I’ll admit it. I just wasn’t thinking when I asked my husband this morning if he had any clothes that needed to be washed. MY INTENT was maybe a couple of white dress shirts to go with my whites, two comfy tee shirts or one pair of sweats. What I didn’t expect was:
“All the clothes in my laundry basket are dirty. Thanks.”
Huh? What? Wait a minute. What just happened here?
Because I have been extremely successful in not having to wash any clothes but my own for years. My life long strategy has been so simple and effective that I am still proud of myself to this day.
I have ALWAYS HATED laundry. I hated having to deal with collecting, washing, drying, folding and putting away. It is a big commitment and one that I definitely have struggled with. MAYBE I can wash a load but then it sits in the washer for a day or two. MAYBE I can get it in the dryer but I will dry it on high and if it’s work clothes, well good luck ironing the wrinkles out. MAYBE I can do both the washer and the dryer but then the clean clothes will sit in the laundry basket for weeks on end while I designate a new spot on my bedroom floor for all the newly dirty clothes to pile up.
Laundry almost ended my marriage in the first month. When I got married my husband “assumed” I would be schlepping all our clothes to the laundry mat. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. Hence our first all out no holds barred marital fight. I still feel like I won because we settled this issue by dropping off our clothes at the laundry mat washing service in the morning and picking it up at the end of the day all washed and neatly folded. (Where it would sit for days on end waiting for someone to put away. Again, why would my husband assume that would be MY job?)
Fast forward to the years when we could afford to have our own washer and dryer. Wonderful, right? Yeah, well that didn’t change a damn thing to me. I STILL ABHORRED doing laundry. At this point we still shared the dirty clothes basket. I have such a non-commitment to clothes; I feel like it is up to them to make it. Or not. So if the tag said “Dry clean only” and I washed it on regular wash and it didn’t make it – oh well. Didn’t care. If a stain didn’t come out. Again, didn’t care. If I ruined an entire load of clothes by mixing a new red t shirt with whites or misusing bleach: Dammit. But okay. Just don’t expect me to learn anything.
Because you see, it took me less than a year before I was no longer “allowed” to wash my husband’s clothes. Basically it was due to:
- Bleaching out his clothes. Like over and over again where an apology simply would not work anymore.
- Losing sock after sock after sock. (So not my fault)
- Washing rugs with his dress clothes.
- Telling him towels never ever needed to be washed.
- Throwing away clothes that I felt were beyond washing (or I’ll admit, just didn’t want to wash)
- Not checking pockets and leaving glue stick, chap-stick, marker, ink pen, gum, etc. to be washed and dried.
And to be honest, I really did not do any of those things on purpose. I just didn’t think any of it was super important. The whole plan is to get in there, do it and get out really, really fast with as little effort and interference as possible.
So after a couple of years we had a truce. You do your laundry and I’ll do mine. And that pact has served us well.
And then we had children. I did like the baby clothes. They were so tiny and cute. But the damn kids grew. I will never forget when my third grader son came home from school one day seriously upset with me.
“Mom!” He said. “I asked and NO ONE ELSE in my class has to do their own laundry!” (Silly boy – you would think he should thank me for that today).
So here I sit. Having to do 8 loads of laundry. Five of which belongs to my husband. But I am going to be really careful this time. Although I have no idea why I have three socks left over with no matches and I swear it wasn’t me who left that big ass stain on his dress shirt. And I totally adhered to the large NO LORI with the big red circle on the bottle of bleach. As long as I don’t have to do this again for at least two years.