Posts Tagged ‘towels’

Laundry Day #13

August 16, 2011

Inventory:

Sheets: 6
Pillowcases: 10
Towels: 5
Socks: 8
Underwear: 19

Temperature: Hot

Cost: $6

What have we learned?

Guests came to stay and now I’m washing their laundry. Well, not their laundry precisely, but the laundry left here after they departed: three times my usual load of sheets, pillowcases and towels. Plus socks and underwear—ours, not theirs—because they required a hot-water wash and this was a big one.

If you consider laundry to be drudgery, the thought of washing things soiled by others would only add to your displeasure. I don’t see things that way. Providing overnight guests with clean sheets and towels, and a comfortable place to use them, is part of my role as a host. I wouldn’t object to preparing and serving a meal for company, nor to cleaning up afterward. Why should laundry be different?

Laundry says you’re welcome. The sheets will be clean for you anytime you want to come and stay.

Faded Glory

February 8, 2011

I own three towels—two bath towels and one hand towel—all soft turquoise blue, all bought at the same time.

They travel together from the linen closet to the hooks on the back of the bathroom door to the washer and dryer and back again. They’re all washed hot, lately with Seventh Generation laundry detergent because I like the Blue Eucalyptus and Lavender scent.

Yet recently I’ve noticed that the three towels no longer match. One has faded to a greenish version of its original self, one is dusted with aqua blue, and the third is going gray.

I still treat them as contemporaries and I always will, but clearly they are aging at different rates.

Then again, don’t we all?

A Clean Start

January 3, 2011

After time out for restoration and repairs—in the real world if not in the blog world—I’m back and looking for a clean start. What better way to do that than with laundry?

So, I did the wash—two loads—on New Year’s Eve. Sheets, towels, clothes.

It was all cleaned, dried and put away in time to eat a late supper, drink champagne and watch the ball drop. I even put up a pot of red beans that simmered on the stove all day on January 1. It’s supposed to be lucky to eat beans on New Year’s Day. Later I found out that black-eyed peas are the legumes of choice, but that was long after the red beans had started to simmer and I figured I’d take my chances, maybe even start a new trend for the new year.

Which makes me wonder…

Shouldn’t washing the clothes be a good thing to do to celebrate the new year?

Apparently traditional superstition says not, but I didn’t know that when I loaded up the washers on December 31. So if 2011 proves to be a year of spinning, tumbling and agitation, I guess I’ll know why.

But I prefer to believe that doing the wash is a symbolic way to (w)ring out the old and ring in the new. It’s a chance for a clean start; and isn’t that what New Year’s celebrations are all about?

Washin’ in the Rain

April 26, 2010

Rainy days are tricky for laundry. If you hang yours out in the yard to dry, the dilemma is clear. Yet even if you use an electric dryer you might still have a sense that the laundry isn’t entirely dry, particularly if it’s been raining for a few days and everything seems to be a bit damp indoors and out.

Nevertheless I did my laundry on this rainy day—the second of what looks to be a string of them. Now I feel all cozy inside.

There’s a big pile of freshly dried laundry waiting for me, and T-shirts and pants hanging on the drying rack for later. If I’m feeling ambitious I might take out the ironing board or sew on a stray button, but it’s more likely that I’ll put a good movie on the TV, fold the towels, pair up the socks and smooth out the sheets.

When things look gloomy outside, laundry helps you focus inward.

Laundry Day #6

April 10, 2010

Inventory:

Sheets: 2
Pillowcases: 4
Towels: 5
Pants: 7
Shirts: 12
Undershirts: 3
Underwear: 23
Socks: 32

Temperature: Hot/Warm

Cost: $6.25

What have we learned?

It’s been a while since I did the wash.

I will confess that I don’t document every Laundry Day here. (How much laundry could one reader stand? I think I’m already testing that limit.) I also don’t write about every Laundry Day on the day it occurs, although I do present them chronologically. Nevertheless, it has been more than two weeks since my last Laundry Day post, and the lag has been about the same in real time.

Laundry reminds you when you’re slacking. The hamper overflows; your favorite items of clothing are unavailable (unless you’re willing to wear them wrinkled or less-than-fresh); you’re down to the few pairs of underwear and socks that you’d prefer not to share with others.

At first, you might approach these conditions with a sense of abandon. “Who cares about the laundry?” you think. “I’ll get to it when I get to it. I’m too busy/tired/stressed out/inert to give this my attention.”

That attitude might serve you for a while, but eventually it will be superseded by a sense that you’re not meeting your obligations.

The dirty laundry seems to tsk-tsk at you each time you walk past. “What? More?” it sniffs as you toss another soiled shirt on the pile. “There’s thermal underwear at the bottom here, you know, and we’re well into spring. Are you ever going to take care of this?”

The answer, you realize, must be “Yes, I am.” For the sooner you attend to the laundry, the sooner you regain authority over your life.

When it’s washed and dried you can toss it on the sofa beside you and attend to it while you watch television or listen to music or talk on the phone. Laundry doesn’t mind. All it wants is a little notice and care, and it will repay you with a sense of well-being; it will wrap you in warmth and softness and you’ll feel better for having given it your attention.

Laundry appreciates your attention.

Laundry Day #1

February 20, 2010

Inventory:

Underwear: 23
Undershirts: 1
Socks: 2
Towels: 4

Temperature: Hot

Cost: $3.25

What have we learned?

1) I do laundry for two. Truly, I probably own more than twenty pairs of underwear but I wouldn’t wait until I’d run through my entire inventory before doing a wash. Only half of those I washed today are mine.

2) I do not own my own washing machine. Oh, I have owned a washer and dryer, and I aspire to own some again someday, but right now I live in an apartment building and share a laundry room with 100 or so other people.

Laundry invites examination and investigation. It’s a regular episode of Murder, She Wrote or CSI or Psych – pick your poison – filled with psychological and behavioral clues and a staggering amount of DNA evidence. But let’s not dwell upon that last part.