I hate the laundry. I’ve been doing it since fourth grade, but still, the washer, the dryer, and I are archenemies. I’ve melted red crayon into new school clothes; I’ve bleached and shrunk things.
I recently packed for a weekend trip and then pulled out my central outfit—a black, lined, wool jumper—only to realize that I had shrunk the jumper in the dryer. The synthetic lining didn’t seize up, however. This became very apparent when the lining presented itself a full two-inches below the wool. And my snafu was difficult to conceal over the laser-pink tights I packed to go with it.
Oh laundry: you’ve exacted your revenge again.
I’ve washed the dry-clean-only pile, I’ve made whites dirtier, I’ve twisted and generally destroyed. For something to become a lasting part of my wardrobe, it needs to be practically indestructible.
Luckily, in the past I’ve lived with roommates on a chores-bartering system that allowed me to trade cooking for laundry. Then I moved to New York and instead of spending the day in the Laundromat, I splurged and had the laundry people wash and fold it. That’s right: I had people.
When I started dating my husband, I quickly found out he did laundry, and if my clothes were at his house, he happily washed and sorted them not only into colored and white loads, but normal and delicate loads. I married him.
But now I’m a full-time mom, and suddenly I’m fighting with the laundry demons again (not because we abandoned the laundry people, but because K-Pants and his Paris Hilton wardrobe get special treatment).
Our laundry is in the basement of the building. The room is filled with old machines that often break down, and it seems like everyone in the building (me included) waits until their very last pair of underwear to do the wash (or in my case, K-Pant’s last pair of pants). That means everyone arrives with about 150 lbs. of clothes to pile into a small, under-trained army of rickety machines that often don’t work.
I know there’s some laundry magnate out their, living in a $5 million dollar mansion in Franklin Lakes, NJ, built solely out of quarters, hobnobbing with the Real Housewives. I bet he has a red Electrolux washing machine with a woman named Rosalinda who comes to use it. He probably doesn’t even know where his Electrolux is in the house, and he surely can’t hear it because it’s so damn quiet.
Well I can see the George Washington Bridge from my block, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to find the Laundry King and steal his Electrolux and haul that fire-engine-red beauty back to the Bronx.
Because today, as usual, I had to take out other people’s finished laundry to fit mine in, and on top of that the dryers did not dry my clothes. I’m pretty sure their only purpose is to dry clothes.
Maybe they’re having an existential crisis.
Or maybe they think their job is to simply warm up the clothes like a nice bowl of soup: warm and wet! I can certainly go for that combination, if you get what I mean, but when I’m on a tight schedule and the Pants is napping alone upstairs, I only have 10 minutes before he wakes up or the authorities come.
Laundry King, today you have won the battle, but this multi-book-saga-hopefully-morphing-into-a-movie-deal is far from over.