A Therapist Airs Her Dirty Laundry

Earlier this week I posted a photo of three days’ worth of dirty massage linens – stacked up into a pile that was taller than the washing machine.


First off, kudos to those clients who recognized their linens from last week! The Lumosity is paying off!

Second off, some of you apparently think that I’m exaggerating (you are wrong) or that I have no intention of actually washing and drying and folding, and washing and drying and folding, all through the Thanksgiving holiday (you are wrong about this, too).

For those who think your massage ends when you slide off the table … a relaxed bowl of melted muscles … I assure you, I’m thinking of you as I do the laundry. Every weekend. And, when pillowcases are in dangerous short supply, often at 5:30 in the morning.

(Yes, some of your linens are warm on the table because they were in the dryer at 6 a.m. that morning. And, I swear to you, if you hustle them into a laundry basket right out of the dryer, they will hold heat for hours.)

If you are one of my massage clients, know that I love you.

That’s why I do the laundry and fluff and fold it … at dawn and on my day off. I don’t mind. Really.

(Folding linens is a much nicer and far more productive task than all those office meetings and “brainstorming” sessions I sat through in an earlier life.)

But, here’s what you may not know.

Those linens? The warm, luxurious flannels? The light cotton ones? The sweet pinky plaids? At some point you indicated that you liked them.

You like being toasty warm during your session? You get my warmest, coziest set and the table warmer is set to “high”. You battle hot flashes and want the cool light blue ones? Check! You like the pink plaid ones, because, because they are so lovable and so pink? Sometimes, I’ll hold them out of the rotation for days just so they are ready for you.


The ever-popular Pink Plaids.

I pick your sheets just for you. It’s crazy, but when I see a set roll out of the dryer, I think of you.

Some of those flannels are wearing thin. Some sets last a season, some have lasted for more than a decade (2003 was an exceptionally good year for ever-soft and resilient Wal-Mart flannels.)

Some sheets have been torn apart by our new “high efficiency” washer.

Tearing my sheets apart is not efficient, stupid Washing Machine.

So, I’ve cobbled together “new” sets with top and bottom sheets that sorta, kinda match. (If you get an unmatched set, I have decided that you are a thoughtful client who will appreciate, and maybe even be amused by, my thriftiness.)

Lately, I’ve told a few clients, “This is it. I’m not buying any more linens. When these fall apart, I’m closing up shop.”

I said it sort of jokingly, but I was surprised by the response.

One of my clients (Pink Plaids) was angry. “That’s a ridiculous thing to say.”

One of my clients (Extra-Soft Medium Blue) was startled. “Really? Really? When? What are you going to do?”

(My response: “Write about baseball.” Which requires going to games, eating popcorn, and heckling umpires. And, where “spin cycle” refers only to my explanations about why Jim Johnson’s series of blown saves last season only shows what a great pitcher he is all the other times. He really is. Please don’t trade him, Baltimore.)

OK, the linen thing was sort of a joke. But, maybe not. It seems as good a barometer as any. (OK, my elbow is probably a better barometer, but watching the linens fray away is more fun.)

A Sad Postscript … Thanksgiving Tragedy for Lime Green Cozy Flannels.

Even using “slow spin”, Inefficient Washing Machine tore the top sheet to shreds today. Shreds.


Stevie surveys the carnage.

A shame. I really liked that Lime Green Flannel set. We had some good times. She never complained and never called in sick. I’ll miss her.

But, as you can see here …


And, here …


I’ve still got a ways to go.

5 thoughts on “A Therapist Airs Her Dirty Laundry

  1. The Flannel Sheet Fairy reads your blog. Use caution! You may wake up some morning to find piles of new sheet/pillowcase sets at your doorstep or else piles of coins next to the washing machine where those sheets used to be.

  2. Aw wow. I feel special. I will cry many tears when you do go write about baseball full time, but till then, I will take whatever sheets you give me!
    Seeing that green sheet is quite scary? You have a vicious washer!

    • Yes, “High Efficiency” apparently means “spin the sheets madly at 200 mph.” I now set the spin cycle to “low” and that has lessened the shredding. Still, that lime green set was pretty new and shouldn’t have torn apart like that. It was a very good reliable set — not too heavy, not too light. And, I think you may have had it once or twice!

  3. Pingback: Baseball’s Beautiful. But, The Off-Season Stinks. | Baseball, Yoga, Life … (and me)

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