Friday, August 20, 2010

Dirty Laundry Exposed!

Six years ago, I fell in love. How did I know it was love? Was it the thundering explosion of fireworks, trumpets screaming from the heavens, my heart welling up in my chest until I was sure it would burst? No. I knew I was in love the first time I did his laundry. For me, to love him was to love his dirty clothes.

I treated those cotton T shirts like they were made of the finest silk, spun from the rarest silkworms. I folded them with military precision, and stacked them to the standard of the most elite menswear store. I couldn’t wait to see his face when I presented to him this symbolic offering of my unfathomable love. “Awe, you did my laundry…aren’t you sweet.”

Fast forward twelve hundred and forty eight loads of dirty laundry. “Honey, do I have any clean white socks?” I mumble “I don’t know.” He searches the laundry basket with no luck, and finally discovers white socks in the washer. What he doesn’t know is they have been there for a week and a half. They are in a holding pattern until the dryer gets freed up, which won’t happen until I change the sheets on our bed. I like to put clean sheets on straight from the dryer for that fresh smell. Yes, I know the fresh smell dissipates after sitting in the dryer for so much time. But, it’s not like I’m fanatical about it. I decide to pull out the sheets and put them back in later. His precious socks get tossed in the dryer. I set the dryer to “incinerate.” He tells me he can’t wait and he’ll have to change his clothes so he can wear black socks. Yes, there are black socks in his drawer. And blue and gray, and several shades of brown. Just not white.

One day, as he eyed the mountain of his clean laundry stacked on his side of the bed, he asked me why I sorted it, washed it, dried it, and folded it, but I didn’t put it away. I didn’t even have to think about this one. “Because, I want you to see the laundry and realize for just a split second that I worked hard to get this pile of clothes clean. If I put it away in your drawers, you might just pull out what you need each day and take it for granted that somehow you have clean clothes.” That was the end of that conversation.

Weeks later when I was looking for a sweater on the top shelf of our closet, I made a discovery that shook my world-- a never-opened package of white socks. When he got home, I threw the socks on the bed, and said “Explain THIS!”


susan mangigian said...

Hi Elaine, I commented a while ago from my phone but it didn't come through. Ilove this!!! I have at least 5 laundry baskets filled with clean clothes. I can get them washed... it's the putting away that I don't get to. I don't put anyone else's away either but what happens then is no one else does and eventually some of my neatly folded laundry makes it back into their laundry baskets when they pick the dirty clothes off the floor. That really gets me! Love your blog! xxoo

Elaine said...

Susan, that's hysterical! I remember when I was a teenager trying on clothes for school, the clean ones I didn't choose to wear ALWAYS wound up with the dirty ones. My poor mom!