I screamed at an inanimate object.
I didn’t start the day planning to verbally assault anything. It just kind of happened when I struggled to put a fresh sheet onto our queen-sized mattress. No matter which way I turned, tugged, yanked, stretched and pulled it, the sheet defied me.
Instead of taking a deep breath and starting from scratch, I went at the sheet in a frenzied tone heretofore reserved for computer freeze. “What did I ever do to you, you blasted sheet?” I asked. Silence. I took it up a notch. “Do you not hear me?” It didn’t. I increased the intensity of my tirade. “No one hears me,” I told the sheet. I lifted my voice to a crescendo. “No one ever calls.” Then I sobbed the finale, “I have no friends!”
So there I stood, tears streaming down my face, holding a stupid sheet.
I had no idea what to do next. The sheet just hung. Unapologetic.
At last, a thought occurred: Call a friend. I was no doubt having a mental health issue and a mental health professional would probably declare me unhinged. But I had just told myself I had no friends. So I called my husband—at work.
“It’s me,” I said. “I just went psycho over a bed sheet.”
He was unfazed. “Last week, you smacked a throw pillow.”
“I didn’t hit it. I fluffed it,” I said, furious that he would misinterpret my intentions toward decorative accessories.
“Hit, fluff, whatever,” he said.
“Do you know how infuriating it is to try to get a fitted sheet on a mattress and have the sheet disregard your authority?”
“Do you know how frustrating it is to live with someone who screams at inanimate objects? It’s like living with a child,” he answered.
“I do not act like a child,” I blubbered.
“Can you repeat that whine?” he said. “I couldn’t quite hear it.”
“Well, you screamed at an inanimate object,” I reminded him.
“It was a nail gun, and I’d accidentally shot myself with it,” he pointed out. “A trip to the ER, stitches and pain medication were involved.”
“Sheet, nail gun, what’s the difference?” I asked. I’d expected more understanding.
He hung up.
In a futile attempt to appear magnanimous, I apologized to the sheet. If it had but one thought it would have been, “yeah, whatever.” It sure wasn’t going to tell me I was forgiven. However, in a final effort to show who was boss, I tried putting the sheet on the bed again. It slid right in place, all its corners in their respective locations. To make certain that miracle repeated itself in the future, I stuck a safety pin in a corner of the sheet’s front edge.
That night at about 3 a.m., I awoke to a howl from my husband’s side of the bed. “I have a freaking, #@%$ pin in my foot,” he said.
“Honey,” I said, “you’re screaming at an inanimate object.”