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Bulletin: Single men sleep on dirty sheets

As a former single man, I have no reservations that the evidence points toward bachelors letting the bedclothes go for, oh, say three months before tossing them in the washer.

That’s what an important study reported on by Yahoo News and pointed out by “How Stuff Works” claims. “… A new study found that single men on average clean their bed sheets only four times a year.”

Single women, on the other hand, “change their sheets every two weeks.”

Earthshaking news, no?

Come on now. Guys just don’t prioritize the same way women do. 

Gals are sugar and spice and everything nice. On the other hand, you have the snakes and snails and puppy dog tails crowd.

Girls have slumber parties. Boys camp out.

Lassies like to model the latest fashions. Laddies crawl around in ditches in simulated war games.

But then I guess the modern army games are done virtually on Playstations, thus leaving modern boys with clean jeans after wiping out the enemy.

Bachelors, though, are still boys grown up. Clean sheets are the least of their worries.

I remember when I was a bachelor sharing an apartment with another bachelor. It was the early ’70s and we were living in Charlotte.

Back then the winters were what TV meteorologists like to call brutally cold. Except back then it was true.

I looked up the coldest temperatures in Charlotte for 1970 and ’71. Chilliest temp in ’70 was 4 degrees while ’71 enjoyed a heat wave as the lowest temp was 13.

Our apartment had an oil furnace that didn’t work. So we were forced to survive using whatever was at our disposal to keep warm at night.

Trust me, we didn’t lounge around that much in the living room. By the time it got dark and the temperature dropped into the teens, we were already hunkering down into our respective bedrooms.

I had a double bed with enough blankets for a normal household. But I had reinforced it with a sleeping bag on top of the bed.

When bedtime arrived, I got into the sleeping bag, pulled the covers over it and settled in for a relatively warm sleep. Many’s the night the covers went over my head.

So, with all this in mind, do you think I was overly concerned about dirty bed sheets?

It didn’t enter my mind. I was in survival mode and bedclothes were a means to keep warm, not a source of dust mites and other microorganisms. 

I’m sure I removed my sheets and pillow cases by the spring thaw, took them back to Asheboro and placed them in my mother’s clothes hamper. After all, I wasn’t a complete scumbag.

It wasn’t until I married Ginny that I learned that sheets and pillowcases need to be changed every two or three weeks.

Why? Who knows. 

I think it has something to do with the sheets coming undone from the mattress — their way of saying they need cleaning.

“Larry, we need to change the sheets.”

That’s a phrase I’ve heard for the past 41 years. I just stop what I’m doing, help Ginny remove the old sheets and replace them with clean ones.

If you’re a smart guy, you just do what you’re told.

And the clean sheets do smell clean, at least the first night or two.


Larry Penkava is a writer for Randolph Hub. Contact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.