Save Our Suds

It was a snowy Friday afternoon (optimum conditions for laundry) when I made my way to the laundry room with a load of delicates. Ideally, I should have been washing sheets and towels so that I could have enjoyed the added pleasure of folding warm terrycloth fresh from the dryer as I watched the fluffy, wet snow fall outside, but the whites weren’t due for a washing and the delicates were. So, down to the basement I went, laundry bag in one hand and Woolite in the other.

Who should I discover there but Pencil—so named because she’s skinny and angular, and in certain light the cast of her complexion is a vaguely unhealthy yellow. Pencil had the laundry room all to herself. And when I say all, I mean all: She’d commandeered all five washers.

Two possibilities could have occasioned this. 1) Pencil had sorted her laundry with scientific precision, using one washer for each of the four possible settings—Normal Hot, Normal Warm, Delicates Cold, and Permanent Press—plus the fifth double loader for blankets or other bulky items. Or, 2) Pencil had not done her laundry in a very, very long time.

I’m all for saving things: money, rubber bands, whales; but as I contemplate the tower of ironing on my chair, I’m not so sure that saving up your laundry is such a good idea.

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