Monday, August 27, 2007

Laundry, however, I do not love so much

I do the vast majority of the laundry on Monday. Oh sure, sometimes we’re out of towels on Thursday or have some kind of emergency load on Saturday, but by and large Monday is for Laundry.

I hate Monday. I hate it so danged much. Every Monday, I swear I’m not exaggerating, I wake up thinking, @*^&@ing laundry!!

Oh, I’ve tried other ways. I’ve tried the ‘one load a day’ thing. I’ve tried doing just a load or two every other day, or on weekends. I’ve tried not doing it at all, which backfired quite badly and we do not speak of it to this day.

I’ve tried forcing my husband to do it, and I even once (once, one time, precisely) sent it out. You know, where you take the dirty laundry in Hefty bags to somebody who does laundry for a living, and have them do it?

HA. Yeah. I took it to the Laundromat and paid the old hag nice lady to ‘wash and fold’ our laundry, which at the time was not even a quarter of what I do every week now.

She charged me $45, by “folded” she meant “balled up and shoved into the bag” and by “clean” she meant “saw water at some point in the proceedings”.

Ah, those were the days. The idea of paying $45 for what amounted to two small loads of laundry absolutely floors me today. But back then, it was “Oh, I just don’t wanna deal with it!” {flip hair, pout prettily, cough up money}

Sometimes, I fantasize about doing it now. We just got a laundry and dry cleaning service here in town which will come to your house, pick up the bags of dirty laundry, make it not-dirty, and then return it to your door in neat reusable white ‘clean laundry’ bags.

On the one hand, my eyebrows climbed right on up into my hairline and have stayed there ever since. We are a low income area. There is not a whole lot of real money around here; what money there was came largely from people cashing out their home equity as fast as they could so they could buy all the stuff they couldn’t otherwise afford.

Now that the house-as-ATM deal has dried up, well. You’re not going to find a whole lot of people who are willing to pay $25 or more for a single load of laundry.

But at the same time, I occasionally find myself fondling their fliers (often on Sunday, go figure). Ooooooh, pickup and delivery included

But by and large, the way that works best for me is to just suck it up and do it all on Monday. Just do it. All of it. Throw it all down the stairs, sort, and start the machines chugging along. And bitch about it endlessly to anyone who makes the mistake of crossing my path.

I don’t know why I hate doing laundry so much. After all, it isn’t like the pioneer days where you had to scrub the clothes by hand with lye soap on a washboard and then hang them up to dry. I have me a faaaaancy machine with extra-super-huge capacity. I have an excellent backyard clothesline, plus also a faaaaaaancy gas dryer in the (extremely likely) event that I don’t feel like hanging up the wash, or if it’s raining, or whatever.

I don’t mind ironing, for heaven’s sake. I don’t mind cleaning bathrooms (much) or vacuuming or taking a scrub brush to the tile grout. Even doing the dishes – which, by the way, I’m thinking of putting on my business card: Tama, Expert Dishwasher Feeder – doesn’t raise my hackles the way laundry will.

I don’t know why I have such an antipathy toward laundry.

It smells good. Fresh from the dryer, it even feels good. (I hate folding cold laundry, though. I’ve been known to put them on timed dry for a few minutes, just to warm them up a little so I don’t have to fold cold laundry.) And there is definitely a visual gratification as well, to see all those neatly folded clothes back in the drawer.

Maybe it is the constant nature of it – doing laundry is indeed a lot like shoveling the driveway while it is still snowing. For a few glorious minutes each Monday, every single hamper in the house is empty.

By Tuesday morning, they’re already filling up again. And someone is complaining because they want the dress they wore Monday to be ready for whatever event they’ve come up with on Friday. And there’s a lone sock sitting in the middle of the floor, it’s clean mate in my ‘where the heck is your mate, mate?’ drawer.

And then there’s the constant walking up and down the stairs with the basket slung on my hip. Up, down, up, down.

ALSO, there is the fact that I start running out of gas long before the last load comes out. Now, I’ve tried to work around this by doing all the clothing first, and making the last loads the sheets and towels because they’re faster to fold and put away. But there are still times when we get to Wednesday and there are still piles of clean, folded laundry making a nightly pilgrimage from my bed to whatever flat surface I can find and back again the next morning.

And the endless frustration which is trying to get the kids to put their clothing away. Because you know where I find their clean clothing, after I set it on their bed with instructions to put it away?

ALL of it crammed into one drawer. Or, dumped next to the bed. Or, under the bed. Or, their brother gets in there and plays with it. $45,000 in toys strewn throughout the house, the kid wants to play with his sister’s underwear – typical.

I about died laughing, though, when I walked in and he was putting Boo Bug’s underwear on one of her dolls, scolding it the whole time. The doll was, of course, nekkid, because this is what my girls do with their dolls: strip off their clothes, throw the clothes one direction and the doll the other and move on to other things. And there was Captain Adventure, tugging underwear onto it and going, “Baby no! Baby, no-no-no. Uh-oh! Baby! Docks! Oh no. No. No. Babba babba bigda mama no unna inga mah! *sigh!*”

I have no idea, but it sounded a lot like me: “Boo Bug! What are you doing? No. NO! Don’t start playing with that! Go and put on your socks right now, we have to GO! Honestly I don’t know what’s the MATTER with you! *sigh*”


On those rare occasions when I can keep myself focused and get the old job done, it's all good. All the laundry is done and put away and I can sit back come the evening and say to myself, “I don’t hafta do this again until NEXT Monday!”

