Like any decent husband, I do my fair share of the household chores.
I empty the dishwasher when the dishes are clean, I take out the garbage before it evolves into a life-threatening biohazard, and, when I spill macaroni and cheese on the sofa, I spray Windex on the stain without even having to be asked.
Plus I do my own laundry. Once a week I scoop everything smelly off the bedroom floor, carry it to the basement, and cram as much of it as possible into the washing machine. I pour in one lid-full of bright blue goop from a large orange bottle, turn the dial to Normal, and push “go”.
However, I live with a wife and two teenage daughters, who are all members of the extreme opposite female gender sex, and when it comes to their laundry, the rule in our house is clear:
I am not allowed to touch it.
And this rule is totally fine with me, because female laundry is a completely different animal. I don’t fully understand the entire process, but I’m an observant fellow and from a safe distance I’ve watched how it gets done. I believe the steps go something like this:
1. Walk around the house and determine which clothes need to be washed. Some garments will need cleaning; some will able to be worn again. The untrained male eye will never be able to tell which is which.
2. Move the clothing downstairs and separate it into special piles. Sometimes you sort by colour; sometimes by fabric. Sometimes there are special “sub-piles” where you sort by both.
3. Put one of the piles into the washing machine. Sometimes you add the blue goopy liquid; sometimes the white. Sometimes you add the little scented bead things. Sometimes the water should be hot; sometimes cold. Once in a while you use warm. Some things get pre-soaked, but only for a specified time which varies per garment. Be warned: things that are considered “delicate” are rarely the things you’d most expect.
4. When the buzzer goes, remove the wet clothing from the machine. Sometimes it goes in the dryer, but often it goes on a rack. The rack is better, because even though spreading out all the clothes takes much longer than shoving them all into the dryer, you avoid the risk of choosing the wrong of dryer settings, which can be, I’m told, absolutely catastrophic.
5. Go back to step one and repeat for the entire rest of the day.
Oh, and the most important thing: don’t even think about touching anything that is silky, has lace, or is measured by cup size.
The female laundry eventually finds its way upstairs and into little folded piles that sit on a generally unused sofa in our living room. We have a busy household and, truth be told, it’s pretty typical for clean laundry to sit on this sofa all week long.
Until last evening, that is, when I randomly decided to carry all the clean laundry upstairs to be put away into drawers and/or closets.
Loving Wife was grateful for the help, until about an hour later when the lack of folded laundry gave her a fresh, unobstructed view of our aging sofa.
Without its characteristic layer of protective clothing, she noticed the sofa doesn’t really match the rest of our living room furniture, so guess what? Yours truly just got roped in to spend next weekend furniture shopping.
There’s an important laundry lesson to be learned here, and I’ll definitely be thinking about it all weekend as we go from store to store endlessly testing out couch cushions.
Fortunately it shouldn’t be too hard to find a sofa that matches our living room decor. I’ll simply look for something that looks good with a pile of folded towels and t-shirts draped over it.