towel (so to speak) on the duvet project after a year of trying it out. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and with the exception of a couple of nights a year, a duvet is just too damn hot, and it actually affected my sleep. Not having to tuck in sheets in the morning was great, but sweltering most of the night more than offset that. So I gave up on it--only a couple of days ago! I'm back to fitted sheets, top sheets, and a couple of blankets I can layer. And--sue me--I change the sheets once a month. I don't think they're filthy. And while I notice it takes me considerably longer to change the bed than it used to, I can certainly still do it.

As for staying home/going out--I stay home a LOT more than I used to, and I don't like it. I live alone, and I need more company and stimulation than I get glued to my computer all day. I think it's mostly due to the arthritis, plus one more thing I'd love to hear discussed: my sensitivity to cold has gotten much more noticeable, and I find myself automatically avoiding going where my skin is going to get shocked by the cold air. Again, it's NOT good. I need to figure out a way to overcome that.

Thanks again for a particularly great piece!

(Actually, Bruce Cooper, you ARE an animal. As I'm sure you learned in school,Homo sapiens is an animal species, very closely related to the chimpanzee, bonobo etc., with whom we share a common ancestor.)
I wash the bedlinen once a month or so and shower a couple of times a week, with a wash in between if needed. This obsession with showers is a very modern thing. When I was a kid everybody had a bath just once a week and that was normal--especially as it involved lighting a gas geyser to heat the water-quite a palaver. My little sister went first, then my brother, then me, my mother and lastly my father, with more water added for each person. (My little brother used to blackmail me by threatening to pee in the bath if I didn't do whatever was the request of the week. Happy days!!)

I don't know why they don't make doonas (or duvets) with two adjacent openings instead of the single one. Thus you could fold it back, place the doona on top and close up – Velcro fastening would make it even easier.
I don't have a solution for fitted sheets.

I meant duvet covers, of course.

I'm still giggling. I went to Senator Cornyn's FB and let him know I was displeased. In his opinion he voted for her because she believes States have a right to control the school issue.

Fun post.

Thankfully, I don't have a problem with bed sheets or blankets.

I live alone, and used to change my clothes every day but now I wear them for two or three days in a row if I'm not going out or having guests over. (Underwear and socks are still part of the daily change regimen however.) Certainly saves on laundry frequency.

Ditto for showering.

One thing that is kind of new though is staying up till 4:00-5:00am taking care of different odds and ends and winding down from the day. Fortunately, I have the luxury of being able to sleep until 12:00 or later, so I'm still getting a full night's sleep. Would love to get on a more normal schedule but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Glad to know everyone else is as casual with bed linens as I am. The one thing I do do is change the pillow cases a couple times a week. I start out sleeping on my back and wind up turned over with my face on the pillow. I hate the thought of any oil or dirt from my hair being ground into my skin. So I turn the pillow over every day. I have a big supply.

I'm 68 and I do all he thinking vs you mentioned. More and more I love staying home. I sleep alone and change the sheets every other week- so far it's worked out fine. I exercise to a video every morning while I watch the news. If I lived in the city instead of the suburbs I'd give up my car.

I make the bed about every two weeks when the guilt starts to seep in. Wrestling with the fitted sheets are a real pain. I still shower every day because it helps me wake up but I think that it does cause dry skin. After reading your blog, I'm thinking what can it hurt if I go a day without a shower.
Thanks Ladies
Regarding Betsy, I am amazed what this country has come to and how the heck did that ass get elected. The people he is appointing is the exact opposite of what this country needs! I keep thinking, " This is a joke right?"

It feels good to laugh, and to know I'm among friends!
My sheets get changed about every 10 days or so - I mark a calendar or else I'd forget. I've mastered folding the fitted sheet, but the ones with elastic all around give me fits. I wonder what evil genius came up with that idea?!

I shower every 3rd day and wash at the sink in-between. I schlep around in my robe till 10 or 11...that's a new thing for me this past year, but I do get dressed - in comfy clothes - because there always seems to be something to do outside of the house.

I suppose you know that Elizabeth Warren was told to stop speaking and "sit down" when she spoke against the nomination of Sessions for AG. However, she continued her speech in another room and posted it on Facebook. Well, That hit a nerve! I made a small donation to her cause.
Good grief, will this madness never end?!

WONDERFUL post. I wash sheets about every month, pillowcase more often ( love freshly washed bedlinen, and clothes).

I had typed a longer post but got timed out, and it's awful keying in on mobile.

Thank you for the post. It makes me feel I'm not abnormal.

