Sunday, April 22, 2012

Laundry Lament

I have an irrational fear of doing laundry. To be clear, this is completely separate from my complete and utter revulsion towards doing laundry. I will discuss both here.

I initially use the term "irrational" to describe my fear of laundry because I don't think society would deem any fear of laundry rational. However, seeing as I have no desire to appease society any time soon, I submit it is a reasonable apprehension.

The following are my justifications:

1) I am horrified of a hidden red sock turning all my white stuff pink. First of all, let me just say that the chemistry behind what causes this to happen completely eludes me. I often wash completely white items with items that are mostly white but also contain colors, and no problems result. How can a completely red item ruin an entire wardrobe, but a red stripe on a white shirt be harmless? Surely they don't make different reds for different articles of clothing with this problem in mind! Thus I'm fairly certain this disaster never happens in real life. Plus, who owns red socks? And of those who do, who wears them?? However, seeing as this debacle occurs in the movies all the time, it must be real. The thought of at once losing about half of all the clothing I own scares my socks off, so to speak. Really, you'd pretty much have to go shopping immediately - white is the principle color of most clothing essentials! I daresay that every single person puts on at least one white article every morning when they get dressed, whether it be underwear or over-wear. What if you lost all of that in one fell swoop?! It's a frightening scenario that's solution of possibly temporarily sporting pink undies is one I'm not prepared to cope with.

2) Unlike unwelcome pink undies, shrinkage is a more bona fide concern when doing laundry. I often stand staring at the dial on the washing machine for minutes on end, trying to determine if the cold water option I am about to select to avoid shrinkage (this is confusing in and of itself, as the other kind of shrinkage only happens in cold water...) is really going to clean anything. There's no feeling much worse than trying on a great shirt at the store, finding it fits perfectly, purchasing it, wearing it one time, then pulling it out of the wash a child's small. And by the way, whenever an employee tells you it won't shrink, that's a lie. It will. No matter if it's 100% cotton, 50% polyester, 20% silk, 28% hydrogen, 17% oxygen, WHATEVER. There is always a washing condition out there that has the capability to shrink.

3) The diversity of washing instructions you find on clothing are so assorted that if everyone really followed them order by order, they would be forced to wash all of their items individually per different washer/dryer conditions. However, I can't help but worry when my favorite "tumble dry low" - labelled jeans are being violently tossed about in the regular cycle. When they come out unharmed, I find myself wanting to whisper to them, "I'm sorry. I will always wear you."

Resulting only from the hygienic need to have clean clothes, I am regularly capable of getting over these trepidations. Unfortunately, thoughts of fear are soon replaced by thoughts of "g- dammit.... I need to do laundry today."

The following are a few of many laundry-day annoyances:

1) More annoying than the act of washing clothes itself is putting them away after they're clean. It seems such an unnecessarily monotonous and recurring event...There must be conversations on laundry day between the tacky gift-items in your closet that you have never worn: a striped turtleneck says to a size xl turquoise t-shirt with "Mexico" plastered on the front,
                       "Hey, check this out. That blue Tommy Hilfiger polo shirt is back again."
                       "Again. Where do you think he goes every week?"
                       "I don't know, but he always smells good when he comes back."
Every once awhile, when I'm feeling particularly lazy, a pile of clean clothes travels around my room over several consecutive days. It stays on my bed until I need to sleep, then on my desk chair until I need to sit, then ends up on the floor before making it into my closet when I finally convince myself those clothes are on the brink of being dirtier now than they were when they went into the wash. I also seem to always be teetering on the edge of not owning enough hangars to occupy everything I want to hang up. I currently have a pile of "probably will never wear" clothes stowed away in a drawer, because in order to produce more hangars for important items I had to make sacrifices. Most likely, my collection of demoted clothing will grow before I ever purchase more hangars, partly because I have no idea where to buy hangars, but mostly because it just seems silly to spend money on such a thing.

2) Everyone has experienced the disappearing sock. Some like me hold on to a disturbingly large collection of singles, emptily hoping that their matches will someday reappear. How such a commonplace occurrence can remain such a mystery is fascinating. There has to be a sock colony somewhere, where runaways gather to recount their tales of escape, and where they hope to find a new partner who will forever wrap up in a ball with them, never to be forced onto a stinky foot again.

3) On laundry day, I usually dress like a hobo. This is because, to make sure I only have to do laundry once and only once a week, I refuse to dirty clothing that I might feel like wearing later that week. In fact, I have a laundry day outfit, consisting of a pair of shorts and shirt I would never wear in public. And when my laundry day outfit gets so greasy I have no other choice but to wash it along with the rest? Well, let's just say I make sure my roommate is out of the house on that day. Everyone has one outfit they can never take off...

My laundry cycle usually ends up coming full circle on Sundays, after frantically scrounging around my clean underwear drawer to no avail. It's then that I know I'm going to have to spend my day dejectedly wandering back and forth between laundry room and bedroom, lugging piles of clean and dirty clothing, wondering what's the worst that could happen if I delayed these activities past the wearing of my last clean pair of underwear...damn my hygienic ways.


  1. LOL! This was really funny :) I love the conversation between the unloved shirts. Thanks for stopping by my blog, glad I found yours.

    1. Thanks! Stay tuned for an account from a sock escapee...coming soon.

  2. This fear must be genetic. That's why your Mom does my laundry :>). The disappearing sock dilemma has occupied my mind for years. I think it's a communist plot.

  3. My dear and very hysterical (in the funny sense, of course) son,
    I have the solution for you....can you guess what it is?????

  4. This is funny stuff! I want to "like" it, "tweet" it or something. I know you're against the conformity that is social media, but I need you to add a share plug in. Just do it!

    Moms will love this stuff!! I think we all have the SAME fears of laundry. Laundry sucks!

  5. Jeremy I stalked you (in a very non cougar sort of way) and left some links to your blog in my post today!

  6. Thanks, Adrienne. I've been wanting to up my mother audience to more than just my own.

    This so-called "share plugin..." is an example of the wizardry I referred to in my initial comment to you. I will see if I can figure it out. Don't wanna miss opportunities for twits - er - tweets.