And I feel real good about that, because next Monday might as well be a week from never. I have six whole days before I have to worry about it again.

However, today being Monday…the danged dryer is beeping at me. AGAIN.

Maybe that’s my problem. I dislike being ordered around by sleek white machine which go “beep-beep-beep-BEEP! Beep-beep-beep-BEEP!” in supercilious tones. “Oh, laundry girl! Come forth and give us service!!”

Ya know, I went to college, people!

{mutter grumble LAUNDRY grouse gotcher ‘beep’ right here, pal, kvetch carry on trudge trudge trudge}


Anonymous said...

If you want to remove the temptation to call that pickup and delivery laundry service, just think really hard about all those strangers handling your underwear. Oook.

froggiemeanie said...

I agree with you completely. Laundry is evil simply because it never ends. Ever. I am even lucky enough to have a laundry room on the second floor of the house so I don't have to tote the stuff up and down and I still hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.

Jan said...

Things I do not mind:

retrieving laundry
sorting laundry
loading laundry into the washer
moving laundry into the dryer

Things I abhor:

folding laundry
most of all, putting laundry away

Here's what I think it is. I have a *&%$! machine that is supposed to perform this task. So when it is done? WHY does there still have to be work left to do?

I have the same feeling about unloading the dishwasher. I would almost rather wash the damn dishes by hand.

Amy Lane said...

"To a housewife all degrees are damns of pain...
That's why I'm barefoot doing laundry in the rain."

Swear to Goddess I wrote those lines BEFORE I had children--I don't even want to contemplate what I thought was pain back then.

ellipsisknits said...

Here, we can trade. You come do my vacuuming, and I'll do your laundry.
Weekly plane tickets back and forth from the west coast to the midwest shouldn't be too bad in the scheme of things, eh?
My mom pulled a darn tom sawyer on me with laundry. All my childhood, that was the chore I wasn't allowed to do because 'I might mess it up'. Now I'm fiercely protective of my laundry chores, and will not allow husband to interfere because he 'might mess it up'. I can feel the reverse psychology tightening around my neck, but just can't get away from it.
But oh do I hate vacuuming.

Kris said...

I second that thought..laundry...ick. But when you break it down, like Jen mentioned...I don't mind the beginning parts. It's when you have to put it all away.

Our family is still trying out the two-loads-a-day works okay, unless you forget a day.

Yarnhog said...

Isn't it funny how we all have our hated tasks--and they're all different? I don't mind laundry at all (if you don't count having to refold every single bloody item in my husband's closet before I can put away the clean laundry, that is. That I mind. A lot.). In fact, laundry to me is like a little meditation on how my children keep growing and changing, as the tiny baby clothes turn into toddler clothes turn into jeans which get holes and worn spots on the butt where they've been sliding downhill turn into baseball uniforms turn into football uniforms turn into school safety patrol uniforms...

But I hate cleaning bathrooms and I absolutely loathe cooking with a passion. Talk about a tedious, repetitive chore that takes forever and never, ever ends.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the washing and drying and folding so much, but it aggravates me no end to have to put it all away. Go figure. The things I really hate? Doing dishes and COOKING. You slave for who knows how long over something and in five minutes it's vanished down your family's gaping maws and you're staring at a sinkfull of what looks like something the EPA should investigate. Blech. Not to mention that there is always at least ONE person in the house who hates whatever you've slaved over, so then you have to do the whole "you know where the peanut butter is" routine while they whine and gripe because you won't cook them their very own gourmet meal, waaah waaaah waaaaah! I don't dream of having a housekeeper or a nanny or a chauffeur - I dream of a full-time cook/dishwasher. Some day...

Science PhD Mom said...

Today is my laundry day. Bleck. And DS conveniently had a blow-out poopy diaper on my bed, so I get to wash everything from that, too. Oh, goody. *sigh* It just never ends.

Kris said...

I hate washing dishes - it never ends and absolutely must be done several times a day.

Laundry - I hate the folding and putting away. It seems like I've worked all damn day on it and there is still more to be done.

MadMad said...

What do you mean you don't know WHY you hate doing laundry?! Because it SUCKS royally, that's why! And the worst part is matching up the FREAKIN' white socks. It is definitely the 7th circle of hell. Or 10th. I don't remember my Dante. College was too long ago. Remember college? You just bought NEW socks (and undies) so you didn't have to DO wash. Sorry. I sound like a bitter housewife. Oh yeah - I forgot! I AM one! Silly me!

PipneyJane said...

Laundry? Blech. Washing the dishes? Double Blech. (One day, I will have a dishwasher so I don't have to do them by hand.)

Did you ever get that snazzy washing machine you blogged about a lifetime ago?

- Pam

Christi said...

Laundry and dishes are never-ending, and abhorred in my mind. I don't mind the actual washing and drying part of the laundry; it's the putting it all away that throws things off track. That, and when I forget to actually start the dryer, you know.

Dishes are worse. Laundry is on Mondays (because a load a day is just Purgatory). Dishes are at least every day. Otherwise, we run out of clean bibs, sippy cups, and grown-up cereal bowls. Bibs are especially awkward, because we don't have a good place to hang the vinyl ones while they dry.

We won't discuss the bathroom-cleaning thing. If I ever find the nut who thought a clear-glass shower stall was a good idea in the Land of Really Hard Water, I'll ask them what they were smoking, and make him/her clean the blinking thing.