1. Clothes and linens that need to be washed or that have been washed.
2. The action or process of washing such items.
3. The bane of my existence.
If there’s such a thing as death by laundry then I’m convinced that is how I’m going out. Lately it feels as if I’m being buried alive in piles of laundry and the stacks of clothes are suffocating me.
No matter how many loads I do, it seems there are always one (or four) more lurking in a corner waiting for my attention and so because of this, I’m never caught up. NEH-VERRRR!
Laundry isn’t a seasonal duty by any stretch. Obviously dirty clothes require washing regardless of what month the calendar says, but for those of us with kids the summertime makes an already hellish task that much worse! Summertime means swimming… Swimming means towels… Towels mean not just the shower and bath towels that are used once and then get thrown on the floor all year around, but it also means pool towels! Pool towels mean the probability of having to do extra loads of laundry increases exponentially. Just when you think you’re close to getting it all done, those damn pool towels throw you back in the weeds and you’re drowning all over again. I just can’t bear it!
What bugs me the most isn’t really the washing part or even the drying part. I have a cleaning girl that pitches in with that on days when she’s feeling overly ambitious. (That’s code for she’s the laziest human being I’ve ever met but she’s better than no one so I keep my mouth shut and continue to be appreciative for any extra help I can get my hands on.) To be clear, the folding part sucks but it’s the putting it away part that literally kills me. Since my housekeeper is usually too busy doing God-knows-what, the clean clothes tend to sit indefinitely in stacked piles around the house unless I step in and put them in their rightful place.
I tend to run a tight ship in my household. My directions are usually followed without too much resistance and I’d like to think I command a decent level of respect most of the time; So it puzzles me why this chore is so difficult to get everyone to comply. I’ve tried countless times to enforce the “You Must Help Put Away The Clothes Or Else Rule,” but unfortunately both the implementation and the follow through seem to repeatedly fall short.
Often, the clothes pile up so much before being put away properly that they have to be moved off the dining room table and back into a laundry basket in order to make room for the next load(s). Obviously, if my assembly line were more efficient and the clothes were immediately put away after being folded I would be able to avoid this unnecessary step which I’m well aware only makes added work for me. Even with this knowledge, I can’t put my finger on why I haven’t mastered a better system. The situation has turned into a complete state of anarchy and I’m losing hope that I’ll ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. My house looks like a laundromat and that’s not cool.
If my laundromat formally known as my dining room wasn’t frustrating enough to look at, when I hear my kids complain that they can’t find a specific article of clothing and then I find them rummaging through the clean piles to dig it out, it really makes me blow my stack! (no pun intended)
Kid: “Mahhmmm? I can’t find my basketball shorts. Did you wash them yet?”
Me (speaking calmly but with notable sarcasm): “Did I wash them? Do you think I washed them? Did you put them away like I asked you to?”
Kid (not having a care in the world): “Um, err… I don’t know… Oh, I think I see them! Yay! Here they are. Down here…..”
Me (speaking louder and as serious as a heart attack): “OMG, are you kidding me? DO NOT EVEN THINK about messing up that pile.”
Me (now screaming because I’m too late): “WAIT!!!!!!!!! God Dammit… Look what you did. Now all the piles I folded so neatly look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
Kid (still not having a care in the world): “Huh? We’re having pizza in an hour?”
All things being equal, my husband is no better than either of my kids. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t done a single load of laundry in twelve years. To be fair, I’m partially to blame for this since I’m such a control freak. Even on the outside chance he offers to run a load, I’d most likely say no for fear it would be done all wrong. It’s my own fault. I really need to learn to let go!
It’s a real shame that my dining room hasn’t been used for its intended purpose in ages. It has been wayyyy too long since I wined and dined in there. Now, I just whine in there! I miss the days when fresh white roses surrounded by crystal candlesticks warmed the center of the table.
Now, there are clothes everywhere which span the table from corner to corner, up, down, across and sideways. Not forgetting how helpful the chairs can be, I utilize them to store the overflow of towels and whatnot. It’s pretty pathetic.
Okay, if I’m being totally truthful, I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I think I’m about to lose my mind from all the laundry, I secretly pray that the washing machine will break so that I’ll have an excuse to avoid the entire situation.
I mean, how great would this be:
Could be any one of the three other people living in my house: “Hey, is my favorite green tee-shirt clean? I can’t find it and I wanna wear it.”
Me: “Don’t know. Don’t care. Machine’s broken and I’m on strike. Leave me alone and find something else to wear.”
So get this… I must have really been losing it last week because my prayers were answered when I realized the machine was on the blink! For some reason, the wash wasn’t spinning correctly and even though the light appeared to indicate that the load was done, the clothes came out sopping wet no matter how many times I re-ran the spin cycle. Hmm… I guess I’ll have to shut down the laundry room and schedule a service call. It was difficult keeping my excitement at bay!
I told the repairman it wasn’t an emergency per se, and he shouldn’t rush over but I needed to know I was at least on the schedule within the next day or two. He arrived in a timely manner and got right to work. Within ten minutes he had taken apart the front panel of the washer and I heard him calling for me.
Him: “Uh, ma’am? I see what the problem is. Looks like there’s something stuck in the pump.”
Me: “Oh, okay. So you’ll be able to fix it today or do you have to come back? It’s okay if you have to come back tomorrow. Or in three days from now!”
Obviously, I was hoping to stretch out my laundry strike as long as possible.
Him: “Um, no. Well actually, um…. So here’s what was stuck in the pump. Are these yours?”
Me: “No way! My underpants? I was wondering what happened to those! That’s my favorite pair! So you’re saying my G-string jammed up the spin cycle?”
Him: “Well, yes. I guess that’s what I’m saying. You know, if you wore something a little larger than a string of dental floss, it wouldn’t get stuck in the pump.”
I know I should have been a little embarrassed, but instead I thought it was really funny. I told the guy I’d take his suggestion under advisement, though it was unlikely I would be trading in my Hanky Panky collection for granny panties anytime soon!
I asked how much I owed him and thanked him for coming out. I was so excited he found my favorite bottoms even if it meant that the laundry strike was over! It only took a few loads before it felt like Groundhog’s Day as the laundry debacle resumed and I was drowning all over again!
AND JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… I’ve taken it upon myself to buy a bunch of those mesh laundry bags for my lingerie which will help to keep my G-strings from clogging up the drain pump in the future. Hopefully, it will also help to save me the one hundred twenty five dollars it cost when the repair guy had to fish out my last pair. However, the next time I just can’t spin and bear it and I feel I’m in need of a little premeditated laundry strike, I’ll know exactly what to do. If I should accidentally forget to use the net bag and my panties (literally) get all up in a twist, you’ll know it was most likely because my panties (mentally) got all up in a twist!