Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Dirty Laundry - Should Not Be Aired
Laundry and I have a very hostile relationship.
We should have been introduced my freshman year of college, but we were not. Keep reading, and you'll see why that introduction was delayed...for years.
In the autumn 0f '77, before Facebook, texting,and laptops, if we can go back that far, there were also no washers and dryers in the dorms (gasp). Someone who desired clean Laundry was forced to drive to the local coin operated washateria (Even the name sounds awful.) Who had time to sit still for a very long time in a very hot place...waiting...on Laundry? Not my 1977-self. I had declined a track scholarship because I had imagined my social calendar would be too heavily booked...ha.
Enter Mom, who figured out a Laundry solution that only my mom could. Here was her plan: Whenever I needed to have clean clothes, I would send dirty Laundry home to Little Rock (via anyone making the 3 hour trek). Then...she would wash Laundry and call.
"Go down to the bus stop at 5:00. Laundry will be arriving on the afternoon bus."
What college freshman would say "no" to this arrangement?
When I moved into the sorority house there were free washers and dryers (a cool perk of 70's sorority house living)...but there was still a lot of waiting. No time for that! So the bus scheme continued.
Summer '79 I was planning to spend three months living at the beach. Mother's first reaction was, "What will you do about Laundry? You don't have that much underwear!" (Clothes I had, just not that much underwear.)
"I don't know," was my reply. The beach was a good 16 hours away.Hmmm. What to do?
Enter Mom with Laundry solution #2: M.M. Cohn Department Store's bi-annual sale. (This was pre-Wal-Mart when bargain seekers were forced to anticipate the bi-annual sales.) I remember a huge table with piles of (panties...said in a whisper), and I had to paw through them to find my size. To this day I hate 'pawing' through stuff at stores. I would truly rather go naked than 'paw'.
"Sale things are all the leftovers," my grandmother would proclaimed with disdain. On that day of pawing, she was right. The (whisper...panties) were definitely the rejects. But, we had to score enough (panties) to last three months. Because...uhhh...you can't wear them twice. So, score we did because 30 X 3 = 90 divided by 2 = 45.
Now when 45 of any item is bought from the deeply discounted sale table, my grandmother's proclamation was true. Apparently, the traffic sign undies were not popular in 1979, and I went home with lots of "Dangerous Curves", "Stop", and "Caution".
At long last, Laundry and I first met at the beach that summer of '79...same summer I met my husband. But Landry and I were a drama far from "Romeo and Juliet"... more like " A Mid- Summer Night's Washateria Nightmare". Imagine using every machine at once: the quarters, vigilance, and time required!
Fast forward to marriage, our first apartment, and Laundry-For-Two. The dirty Laundry pile would fill our small walk-in closet floor -to- ceiling. I scare my 2010- self remembering it! Seriously, we lived in that apartment a year, and I only remember washing once. Our periodic trips home must have been enough to keep me away from the dreaded coin laundromat.
Fast forward to our first rental house. I welcomed my first washer and dryer, a gift from Dad (prompted by Mom). I soon became good at clean Laundry...just not the folding part. Luckily, we had a guest room.
Fast forward to children. Oh... Laundry how you grew! For years, Laundry was the first thing I greeted in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. I have to say I became quite disciplined at meeting Laundry regularly.
Fast forward to two guys in college. Wow. Laundry, where have you gone? I never thought I would ever say this, but, I rather miss your ugly face (not too much, but just a little).
Writing about you, Laundry, has really have revealed more about myself than I should have posted publically.
P.S. My mom just turned 81, lives in an apartment without a washer and dryer. I now do her laundry. I think she earned this. Amen?