When I heard the news that nearly half of unmarried men don’t change their sheets for up to four months, I thought that of course they don’t. That’s what I could tell the researchers working for Pizuna Linens studying the nation’s soiled hoods.
I can say with 90% certainty that none of my male friends have washed their sheets while we were in college for nearly a decade. Instead, they lay linens in the arms of their mothers (and washing machines) during the holidays. They were technically adults, believe it or not. It’s no surprise that they’re all single, too.
I have seen other crimes against sanitation. Terrible and awful things were the daily order in the university. Like half-digested sweet and sour chicken balls that have been swimming in the sink for weeks, or a bucket of vomit that has been sitting in a garden for months, or avoiding the bathroom for an entire year because no one has had enough to clean a puddle of water. Or, hell, human feces squatting on the bathroom floor in college classrooms.
The perpetrator of the discarded chicken balls was a male. But the bucket full of Bucky was me. The wet toilet was a team effort in my shared home of three women and two men. The third remains a mystery that has no gender.
Obviously, whether it’s male or female, we all have the potential to be gross. It is more acceptable for men to admit it. Sorry mom, I know vomit is “not very polite baby,” but I’m going to make a stand: Women are allowed to be ogres too. For the 62 percent of women who said they clean their sheets every two weeks, (wink) I think you (wink). For the record, I now change my sheets at least every three weeks, every two and a half weeks at most.
But aside from the fact that women may be more secretive about their personal hygiene, I fear there is some truth to this discrepancy.
The difference is that after years of giving as much as we get in gross receipts, women are actually getting older. We’ve been conditioned (and shampooed, moisturized, and waxed) to believe we should be the “combiners.” Which, of course, allows the “boys will be boys” excuse to flourish. Even singles don’t have to bother washing their sheets because at some point a woman will come and do it for them. It’s okay because it’s funny that guys are useless and silly and we don’t expect anything else from them.
It’s an inherent ambition masked in the naughtiness of a schoolboy… Doesn’t that sound familiar? Because for some, their linens continue to be neglected well beyond college.
My theory is that the more successful a man is, the less likely he is to be able to change his sheets, whether it’s because there is another sick half to do so, or a housekeeper or a cleaner doing his dirty work. For it is clear that we reserve the highest positions in Britain for male children, all so thin that they have no idea that the majority of the population does not call their fathers and fathers to adulthood.
Twenty former prime ministers of the United Kingdom have gone to Eaton. Needless to say, it’s a place that automatically describes its students as special. They are so special that they live into adulthood thinking that changing the sheets is not their job. The housekeepers did it once a week.
I can’t see Jacob Rees-Mogg changing his sheets. Or Michael Gove, wrestling with a tight figure, flinging it at the corners of his impossibly large bed and swearing, “Oh crap!” Every time the doorbell rings.
And Boris? He fluttered around scratching his head with a “very amusing” smile before snorting, “I, I, I, I, I’m afraid I don’t know how to make my bed, my good lady. I was educated at Eton and was too busy destroying restaurants with the Oxford elite, so I didn’t have time to study, you know.”
Someone asks for freedom of information for good. I want to make this a screening test for politicians. Because honestly, if a guy can’t change his sheets for four months, I don’t know why we’d expect him to be so good at cleaning the country.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”