Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Laundering Business

The business of laundry in an apartment complex that doesn't have machines in each unit, but rather a community laundry room, can be a bit tricky. I'll just say it: it's a pain in the ass. It doesn't help that this mother-load (-loads, technically) is what's facing you every time you set out to accomplish this unwieldy chore:

I hid our unmentionables, you're welcome.

This beast is a week's worth and takes up four washers, so if I'm going to have a prayer of beating the after-5 laundry room rush, I have to carry it myself instead of waiting for the strong brute of a man to get home from work.... And we live on the second floor. I'm reminded weekly of my mortality when I'm carrying this approximately 750 pound behemoth as gingerly as possible down fifteen endless and very very concrete steps.

The real reason laundry is such a production is because I'm utterly and completely OCD about folding clothes. It was my job growing up to fold 8 children's + 2 parents' worth of laundry (this was a daily chore, as you can imagine the pile-up) and yes ok siblings, fine FINE fine, I elected myself president of folding because it entitled me to sit and watch TV for hours at a time while I completed the lengthy task, while you guys were relegated to the entertainmentless kitchen for dishwasher-emptying and stacking of the dirties. Mwa-aa-aa. But ALSO! I was the president because no one but I put the creases in the right spots in the towels; no one lined up the seams of the each pant leg so that they ran perfectly parallel to one another; no one made sure the socks were paired, folded in half at the heel, then stuffed one into the other.

No, who's "Monk"? I don't know what that is.

These days, however, certain rituals must be observed before I may be allowed to exorcise that bit of controlling crazy from my system each week.

1. Pile all the laundry on the floor. It will be as high as Jordan.
(didn't think to hide the boxers this time around so you might enjoy a peak at the festive candy-cane print nestled next to a cheery shamrock print. Am I the only wife to purchase her husband boxers themed for every holiday?)

2. Allow the big kid and the little kid to pounce upon and infect the freshly laundered with their unbathed bodies. 
Because it's fun.

3. Employ much head-scratching as the little kid engages in some kind of creative yet perplexing play in which she selects a piece of clothing, puts it upon her crown like a nun's habit, decides she doesn't like it there and flings about her neck like a scarf, and finally throws it in front of her face completely and dances an animated jig to Raffi's "Brush Your Teeth" until she runs smack into the bookshelf because she has voluntarily impeded her vision. Watch her become bored of that particular dishtowel, cast it aside, and select a fresh tunic victim.

Only after all of this pomp and circumstance am I permitted to do what I do best.

Let us focus not upon the countless dark stains in the carpet, the source of which Sean and I are completely at a loss to name (spots, thy names are....Jordan?), but instead upon all of this perfected goodness of obsessive compulsive. Neat piles of generically scented clothing framing a rectangle of space that I wall myself into when I set about to conquer the cliffs of absurdity. While watching Homeland, like days of yore. Well no, when I was home-schooled and conquering laundry I was probably watching My Man Godfrey or The Philadelphia Story or Laura or some 1930's-40's classic equivalent, but my point is laundry goes hand in hand with a good screen story.

That's how we get our jollies around here. An edge-of-your-seat foldfest. Pret-ty dangerous if you ask me.


  1. Are you serious??? No in-apt unit?? I would DIE!!!!

    And those are some pretty crazy folded piles. I totally shove my girls clothes in drawers without folding.

  2. I can sort of sympathize. I've had to do that too, although before my daughter came along. We have a washer and dryer in what should be the kid's room, and we're not willing to give it up, so she still sleeps in our room.

    Do you lug that laundry basket all the way down to the laundry room? If so, I can understand the strain on your mortality, and let me just say: blue IKEA bags. Two can hold four industrial-sized machines' worth of laundry, and there are long straps so you can put them on your shoulders. You'll still feel like a peasant, but you won't be body-checking a laundry basket down the stairs!

    1. Yes, I really do and it definitely spices up my day. Laundry with a chance of death? Perfect.

      GENIUS on the ikea bags, totally! I think I even have one we use as a beach bag and I never thought to put laundry in it. Our wicker basket is cute and all, but it's a bit cumbersome.

  3. This post made me smile because as a home-schooling mother of 6, I have (very self-sacrificingly) snaffled the clothes folding chore. Hey, if the tv happens to be on while I fold and my children toil away in the kitchen, is that my fault? Yes of course it is and my teenage daughters are totally on to me and keep checking if I want to "swap". They must be kidding - no way I'm letting go of this gig.

    Your viewing choices when you were home-schooled made me laugh! I used to be that way inclined but since having teenagers, we've majorly relaxed. It's nice to have sweet girls who are also in step with their culture.

    1. The funny thing was that I totally chose those movies. I loved black & whites. Still do...but my tastes have expanded a bit past home-schooled tunnel vision.

      I say let your daughters take a laundry shift and go take a nap! That's what I'll be doing by the time I hit 6 (or even like 3...) kids.

  4. hahaha, i love this. I totally remember you being the queen of folding, and how we would watch BBC pride and prej while you folded! Jordan's belly is still amazing.