Ronni:

You need to check out LATA 65 if you do not know it already, the GRAFITTI GRANDMOTHERS of Lisbon are funded by it. I'd send you the article, which my granddaughter included in a letter, but I have trouble sending web sites or even web pages. Yes, I am computer challenged. And I enjoyed reading the bedding problems post. I now skip most of the political ones, don't get a paper or watch news. Get most of my news from local PBS stations and BBC online.

Bells were ringing all over the place as I read your post this morning. I am hard on myself by nature, so I have "rules of civility" that I impose on myself. I am coming to realize that I am a pain in my own ass.

I wear pajamas to bed, and if I don't wear the matching top and bottom, they must at least not clash terribly. No matter what, unless I am ill, which I almost never am, I am out of bed by 10:00 AM, showered every two days, dressed in a top and bottom, face moisturized, and my eyebrows darkened with the same kind of red Maybelline eyebrow pencil I used when I was in high school.

Then I make my bed. I can't say how often I wash my sheets. It's probably every week to ten days. I looked up a video at MarthaStewart.com on how to fold a fitted bottom sheet a couple of months ago. I used to know how to do it, but that knowledge deserted me somewhere along the way. I can do it again now, but I usually put the bottom sheet back on the bed after I have washed and dried it, so folding is not necessary.

I have to take the dog out, so that becomes a 20 minute morning walk. If I don't meet a neighbor or someone to have a conversation with, then I must go to the little lesbian-owned shop on my corner for the fancy coffee drink (having already drunk two cups of my own coffee while reading the paper in bed before rising). This coffee shop, called Bird on a Wire, or The Bird, is the center of the universe here in my part of West Seattle. There's always someone I can small talk with, even if it's the barista, which I actually prefer. Then I can continue my day, having followed all my own rules. And then all bets are off.

I don't mind these rules, because I use them to fend off depression, which is always with me on some level. I used to be quite a high-profile extrovert, but this leopard has changed her spots. People get on my nerves now, but I need to have some contact every day. My spouse is a few years younger than I am, and an introvert who is not yet retired. We have been together happily for almost 30 years, but I do not encourage her to retire, because I can't imagine having someone around the house all day.

I have not yet gotten over the election, and I am still grieving. I'm afraid I will never again be able to let out a deep breath knowing that everything is okay. I can go for a year without crying, but I cried when I heard that Betsy De Voss had been approved for Secretary of Education. Then I cried again when Elizabeth Warren was so unfairly abused in the Senate.

But I'm up, dressed, moisturized, eyebrowed, the dog has been walked, and I did my reading tutor stint at the local elementary school, so I haven't broken any of my own tiresome but apparently necessary rules today. Thanks so much for ringing my bells, Ronni, which really needed to be rung!

Found out why none of the Republicans worried much about DeVos' qualifications: She's not there to manage the Department of Education, she's there to dismantle it. Only the Republicans knew, the Dems did not.

On the same day the Senate confirmed President's secretary of Education pick by a historically narrow margin, a House Republican introduced legislation to abolish the entire department Betsy DeVos will lead. It was voted to terminate the department on Dec. 31, 2018.

The schools will be turned over to the states to slice and dice, selling off our public schools under the guise of "state control." Now that funding can be used to create a network of new Christian schools and, as Betsy DeVos says, "advance the kingdom of God."

So long separation of church and state. It was nice while it lasted, but the American Taliban is in charge now.

I change the bed about every two weeks. Having arthritis makes this one of the harder things for people to do especially on my hands. If it gets worse I may swap out my queen bed for a single, although God only knows where all the stuff stored under my bed will go. Years ago my dermatologist told me not to shower every day and I don't, "you sit at desk all day, you don't work in a coal mine" said he. True and my skin felt better but I still wash/ed my hair everyday.

I usually make my bed as soon as I get out of it as someone mentioned above, mostly to keep myself from getting back into it. My days of rocketing out of bed were over even before I retired. But I miss being up early if I give in for a little extra snooze. I have some no-dress days, my pj tops look like regular tees but it would hard to mistake my baggy, to long plaid pj bottoms for anything else. Since I have 10 grandkids locally and the chances of someone needing something (I missed the bus, I forgot my... pick something) are great. And besides I am ever hopeful for reasons to escape home anyway. My days of reading non-stop and happily alone are punctuated by days of getting away from home as possible. Plus I do go to the gym three days a week weather permitting. There are decent sweatpants available these days, so I suppose if I wore those or knit shorts in summer, no one would be the wiser.

I was sad and angry to see Elizabeth Warren treated that way, Senators Tom Udall, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders reading Coretta King's letter and nary a peep from the rethuglicans. Ugh.

