I have a friend who claims to love doing laundry. She’s still my friend, which, I hope, reveals a ton about my tolerance level.
My children were all instructed in the operation of our washing machine so that, by the time they could climb, they could do their own laundry. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole but it still stands as a standard to attain.
I do admit that the result of requiring the kids to do their own laundry is that they now can use their bedroom dresser drawers for books and computer programs because those drawers never see clothes. They draw clean clothes from the laundry baskets.
At least that’s the theory. Sometimes clean and dirty co-mingle on the floor.
I did mention I’m tolerant, right?
I cannot blame my upbringing for this laundry tolerance. My mother was a Type-A laundrist. A laundrist is someone who takes the chore of laundry seriously. Even to the point of folding and stashing clothes on the same day they were washed.
I remember how Mom resisted changing from a wringer washing machine (see photo) because it cleaned fast and deep. But I’m happy to report that I was the reason she moved into the modern era of washing machines and dryers.
One day she was hanging up clothes in the back yard and I, being about 3 at the time, decided to explore without her supervision. What, I thought to myself, would happen if I stuck this knife blade in the electric socket?
I don’t remember what happened but I do know that Mom got a clothes dryer and that for years we had a butter knife in our flatware drawer with a blackened point.
One day my husband came home with a story about the wife of one of his customers who ironed all her husband’s underwear. I was so pleased I had the strength of character to resist such laundrist temptation. I know it wasn’t a hint. My husband has no illusions about my laundry abilities.
I mean, I don’t even fold my own underwear. Why would I iron his?
But recently our washing machine went belly up and my husband decided he wanted a front-loading set, those new energy-efficient machines that should save water and electricity.
So we have a new set with portholes facing into our laundry room. My husband is still bummed that the dryer doesn’t fold the clothes, too, but he’s adjusting. I’m bummed the clothes don’t come out on hangers. I’m adjusting, too.
But I do have one concern. Our grandson, at 18 months, now likes to stand at the glass windows and watch the clothes tumble.
I’m worried that this might be planting the seeds of a whole new generation of laundrists.