That sounds fun, all that enjoying of life you’re doing. It must be so nice to do things like sit, watch entertaining people on TV screens, and eat a new snack every ten to fifteen minutes. I really appreciated how just today you asked me to join you in your sitting down and overall enjoying of life. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to. I was busy doing laundry, your laundry to be exact.
The wonderful thing about being the default laundry do-er of the family is the minute I finish doing all the laundry, I find piles and piles of new laundry awaiting my attention. Laundry is the perfect job for someone who enjoys feeling needed and in demand. Though it’s a terrible job for someone who likes to be paid, appreciated, and have the opportunity to do other things.
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I know this may come as a shock to all of you, but I actually like to do other things beside the whites and darks. On occasion, I’d like to join you enjoying the finer things in life like nourishment, sleep, and not folding things that aren’t mine.
See according to my calculations, I spend between 6 and 220 million hours per week doing your laundry. And as much as I appreciate the opportunity to wash the same items of clothing over and over again thanks to your desire to wear everything you’ve ever owned for under ten minutes and then claim it’s dirty, I’ve come to realize I may be spending a bit too much time in the laundry room.
All the time spent curating your clean laundry into folded piles ready to be plopped into their coordinating drawer in your room or the hours spent dabbing not rubbing stain remover into the white baseball uniform you used as a receptacle for marinara sauce has allowed me endless hours to think about how I got here. And by here, I mean the laundry room.
Those invaluable hours have made me realize I’m completely to blame for my lack of ability to do little else in life other than your laundry. Judging by the contents of your hamper, it’s become abundantly clear to me that I never actually told you how to work dirty clothing. I never taught you how breathing works and you seem to have that down, but I may have assumed too much when it comes to knowing the ins and outs, nuances, and definitions of what you like to call “stuff that needs to be washed.”
And as much as I want to educate you so that you don’t go to college saying “Why do laundry when I can just turn my underwear inside out?” I also want to give myself the opportunity to see the inside of another room of the house . So I thought I’d teach you how laundry works so that you can eventually do your own and I can eventually do some of that enjoying of life that sounds like so much fun.
Here’s what you need to know.
Pants and underwear are two separate things. Every child has those bubble bursting moments in life when they find out Santa isn’t real and the Tooth Fairy doesn’t take their teeth, so I recognize that finding out your pants and your underwear aren’t attached may send you into a deep, dark questioning of life. But since your hamper and your floor are filled with little inside out underwear/pants bombs, I figured it was time you knew the truth. And now that you know, you can take them off separately and you can put them in the laundry hamper as two separate units so I don’t have to.
Your shirt is not a napkin. Again this may come as a shock to you and have you questioning life, but your shirt was not invented for you to have a wearable place to wipe your mouth and stain your clothing. That little paper or cloth thing on your lap, the one you rolll up and throw on the floor, that’s the napkin. Your shirt is a shirt
Inside out isn’t right side out. In general, it’s nice to wash clothing right side out. Or, at the very minimum, put the clean clothing away right side out. It’s also nice to wear clothing right side out. The point is, eventually all dirty clothing that becomes clean will need to be right side out’d. It’s not a hard skill. Even toddlers can shove their chubby hands into a sleeve and take it with them as they leave the shirt. You can too. I’m cool with not having to put my hand into the butt of your dirty pants or the toe of your moist recently worn socks to take the right side out. Think of all the confidence you’ll gain from shoving your own hand into your own filthy clothing. Try it!
The floor is not a hamper. If you want it washed, put it in the hamper. I’m not an explorer looking for the New World. Don’t make me search for your stuff.
If you wore it yesterday, it’s not clean. You come home from school so filthy it’s surprising your clothing doesn’t walk on its own thanks to all the grime, filth, and food your clothing collects. So just because you’re too lazy to grab something from the clean pile of clothing doesn’t mean what you wore yesterday is clean.
If you wore it for ten minutes but took it off because “you weren’t feeling it” it’s not dirty. Cool you want to try on more outfits in the morning than a reality star before a reunion, but if it touches your body for less than ten minutes it’s still called clean. Don’t drop it in the hamper because that saved you the arduous task of putting back in the drawer.
A zipper or buttons are not considered manual labor. It’s okay to wear something that doesn’t have an elastic waistband or a pullover neck. Those things at the end of your hands called fingers are cool tools given to you at birth to button clothing and pull up zippers. More choices means you don’t have to wear the same three pairs of leggings or sweats that I have to wash every other day so you don’t go to school naked.
Hanging your clothes up should involve the use of a hanger. Sorry, your floor is a not a hanger.
Ten minutes before isn’t the best time to tell me you need a certain shirt for school that day. Even I can’t do laundry that fast. And I don’t want to.
If you stay vertical, you won’t get holes in all your knees. Whenever you come home from school like a mini Kardashian with holes in the knees of your pants I’m left wondering, “What the hell is happening at school?” Then I’m left either tossing the pants, having the dry cleaner repair them, or repairing them myself with that needle and thread I stole from a hotel. You’ll notice all of those options take time or money away from me, which is a total bummer. (also if you could explain why you only get holes in one knee, the same knee each time that would free up a lot of brain real estate that I could fill with other things like what my Real Housewives tagline would be or how I would start my Oscar speech.)
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Now, if only I could teach you how to make dinner I’d really have some free time!
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3/6/18 Los Angeles, California