Fascinating comments, as always!
I change the sheets every 2 weeks (a double bed so not too taxing) and shower every other day, mainly to wash my hair except more often in summer. Never have hung around in PJs and still don't, or wear sweats. I serve myself breakfast in bed on a tray, read the NY Times (brought to my door by the doorman), check email and other computer stuff, make the bed and get dressed...none of this early, by 11-12 am.
I live in jeans or chinos and t-shirts with sweaters. Have to leave my apt to get mail or do laundry as well as go out, but not satisfied not decently dressed even if I stay in. Always wear mascara, and earrings.
Hate hate hate folding fitted sheets, as someone said the elastic all-around are the worst. Strive to get out even for a bit, weather & knees permitting...

Late in the day. Haven't read any comments. Gotta confess, unapologetically, that I wash my sheets once a month whether they need it or not. I take two showers per week and re-wear clothing several times before laundering it. This culture is just too hung up on cleanliness.

I wear pj's and change them as they start to get rank. I don't like to get dressed but living in a Co-op community as I do, going down to the mailbox or to the trash shute requires some small decorum. I also suffer from big , drooping boobs, so I must don the dreaded bra, no matter what, as I'd hate to meet anyone in the hallway who'd observe the results of gravity under a shirt without bra. Taking it off is the ahhhh moment of my day.

There. Now everybody knows. I feel freed up.

Thanks, Ronni, for not judging and for allowing us to confess our personal cleanliness foibles. Notice, I'm coy about using my real name, though.

PS: You can wear your panties several days by using the "light days" pads. Great for travelling.

Oh, so glad for Tarzana's confession! I change bed linen every 3 to 4 weeks, and have done it at that frequency for decades--and I'm still quite healthy. Shower a couple times a week unless I've been gardening actively in the summer--then I can't wait to get in the shower. It has been shown that Americans bathe far more frequently than necessary. Wear outer casual clothes for days--I figure I'm doing the environment a favor by not using water--and our water usage is quite low.

Did my civic best to keep DeVos from being confirmed. First the Dept of Education will be disbanded, than the Environmental Protection Agency. Still I'm marching in Washington in the climate march in April. Best antidote for depression and despair is action!

Even in old age I'm still ensnared by lifelong habits when it comes to bathing, getting dressed, leaving the house every day at least briefly, and changing the sheets weekly. I take a hot bath every night before bed (yes, I know, it's not good for dry skin but feels great). My professional wardrobe is gone. I live in jeans, sweaters and hoodies in the winter and a lighter weight version of same in the summer.

My husband has long arms and it's much easier for him to fold king-size fitted sheets, so I turned that task over to him years ago; he does a good job, too. BTW, Target now sells house-brand sheets that (finally!) have top/bottom/side label tags. Why didn't I think of that? They also fit really well and don't slip at all.

I make an effort to get out of the house every day at least for a while. The local Goodwill has become my recycling center for some clothing and housewares, also for books. That way I can continue to contribute--once when I buy used items and again when I donate/recycle them, which works especially well for books.

We've had snow for the last two days so there went the get-out-daily rule.

It's flat sheets for me on an inflatable mattress. Wash em - oh, when I feel like it. Probably once a month or so. I wash me once a week whether needed or not.

But I may need to review my hygiene habits because I'm spending a LOT of time in bed these days. Rarely up before noon. Facing this bizarro new world is getting harder and harder. There are more of us (according to the NYTimes) than there are of them - how come they're now running things? Democrats seem to have no recourse at all.

Wow! I think you all just changed my next furniture purchase.

We have twin beds (bought because we moved a lot for my husband's job and I thought--wrongly, as it turned out -they'd be easier to arrange in bedrooms of different sizes). The twins have been though multiple moves and are now twelve years old. We were just discussing the possible purchase of a queen bed now that we're settled in retirement.

I confess, I never gave the problem with fitted sheets a second thought until I read your posts. As you might imagine, changing twins (though double the linen pieces, alas) is much easier because the mattresses are so much narrower. At present, I even turn the mattresses easily by myself without a second thought.

Maybe new mattresses and linens for the twins after all ...

As for getting dressed, I confess I buy multiples of something I really like and wear those until they start looking a bit over the hill. "Really like" means 1) comfortable 2) washable and 3) more or less contemporary. That's not a lot of possibilities, as my fellow shoppers here can well imagine.

Basically, it comes down to: "Yoga pants" and "fleece."

Even with that limited style vocabulary, I still think shopping (grim) would easier than bringing Betsy DeVos up to date on a few of the obvious and well-known education laws (grimmer). I feel sorry for young parents today.

