3.30.2008

To Strip Or Not To Strip... That Is The Question

My husband and I have been having a heated discussion. We disagree on sheet changing etiquette when visiting family. My husband believes that you should strip the bed that you have been sleeping in at your Grandma Flo’s home before you leave. I believe that you should just simply make the bed as usual and say your good-byes… never mentioning the mysterious stain under the left pillow.

I personally prefer my house guests to not strip the bed. I would rather they just make it up and straighten the room as they go. This way I do not feel obligated to actually do the wash that day. If they strip the bed, I will wave good-bye to them and walk back into the house and start cursing because they have given me a chore to do RIGHT NOW because all of the sheets are piled up right next to the washing machine begging to be cleaned. My thinking is this, if you call me and say “Hey June, I am going to be coming out to visit you next week… you buy the beer and I’ll pay for the male dancer” well then I will march right into the guest bedroom and strip the already made bed in order to wash and re-make the bed with fresh sheets. So if you strip the bed when you leave, and I wash the sheets that day and re-make the bed, I will just have to do it all over again the next time you come in town. So unless you have spilled a strawberry margarita on my great Aunt’s antique quilt that she left me when she died… please don’t strip the sheets.

I also keep reminding my husband that we are no longer young kids. We are old. When our friends come over, they do not get so drunk that they have to “crash” at our house. The necessity for clean sheets on a bed has diminished with age. When we were first married a few of his friends did end up crashing at our house from time to time… but I burned those sheets. No washing required.

My husband on the other hand thinks that stripping the bed is actually helping the person who owns the house. Silly, silly man… when has handing a chore to a woman been listed under the “Big Help” list? He thinks this is the proper thing to do and believes it is rather rude to leave the bed all made up and sitting there with dirty sheets for God knows how long before Grandma Flo gets to it, as if we are so disgustingly dirty that the sooner we get those sheets cleaned the better. It may even be a matter of National Security.

So, we have come to a peaceful agreement. When we visit my family, who I feel is much like myself in their house chore beliefs (meaning-the less you have to do the better) we will not strip the bed but simply make it up all nice, remembering to never EVER plan a surprise visit… or we will be sleeping on the dirty sheets that have yet to have been washed since our last visit.

When we visit my husband’s family, we will strip the bed and put the sheets smack dab in the middle of the laundry room, and then go and tell them that we have stripped the bed for them and put the sheets in the laundry room for their attention. This works well with his family-especially his brother, who on the day you are leaving his house, will clean your bathroom before you have even finished your shower and vacuum you out of the house as he is waving good-bye. God love him.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally understand your way of thinking regarding "having to do wash" right away but I have to agree with your husband.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand your way of thinking regarding "having to do wash" right away but I have to agree with your husband.

Kristina said...

Depending on who I'm visiting, I strip the bed or not. I ask them what they prefer. When I visit my mom, I actually stick the sheets in the washer when I get up, in the dryer after my shower, and by the time I leave, they're all nice and clean. That's just because I love my mom so much though:). The in-laws just get it stripped.LOL (Of course, we usually leave their house at 4 in the morning and I'm not even bothering making up that damn bed if I can help it.)

Urban Mom said...

Ok, I'll reserve judgement. But know that you have once again brought a smile to my day! Enjoying your blog!

kathleen said...

don't know the 'right' answer but I'm just happy to know that other people are not sure about these things! I thought it was just me. Hey, what does Emily Post say, since I use her as the guide in all my decisions about such things...lol

Cassie said...

Hi! I found your blog by way of Cathy. You're a hoot! My husband and I just prefer to stay in a hotel, that way you don't even have to make the bed at all! LOL!

The Farmer's Wife said...

I say if you're gonna strip it then you need to wash it and remake it. You're not gonna wash it don't strip it! Do the job all the way or not at all, no one likes a job only half finished! It's not that difficut to pull the sheets off the bed for heavens sake you are not doing them that big of a favor, the hard part comes after they are off! Or like Cassie said, stay in a hotel. And is your brother in law related to my mother in law?

Beth said...

I am with you completely. My husband comes from a family of strippers though. But his sister will strip the bed and wash the sheets and put them back on before she leaves! If only I could get her to do our sheets at the same time!

Jaibee said...

Hahaha! What a dilemma! I usually tend toward the do-not-strip policy, myself.

As for the hotel, I take special glee in leaving the sheets all wadded up. However, my mom always used to make up the beds in the hotel rooms before we left, and clean the bathroom -- I would say so that the hotel staff wouldn't think that we were pigs, but I know that it's just one of my mom's things -- to clean compulsively like that.

I do have to note, that if you make up the hotel bed, you can be reasonably certain that you haven't left anything behind.... :)

Linda~ said...

I agree with the farmer's wife. If you're not going to wash them then don't strip the bed. Stripping the bed is the easy part.

I usually strip and wash if I have time, even if it means getting up a little earlier.

If we're leaving very early, I'll just remake the bed.

cecilia said...

I remember Dear Abbey addressed this years ago. She basically said one should make the bed as usual, leaving the hostess to change the sheets at her leisure.

Terry Nelson said...

You and Cecilia are correct. What if the guests strip the bed to reveal a stained matress - yuck!

Just as an aside:

After dinner, and the dishes were in the diswasher, and the guests were in the living room having after-dinner coctails - my dad would get the vacuum out and start to clean, yelling at people not to get up - he was just fluffing the shag carpeting. (My mom liked the fluff and she'd be waving the quests back in their chairs.) After a quick vacum, and everyone settled down - the guests remained - drinking into the wee hours. Anyway, my dad was very neat and probably would have washed the sheets he removed, and then remade the bed, before leaving your house.

Anonymous said...

I don't want people to strip the sheets when they come to my house, I agree with you, I want to clean them at my own pace... therefore I do not strip when we are visiting others. Should you wash the comforter after every guest leaves??