Misfortune Cookies


One of the reasons we go to Chinese restaurants is to enjoy the fortune cookies at the end of the meal. Horoscope-type messages are revealed on tiny slips of paper hidden inside the cookies.

The serendipity of who picks which cookie and what message they'll receive is half the thrill. The messages are dependably optimistic, happy, positive, and encouraging in their content. After the initial fun of discovery, the bill comes, the thrill wears off, and everyone goes home to sleep.  I wish the sets of sheets we buy at stores or on the Internet would give us the same experience!

When we bring our newly-purchased sheets home, we put the freshly-washed sheets on the bed.  It's all excitement and promise; our first few nights are fun and exciting.  We share our positive opinions regarding our new linen acquisitions with our spouses and even our friends.

But then the bill comes. Washing and drying take their toll on our sheets, often making them less satisfying if not downright uncomfortable. We are none too thrilled about it.  Didn’t we know that manufacturers add finishes that make sheets feel good when new?  Like Chinese food, the satisfaction lasts only a short while.  After a few months we're fed up and start to complain.  But what can we do, the retailer’s warranty has expired!  As the poet says: we rage, rage against the dying of the – – whatever the poet said.

Now what if the fortune cookies disappointed us this badly? What if the messages were disappointing or infuriating, like “Your teeth will rot in ten years”, "Unhappiness awaits you", or "Ice cream and cookies will soon become extinct"?  Would those cookies be handed out very much longer? 

Come on, sheet manufacturers: we want sleep experiences we can look forward to! We’ve had too many disappointments in the bedding department.  We have a ton of sheets in our linen closet we never use.  Please, we don't want any more misfortune cookies!!