I hate to do laundry. Laundry is worse than scrubbing the toilet, cleaning the cat’s litter box, and mopping the floor with a toothbrush, among the world’s most distasteful tasks. I’d rather be tied to a subway track than bring a load of laundry downstairs to our laundry room and wash it. It’s no wonder, then, that I have a pile of dirty clothes almost as tall as I am sitting in the hallway next to my bathroom.
I stare at that pile and think, “I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll have more time then, and maybe there won’t be many people using the laundry room.”
Speaking of which, never try to do laundry on a Saturday. Everybody else has the same idea, and you’ll waste a lot of time waiting for a washing machine and a dryer. Unless you like passing the time in a noisy room with a lot of wet clothes and unhappy people who hate what they are doing and don’t like you much better, find another day to do it. You’ll be happier for it.
If my dirty laundry could talk, this is what it would probably say:
PAIR OF UNDERWEAR: You know you’re running out of clean undies, and you know what that means. You’ll have to wash some of us by hand, and we hate that. Your hands are cold, you always use hand soap instead of detergent, and you don’t use a fabric softener. You know we like to smell nice, but you don’t care.
HOUSE DRESS: We want you to wear us. We’re pretty, and we look better on you than we do scrunched up here in a pile of dirty clothes. What are you doing to us?
NIGHTIE: You want to end up sleeping in the nude? Well, do you? I thought so, you big prude.
TANK TOP: You want to end up wearing a dirty tank top? Because that’s what’s going to happen if you don’t wash us NOW.
PAIR OF PANTS: Wait until you have to get dressed up for church again, and you look for one of us and can’t find us in the closet! You’ll have to wear one of those ugly dresses again, and it will serve you right!
BLANKET: What am I doing here? I belong on the bed, you idiot!
My first reaction is to put a pair of earplugs into my ears and sing the Mister Softee Song or some other obnoxious ditty as loud as I can until everyone shuts up. My other recourse is to put the offending clothes into a couple of big bags, bring them downstairs, and wash and dry them. This is a significant step since I have avoided doing just such a thing. I am shaking as I put the clothes into the bags, one tremulous handful at a time, chanting to myself, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!”
When I get all the clothes into the bags, I look at them and say, “Oh, what the hell!” I shove the bags up against the wall where the naked clothes used to be and leave them there. I can always wash those clothes tomorrow, or maybe the following Monday. Who knows? Who cares? I don’t.
Like scrubbing the toilet, cleaning the litter box, and mopping the floor, washing your clothes is necessary. It’s like any other source of pain. It comes with being alive. It also comes with liking to be clean and smell nice, but that’s another essay.