julie: on doing laundry

I picked this because it was time to get back to a topic that was a little fun and a little light and would bring a little smile as people thought about it while they had coffee on a Sunday morning.

Ginny, the picker of  “on doing dishes,” said that “on doing laundry” was “boring.”  If you ask me, Ginny doesn’t always see the possibility of challenges and adventure in the simple things that are all around her:)

Anyway.  Laundry was on my mind because I am going on a short road trip and need the things that I want to take with me all clean at the same time the morning I am leaving.  Actually, I have decided that this time I will need them all clean at least one morning before the morning I am leaving, just cuts it too close the other way.   Of course, today is Sunday and I am leaving Wednesday morning and nothing is clean yet, so there you go.  Sort of like I should have been done with this entry yesterday morning.  But once I start having more than a few things to do that aren’t done I sometimes end up spinning around with none done and then have to scramble.  The good thing is that the things I want to take, and so will need to wash, are my favorite things and what I usually wash first,  so they are on the top of the heap.  It’s exactly like doing dishes.  I do enough to not have the several hamper type things overflowing, but not so much that it doesn’t fit in the dressers and closet when I’m done.

In one of those just “don’t ask how” kind of realities, despite the fact that we sometimes ate meals bought with checks that my mother knew even as she wrote and handed to me to take to Norman the butcher and Sam at the grocery, were going to bounce, we had a washer and dryer in our kitchen.  Which is maybe why I am not good at figuring out a laundry schedule or doing it much in advance.  Either me or my mother was always doing laundry the night before we went anywhere.  But to be clear, doing laundry with regularity was something my mother did do, which always amazed me.  In the middle of chaos, the woman always drawers and a closet full of clean clothes.

I looked it up just because this year is being so weird, but really, who needs to check what the weather will be in New York during the first week of August?  Basically somewhat hot and humid.  Just a question maybe of how hot or how humid, but unless one plans to try going naked, hot and humid is hot and humid.    Even though it is really not the brightest of plans fro someone not fond of hot and humid,  I have somehow ended up visiting New York in August several times.  Among those trips were once during a garbage strike, that was not only really hot and humid but incredibly just overall nasty;  once when there was a convention of  Shriners staying in the same hotel, that was less hot and humid but incredibly annoying.

As I thought about this post this week, it came to me how I actually picked this topic. 

Because I have been told once or twice that the way my brain works can make other people crazy, I am warning you now that the next little part here I am going to tell you how that happened, how I picked this topic.   Well, how I think, after thinking about it all week, that I think is how I picked this topic.  But thinking about laundry made me first think of something about the similarity of doing the dishes and doing laundry in a broader sense: the really clean, bordering on freakishly clean person I used to live with who tried to explain to me the best way to do the dishes, he also has a system for laundry that is, well, not the one I use.  He does at least one load of laundry every Friday.  He doesn’t like for there to be a build up, more than about three really small loads is what he considers a build up.  Yeah.  I would once again point out that he now has his own apartment and can do his laundry the way he wants and no longer should worry about mine, but the truth is that he started doing his own laundry while we lived together and yet still worried about mine.

But do people who are clean like that think cleanly like that as well, is that it?  I mean, okay, certainly being organized about household chores indicates something, I don’t know, being organized?  Or maybe prioritized.  I did consider that briefly, the prioritized part, after a discussion about about whether or not doing things like washing the dishes and doing laundry and having dinner on the table at a certain time meant anything more than being organized.  Maybe eHarmony should have a really simplified quiz for people who are looking for a long term live in the same place with very few disagreements where you just do the same damn thing on the same damn day in the same damn way over and over type of relationships and there will be a lot less lonely possibly close to freakishly clean people in the world:

1.  How often do you feel the dishes and laundry should be done?

2.  How much laundry or how many dishes do you feel it is acceptable to leave for a later date?

3.  How important to you is it that there be a meal at a certain time, and about that same certain time on the same certain table or in front of the same certain tv, every evening?

4.  How important to you is it, as you plan to share your life with another person, that they either agree with you on these things or are willing to change and do things your way?

Really.  Skip all that trying to get at it with page after page of questions.  I mean, this is what is really important in life, right?

I thought of that because, and this should come as no shock,  my reasoning also seemed to sometimes give the really clean gentleman as much of a headache as the way I did the dishes;  he’s one of the people whose reaction is why I gave that warning about the fact that I was going to describe how I picked this topic.

Okay.  In no particular order, there is Ginny mentioning that children’s books seem to be on my mind, which is sort of true.  But more to the point,  I noticed after she said that that I have mentioned or thought of a book called, “Many Moons,” a couple of times.  That’s one thing.  Then there is the way I feel about this upcoming road trip.  It’s hard to explain.  Other than a quick couple of days that were planned in such a way that they almost could have been anywhere, like if you had just transported a few people and living rooms and offices to Chicago the trip could have been the same, it involved very little except getting in and out of cabs and good food that had anything to do with the fact that it was in New York, it has been a while since I have been in New York.  It suddenly occurred to me that it might be like other things that I know but can’t quite find in my brain anymore.  Which got me thinking to the times I have been in New York and that took me to the first time I was there, which took me to the hamper at my mother’s house which I was cleaning out after she died, which took me to….doing laundry.

Actually, that’s one difference between laundry and dishes, you can find all kinds of things when doing laundry.  But dishes, other than the occasional water bug,  not so much.  There are things you thought you lost, things you didn’t realize you couldn’t find, things other people may not want you to find, gum that you had no choice but to put in your pocket.  And there are the things other people might want you to find, like a book on top of a hamper with a picture of the first trip you ever took to New York that was just you and your mom and one of the best things in the world that ever happened and one of the best things in the world to ever find.

I have to go now, I have to do my laundry.  It would be bad to have to tell anyone that I missed my flight because I was waiting for the dryer to be done (which really has almost happened)…having to tell Ginny that is not something I can even contemplate.

And I’m not going to look it up, I am going to trust my brain to know which bus to take when we leave Penn Station.  Some things, really important things,  you never forget.   Even if you do forget to do your damn laundry every damn week.

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