My marriage almost ended over laundry. Specifically, who would be responsible to wash clothes. When I was single and lived alone, I managed it okay. I washed my own clothes and stuff whenever they needed it and if I was in a huge hurry, the dishwasher was always good for a “mini-wash.”
When I got married my husband somehow thought that I would enjoy doing the laundry. In a laundromat. I did this exactly twice and then got pissed. Why should I give up a whole weekend day to schlep clothes to the laundromat? During the third week of marital bless, I just took my clothes and the towels and washed them. I left all his dirty clothes behind. Which pissed off Michael. Not that I cared: I stated my case and was done with it.
After some heated communication about this now major marital issue, it was decided that BOTH of us would go to the laundromat. Except when it came right down to it, I couldn’t do it and bolted out of the car at the last minute resulting in Michael having to go by himself. (I truly couldn’t understand why we both had to have our day ruined and besides, I had done it twice already, he owed me).
Our final, final resolution was to drop off the damn laundry (it was really named that) once per week and pay someone to wash it for us. And that worked although if I remember correctly I then bitched because for some reason it was my responsibility to get all the clothes together and drop them off.
And I am a firm believer in that any article of clothing that does not stand up to Lori washing was not meant to be part of my wardrobe life. So even if the piece of clothing says “hand wash only,” it will still go in with the rest and make it or not; I didn’t really care. I just want to have minimal commitment to the future care of any garment.
One would think that once we had a washer and dryer in our house, the issue would go away. Yeah, you don’t know me very well. Same issue – still pissy. But smarter. Which means all I had to do was ruin a couple of Michael’s dress shirts, constantly lose his socks, tear up one pair of pants and I was (gasp) forbidden from doing his laundry ever again. He would do his own, thank you very much.
And I started my kids early. I taught Christina at age 4 to do laundry. I told her to take the empty laundry basket and go into their rooms “and put all the white things in the basket and then I’ll show you how to turn on the washing machine.” Christina proudly went to complete the task. Coming to me with a basket full of white clothing, she asked: “After this I’ll do all the red ones, okay?” I also remember yelling in exasperation one day as I took the clothes out of the dryer: “Who left the crayon in their pocket!?” In a small voice I heard my five-year-old son ask: “Was it a green one?”
I still smile when I remember the day my son came home from his third grade class and confronted me: “Mom! I asked everyone in my class and no one else has to do their own laundry!” If only I could get them cook.