Life Is Laundry

by justine

6 loads.

One of sheets, some pulled off the bed and shoved into a ball weeks ago. Two, is towels, including ones for our bodies, ones for the dog’s body and ones for our hands in various colors to not match the kitchen and bathrooms. There’s pile #3, colors. 95% mine, the colors are made up of all my sports bras, running shorts, t-shirts and underwear. Whites are pile 4. Usually this is of utmost priority for H, as this is his 95%, consisting of white t-shirts, white socks and boxers, but this week it’s my emergency. I’m down to a few pairs of socks, none of which I want to run 3 miles in. Five is darks, and is a 50/50 split. Coming in last is #6, jeans. Now I know jeans are not really a sorting term, but they tend to create their own pile organically. My take for this last heap is 2/3 but we should note that one pair of my jeans only takes up one pant leg of H’s, so it’s almost even.

Did I mention I hate laundry?

The whole process of the piling up, the sorting, getting quarters, carrying the loads two at a time to the apartment laundry room, loading the machines hoping they don’t jam, and then setting watch and phone and microwave timers to remind us to go back out and switch and then bring it all back And this would be the best case scenario and usually not my experience at all.

For starters, there’s the problem of people checking the machines, as if all that whirring, tumbling heat is just for show. Why they feel the need to open the door and look at my sopping wet clothes, I don’t know. It would be fine if they would then remember to turn the darn thing back on afterward. Freakin’ wasting my time and my money. There’s the unnecessary premature removal of clothing – and I can say premature with confidence (please see mention of “reminder timers”, previous paragraph). And of course, there’s personal human error – shrinkage, running colors, and God help me with how many times I check, tissues left in pockets.

Now, I’m a smart person. “Follows directions well”, “acute attention to detail” and “responsible” are all buzzword phrases to describe me. And yet, a load of laundry, either screwed up by myself, my neighbors or, let’s go there, karma, can wreck havoc on my mental state for hours.

So it’s only appropriate that I’ve begun reading Hand Wash Cold.

“I mean life is laundry, and when you do not yet see that your life is laundry, you may not see your life clearly at all. You might think, for instance, that the life you have is not at all the life you had in mind and so it doesn’t constitute your real life at all. Your real life is the life you pine for, the life you’re planning or the life you’ve already lost, the life fulfilled by the person, place, and sexy new front-loading washer of your dreams. This is the life we are most devoted to: the life we don’t have.” (pg 6)