Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Airing My Dirty Laundry

In my last post, I mentioned that I had entirely too much laundry to be a serious goal-setter.

Lest you think I am prone to exaggeration on the Porch (who? me?), I share this picture of the latest pile:

Anyone else reminded of Marjory the Trash Heap, the oracle on "Fraggle Rock"?

Seriously, dudes. Laundry hates me. That's okay -- because as a single working mom -- the feeling is mutual. In fact, in my last house, I actually painted my laundry room the color of a margarita, hoping that would make all that sorting and washing and drying and folding more pleasant. Sadly, it only made me crave chimichangas. It was worth a shot, though.

Sure, I always have good intentions when it comes to the laundry. I do. I recall both my aunt and grandmother rising at 5:30 a.m. each day and starting loads of laundry with the sunrise (and possibly some drugs). Although I have never, ever done laundry at dawn, I still somehow think I will magically become that kind of diligent, disciplined housekeeper. But I also still somehow think I will become a ballerina, so there ya go.

Here is how laundry actually works here at the Porch:

  • Humming a merry tune, I carry around my baskets and happily gather the laundry from the kids' rooms (translation: I yell from the couch, "KIDS! YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO BRING ME ALL YOUR DIRTY CLOTHES, OR YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT CLEAN CLOTHES THIS WEEK! AND SINCE YOU DIDN'T HAVE ANY LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK BEFORE THAT, I'D TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!"). Although I often suspect they throw clean clothes into the mix to avoid putting them away, I wash them anyway. You only make the mistake once of smelling a pair of boy's underwear to see if it is clean.
  • In between checking facebook and creeping on my daughter's Twitter account, I haphazardly sort the laundry into various piles: whites; darks; the these-striped-shirts-are-both-white-and-dark-I'm-so-confused-I-need-wine piles; and the oh-my-lawd-the-boy-hasn't-washed-these-socks-since-2007 piles.
  • Then I step over those piles for a while. I mean, I went to all the trouble of yelling for clothes and sorting the laundry. That counts, right?
  • Sooner or later, I throw one of the loads into the washing machine. Well, I mean, I attempt to throw a load into the washing machine. But I can't .... because that is when I discover the now mildew-infused load that never made it into the dryer. Those clothes didn't make it into the dryer because the dryer is full of towels that need to be put into laundry baskets. And those towels never made it into the laundry baskets because every basket is still full of clothes waiting to be folded. I fold clothes on my bed, and you see that photo up there, right? There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, Dear Liza. It's a vicious cycle, friends.
  • Eventually, the kids complain about having to wear old Halloween costumes to school because they are out of clothes, so I pour some vinegar into the washing machine and rewash the mildewed load. Sure, I secretly celebrate this because it buys me more time - to try to figure out how I will find time to fold laundry.
  • The truth is, I probably will wash that same load three or four more times before it actually makes it into the dryer. I work, okay? And this blog doesn't write itself -- although I probably should say that it does sometimes ("Really? That post about grandma's nipples? Totally wrote itself. Yep. I was too busy doing laundry that day for such nonsense").
  • I also likely will spin the loads in the dryer several times before I fold them because that is, in fact, how I iron. I hear occasional rumors that there are these appliances that you plug in and press over your clothes to get rid of wrinkles. I do not understand why people bother with such things. Do they not own dryers? Or know where the neighborhood dry cleaner is? Or hang their clothes in the bathroom while taking a steamy shower? Or know how to run the curling iron over the shirt collar without getting burned (actually, I have not perfected that one yet. Mom, that really was not a hickey)? The husband-to-be is a lawyer, so he has all these important-looking shirts with buttons and collars, and I'm guessing, wrinkles. I have warned him that I do not, and will not, iron, but since I think Iron Man is super cool, he should count his blessings.

Speaking of blessings, I have heard I should be grateful for loads and loads of laundry because they are reminders that those I love are still here (uh, I know they are still here; I can smell those dirty socks three rooms over).

But yes, since my blessings are still here, I think it is high time their mother someone better at housekeeping teaches them how to do the laundry.

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