My Love/hate relationship with laundry
This is the story of a relationship. A quite dysfunctional relationship to be specific. This is the story of my relationship with Laundry.
Laundry and I have known one another my whole life. To be honest, Laundry knew me long before I knew it. My first formal introduction with Laundry happened when I was about four years old and my mom introduced me to the concept of putting my clothes in the hamper. It was a much simpler time then. There was so much joy in placing my clothes in the big brown receptacle with the broken lid.
When I was a bit older, I was introduced to sorting and folding. A few years after that I learned how to run a dryer and then the washing machine.
By the time I was in high school, I had become somewhat of a laundry expert. There was something about being able to wash my own clothes whenever I wanted to that made me feel independent. I felt like an adult. Like I could totally live on my own. It was the beginning of the end.
College started, and Laundry changed the rules of the game. At first, things went smoothly. My mom bought me a laundry basket, detergent, and dryer sheets. The laundry basket was cobalt blue and it curved so it could rest on my hip. Perfect for walking down the hall to the residence hall laundry room. It would also double as my hamper so I would know when it was time to do laundry. The detergent was Purex, the same brand she used when she was in college. The dryer sheets were Bounce.
With a bag full of quarters and a dream of perfectly laundered and folded clothes in my heart, I merrily skipped into the world of Adulthood ready to take this right of passage head on.
Then I woke up.
My days of feeling independent and grown quickly came to an end. That’s what Laundry does. It fills you with unrealistic hopes and dreams and leaves you butt-deep in your own unmentionables.
I had approached Laundry with a cavalier, nay, arrogant attitude in my youthful zeal for independence. I failed to understand the level of responsibility that comes with Laundry. When I was young, someone else always did my laundry. I didn’t have to buy detergent. I didn’t have to pay associated utility costs.
But when I struck out on my own, there was no family hamper that I could put my clothes in and expect them to come back to me clean. There was no fountain of free detergent. I quickly learned what a cold, cruel world it could be. Laundry left me high, dry, and scrambling to wash my clothes so I would have clean underwear.
Then I got married and became partially responsible for another person’s clothing.
Then I got foster kids who brought mounds of their own laundry with them.
I’m ashamed to admit that one of the chores in my house was for the kids to bring their hamper (which was often bursting at its mesh seams) downstairs and deposit it in front of my bedroom door so I could take it back to the laundry room and wash their clothes. I would then return their clothes to the hamper and they would have to sort through their clothes and put them away.
The adult laundry in my house often sat in piles and baskets in the laundry room. These piles were often clean, but not put away. When laundry was actually put away, it was shoved into drawers and haphazardly thrown onto hangers.
I could go on for many more paragraphs about the way that Laundry has been dirty to me. The stories I could tell of praying my clothes would be dry so I would have clothes to wear to work. Of putting my clothes in the washer or dryer only to realize hours later that I never pressed start. Of smelly washers and forgotten piles of wet clothes. But I’ll end with these thoughts:
I have set my forehead like flint and refuse to be beaten down and taken advantage of by Laundry any longer. Perhaps it was giving birth to a child that made me realize the hold that Laundry had on my life and that I needed to get it together. I’ve decided to break the chains.
I realize that we will always be Laundry (unless my family joins a nudist colony), but I refuse to let it control my life. I’ve taken charge. The hamper no longer taunts me. The full dryer is no longer an enemy. When I feel my resolve slipping, I remember those rock bottom moments and I pull myself back on top of the mountain of Laundry.
You can reign victorious over Laundry. Believe. Hope. Achieve.