I suffered with a Depression when I was younger. I learned then that I needed structure in my life....a routine if you will..to fight off this horror. Thus I do some thingson a regular basi like get dressed everyday. Forme thismeans a pair of pants withastretchytop and a tee shirt and sweater.

I was in the vet's office ''this week when another woman said of herself, her friend and me...we are all wearing the same pants. Landsend, I said.

I find that stretchy pants are easier to take off in doctor's offices, I told her.

As for beds. I strip and wash them and pay someone else to make them.
After my last hospital visit, I decided I was going to buy a sleepnumberbed...Single sized bed so no huge sheets for me.

Showers... just before visits to the doctor's offices.

Great day to read this as I just fought the battle of the fitted sheet this morning. This is my least favorite household task! Someone above suggested getting oversize sheets (that would be king for us.) May try that. Getting Queen size ones onto a Queen size bed is becoming intolerable ...

And why-oh-why don' t they sell top sheets with one end fitted? Seems obvious, but I've never seen it.

I read your post yesterday & have been thinking about it ever since! I am 62. I retired 5 years ago.

I like having a fresh bed every week. It makes me feel good. I like a top sheet. I love the feeling of coolness when I am between my top sheet and fitted sheet. I also have a blanket, a down comforter and a comforter. There is also a partly folded blanket on top at the bottom half of my bed for my cat where she hangs out during the morning.

I don't understand bed sheets? I bought a good quality sheet set that was suppose to fit my mattress. The top sheet shrank. I make do but I really didn't get what I paid for.

I have spent all day in pajamas. I have to say I don't really like it. It reminds me of being depressed. I prefer being showered & dressed for breakfast even when I have no plans. It just makes me feel good.

Betsy DeVos. Mike Pence. Grrrrrrrr.


Come on people, 80 years old was our parents 60...We are going to live longer than they did. Unless you have a serious disease, you're going to be around for a while. 80 is the beginning of old age. And guys, it's not necessary to go for the Wilfred Brimley look!

Clark Kent

Those long, oversized 100% cotton men's t shirts are great sleeping attire.

Add a pair of wool socks and I'm good to go.

Our home continues to be a pit spot between family visits, vol jobs and fitness classes. It works for us.

We are up, showered and out early.

Bed cover is a Sahara sized quilt. Thing is heavy and warm.

Making the bed:

Grab the foot end, fling it forward and walk away. Perfect your technique over time by practising on your cat.

Come on, you all know I love cats.

It's a skating rink outside as I write.

I dare you to walk down my street without doing the splits.

So much white outside.

Husband retired in 1993; I, in 2004. Some years ago, we decided that changing sheets every 2nd week would suffice (husband does the laundry, so wasn't hard to convince.) Due to temperature/bedding preferences, husband sleeps upstairs in a standard double bed; I, in the basement (my bedroom is directly under his) in a standard twin bed and we have no problem changing fitted sheets. Change pillowcases every 3 or 4 days.

If you absolutely hate/cannot change fitted bed sheets, don't sleep in a bed. Sleep in a recliner. If the recliner is leather/fake leather, no "bottom sheet" is required - just sponge down the surface of the upholstery. Sleeping in a chair is easier on my knees and back than sleeping in a bed. Some nights I switch from one to the other and back.

Bathing? I've returned to the days of my youth when we all bathed on Saturday. For the past 30 years, at each doctor's appointment, my physician has made remark upon how dry my skin is - despite frequent slathering on of lotions. I now observe "bathe on Saturday, with daily sponge baths. Wash my hair (in the laundry-room, deep sink) 2 or 3 times in between.

There's a song that I heard in my youth about "too much bathin'll weaken ya." I've begun to believe it!

This has been a great post, and I was going to comment about several of my sleep adjustments. But then I wanted to ask you to do a column sometime about sleeping with a C-Pap. Many of my friends now use this little device to get a good nights' sleep, as I often do myself.

Interesting read I enjoyed all the comments. You certainly stirred up everyone's contribution and sharing of older life, slower movements and how to deal with all of the situations we are suffering with while we go day to day. Now I will go take an afternoon bath, and get dressed so that I can do my early evening exercise of taking off my clothes. And as far as going anywhere there is nothing worth going to no one knows anything today. And my library is on the computer, or kindle.
My eating is much better fresh from home and less costly. I have 3 dogs so that is all the company my husband and I need. Since the election have been so depressed hate the news. Do not want to be anywhere but in the country in the woods. Thanks everyone for all the input. Loved it all.

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