Laundry Wars

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.

19 responses to “Laundry Wars

  1. This made me laugh and laugh. I spent much of the day doing laundry as well. We have a tiny washer/dryer (one appliance, two functions) in our temporary apartment. It’s so small that a week’s worth of laundry for the two of us, which would have been 3/4 of a load in NYC, is two PLUS loads here. Each cycle takes 70 minutes. You do the math.

    Also, the thing sounds like a jet engine. No joke. We should Skype while I am doing laundry.

    • Oh no! You guys have the Laundromat IN your apartment! You just need to have some bad soap operas going in the background and the experience will be complete.

      So when you move I trust you’ll have a Singapore-sized, jewel-colored set of Electrolux appliances. 🙂

  2. WOW I hear your pain Laundry Girl – Having our own laundry was the main reason we left the city for the burbs. Am very fortunate to have a laundry room on the second floor but this only makes the 2-3 loads a day convenient and easy to spy when the piles are growing out of control. When you find the Laundry King give him a kick in the knees for all of us Moms. XOXO

    • I enjoy running my hand along your washer and dryer every time we come over! :0) I know I’ll miss being able to drop off the big people laundry when inevitably pack up the bags and get out of dodge, but in the meantime, I’ll give the Laundry King a real whallop for all of us sufferers. Thanks for stopping by to say hello!! 🙂

  3. Ahhh!! The days of trading chores. I remember every time I opened the laundry room door there was a mountain of clothes waiting for me, but at least there was carne asada, homemade pizza, and delicious cookies in exchange! What a great deal we had going on then!

    • It was a GREAT deal. And you were the Laundry Queen. If only you could have made millions on that deal. Instead there’s just fond memories of things in the oven…

  4. I feel your pain. My laundry always seems to come out dirtier than when I put it in and I’ve given up on dryers. My apartment often looks like a Chinese laundry with things draped over chairs and doors. And I think I have mentioned my neighbor’s stinky patchouli detergent that overrides any other scent you try to wash with… don’t even get me started!

  5. I remember the days of shared laundry rooms. Strangers dumping my clothes on the floor because I was 15 minutes late changing the cycle, carting the kiddies and the laundry up stairs to do the wash, pumping never ending rolls of quarters into sometimes broken machines…
    Now we have our own front load washer/dryer set. And YES, it is possible to LOVE an appliance.

    • Lol. So true! I learned that when I moved from my studio apartment to a bigger place with a… DISHWASHER! Love at first sight. Now that the dishwasher love affair’s spark has diminished, I’m ready for a new flame. (But if you are reading this Dishwasher, I still love you!)

  6. hi, thanks for visiting! I actually started out playing around with a free version of corel essentials, I think is what it’s called, it’s the friendly version, but with a wacom of some sort it was pretty easy for me to learn and to love. So, you don’t have to spend a lot and once you get over the blind drawing part it’s excellent. My grandson is visually impaired and it’s just easier for me now and a lot less messy to work on the computer. I have a tutorial using corel and photoshop on my blog and I’m always open to answering questions if you decide to give it a try. Thanks for the kind comment!

    • Oh, awesome! I really should be finishing Christmas cards, but now you’ve got me all excited about Corel and digital painting. Glad you’re open to questions, because I’ll be back!

      Readers, if you haven’t checked out, head over there!

  7. Momsicle…so funny! Doing laundry can also be dangerous. I fell down the stairs this week with a load. I survived.

  8. This is so funny and Sharon is right! Laundry can be hazardous in more ways than one. One time the dryer shorted out at my house and almost started an electrical fire. When I was 14, I forgot there was a pan on the stove that had bacon grease in it. It caught fire. I tried to put it out with water and ended up with bacon grease flambe all over the stove. My brother grabbed a bag of flour and we put it out with that!

  9. OMG, I feel like all I do is laundry. I cannot believe how much three people can produce. It makes me insane. My husband recently told me I didn’t fold his t-shirts right, so guess what? I leave them on his side of the bed. He either has to fold them himself or sleep on them. LOL

    We have a serious problem with our dryer being on the other side of the wall from our thermostat. Poorest home design EVER! When it is hot, the A/C constantly comes on b/c the thermostat thinks it is 80 inside the house. I have to turn the A/C up – and then remember to turn it back down later. And when it is cold? I can’t even think about doing laundry. We would freeze to death inside our own home.

    • So it sounds like the laundry demons follow you no matter where you go… I guess eventually having the laundry back in our house/apartment won’t mean clean-clothes paradise. It could mean the thermostat twilight zone or–most likely for me–mountains of unfolded laundry hanging out on every surface. You look like you all have clean clothes in your photos, though, so KUDOS to that! And nice work on hubby’s stacked shirts. We had a similar incident with towels. 😉

  10. yes! you feel my pain! I know too well (as you already read my blog entry) about this topic aswell. I can safely say that there is ONLY one good thing about laundry mat laundry.- that is … If you have 5 loads, you can do them all at once and dry them all at once so its not a day long chore. That being said, we know how reality plays its part, and how when you get to the laundry mat 1/2 the machines don’t work, or eat your change. Or there is another crazy momma like me there that has a 6 loader, two triples and two doubles! and no machines are left for you… I really enjoyed the read 🙂

    • Thanks! Glad you stopped over! How are your new machines working? I’m listening to the hum of my washer right now, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. No more praying to the laundry gods that the machines will a) be available, and b) work. I’m impressed by your diligence in doing a post every day. Awesome. Readers, head over to to check it out!

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