For the Love of Laundry

image courtesy of miriamnathanrobers.com

image courtesy of miriamnathanrobers.com


No single chore around my house is as satisfying as doing the laundry. Modern laundry is one of those proofs that we live in the best time ever. The washboard made an appearance in my life exactly once, as an instrument played at Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree. Laundry, for me, has always been mechanized.

Yesterday was change-the-sheets day meaning the hamper was overflowing with bedding and all the clothes from a week of work and workouts. I began to sort out the whites/lights from the darks while making a special pile for the brights. There are so many towels: kitchen towels, hand towels, pool towels and bath towels. Towels are a load or more all on their own.

Nothing beats having laundry in our home. There were many years of apartment living where laundry was in the basement, or down the hall. Most of the time that worked out well, but there were the times when the posted laundry hours conflicted with my work schedule, or where the coin operated machines jammed. There was that one month when my underpants were stolen from the dryer by some super-creepy neighbor.

Have you ever had a laundry load distribute unevenly during the spin cycle and it sounds like ca-thunk, ca-thunk as it whirls around and around? Or, do you know the sound of Chuck Taylors in the dryer? Sometimes laundry gets off balance. Things operate better when there are fewer disruptors like a zip-up sweatshirt whizzing around the dryer.

At the switch over, there are decisions to be made. Bras come out of the washer and are hung to dry, sweaters are considered for their delicacy and likelihood to shrink. Any item pre-treated for a stain is carefully inspected to see if the stain has come clean before it is baked into permanence in the dryer.

Ever notice that reality TV stars never do laundry? Laundry is an omnipresent hum in the background of my life. The tumbling and the spin cycle are the soundtrack to my weeknights. Yet no real housewife is folding laundry, no Kardashian is sorting lights from brights. Laundry is still a signature of the common (wo)man.

The best part of laundry is that I can watch television for hours while feeling super productive that I’m getting stuff done as the laundry rumbles in the next room. That combination of low effort and high satisfaction is so pleasing.

When the buzzer chimes and the laundry is done, I’m greeted by the warm hug of freshly dried clothes and towels. I don’t mind folding the laundry when it is piping hot. It feels like a little gift, like a rainbow, a fleeting joy.

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