I‘m sitting in the backyard on a cloudy day, hoping it doesn’t start pouring. I’m doing this because I don’t want to go back in the house. Why?
There’s laundry in there – and it’s waiting for me.
There is dirty laundry in hampers, where it belongs, but it’s also hiding insidiously under beds, in backpacks, behind furniture and in the car. Today I reached into my purse and pulled out a girl’s blue knee sock. Don’t know what became of its mate or whether it’s clean or dirty. It was simply there, waiting for me.
It’s all waiting for me. Even the clean laundry is waiting.
In a way, the clean laundry (called "laundry," not clothes, because it’s currently housed in laundry baskets) is really my problem. When laundry is dirty, it’s easy to process. Push in a pile of clothes into the washer, choose the right temp, throw in some detergent, then after a while toss it all into the dryer. I can handle that.
But once it’s dry the big backup ensues. I have to take it out, separate the hanging stuff from the folding stuff, then sort it all by which room it goes into, which closet, dresser or drawer. Now that takes concentration and time – two things I don’t have in abundance.
I’ve heard men brag about being good at laundry. "Yeah," they’ll say, "takes my wife all day! I can do 10 loads in three hours (chortle, chortle). Don’t know why my wife complains about it so much." (My husband never says this, however. When it comes to laundry, he keeps his eyes down and comments to himself, lest I go on strike!)
There’s a reason I have a hard time: I have more to focus on between loads than beer and SportsCenter. Laundry isn’t the only thing I do. I’ll be standing in the laundry room and realize I’m all out of hangers. So I’ll wander back to the bedrooms for the hangers, then I’ll find a disgusting cat hairball to clean up, which takes me into the bathroom and to the mess the girls left in there before school. A little cleaning there and I remember I didn’t take out the frozen chicken for dinner. In the kitchen I nab the chicken and start emptying the dishwasher and think – Oh gosh, I forgot all about the laundry! So I go back to the laundry room, proud of myself for remembering, remove a pair of jeans from the dryer and – ack! – no hangers!
It’s a vicious cycle of stupidity. (Maybe that beer would help … or give me a better excuse.)
And I never seem to empty the baskets, either. Too many days we live out of them, grabbing the needed socks and underwear in the morning. When I do finally get ambitious and match every sock and fold every shirt and put everything away, I’m still not done! By then, all the hampers are full again!
This time of year is the worst. I brought spring and summer clothes up from the basement and washed them all during a recent hot spell. But now the temperature is dipping into the 30s at night, so I dare not schlep the winter clothes back to the basement yet. So even though I want to put away clean laundry, it has nowhere to go.
Which takes me back to why I fear going into the house – there’s just too much darned laundry in there. I’ll have to give in eventually, I suppose. The only other two options I can think of are burning the joint down and starting over with new clothes – or joining a nudist colony.