a blog where I write whatever I feel like!
I started off Sensational Saturdays with the tale of the two dryer balls (cllick HERE for complete understanding of why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls), and in that story I told you I would tell the tale of my husband doing the laundry. That day is here.
We are not an extravagant family. In fact we are famous for being, as we like to call it, frugal. That’s why when I purchased the cashmere sweater, it was a big deal. I don’t own cashmere, I drool over it. I love the Mary Tyler Moore look. The idea that if I put it on and add a string of something that looks like pearls, I can elevate myself two levels in the pecking order at the PTA.
And cashmere is not inexpensive, despite foreign workers working their fingers to the bone for pennies, these sweaters still cost more than my usual cotton pullover. Still, I reminded myself, it is an investment. Cashmere is the power suit of the dressy casual woman. Wear it with denim and it says, “I have enough money to wear this and still fingerpaint”. Wear it with a tight A-line skirt and pumps and it says, “I’m sexy, but you’ll have to work for it”.
And it was on sale.
And I had an extra discount coupon.
The luscious shade of deep purple wool was mine.
And I was careful with it. I told you were are frugal, well, I never go to the dry cleaner unless the item has sequins or is made of vintage silk. In other words, I haven’t been for at least ten years. So all my sweaters are hand wash. Now I’m a busy woman. I learned long ago that I could put my delicates into mesh bags and use the washing machine, then dry them flat and with a light bit of ironing almost everything looks fantastic. Even cashmere.
So the first few times I wore the sweater, washing was a breeze. I carefully zipped it into it’s little bag and lovingly reshaped it on my wooden drying rack back into the shape of a fifties movie star. And I power walked through the halls of the schools. Sexy, rich and unattainable in my on sale, hand washed, only one I own sweater.
And then I got a job.
And life got crazy.
Like all working women I had too much to balance. When I hadn’t been working I’d volunteered for too many things and now I didn’t feel like I could really let them all go. I had kids, dog, cat, volunteer stuff, writing, and oh yeah, my husband. He too demanded a piece of me. Something had to break.
Laundry was piling up in the basement and one day my wonderful husband said, “Why don’t I take over the laundry, you work on Saturdays and I’ll get it all done then.”
How could I turn that down?
I would go to work and while I was away all my piles of dirty laundry would disappear. I came home to paired socks and fresh undies. What sane woman would say no?
There were a few mishaps. I instructed my husband on how to wash bras, and other sundry items. How to read labels for the all important clues as to what went into the mesh bags, what needed hot and what needed cold. And he, being a man, listened with one ear and proceeded to do it his way.
He tried. He did. But there were so many things that needed special attention, and he shrank a few shirts that he really loved on me, so he tried harder. But then winter came. And out came the sweaters.
Now, to understand how the disaster happened you have to understand how a man’s brain works. And I don’t. But I can see the thought process ticking away.
Sweaters. Sweaters are big and bulky and have lots of cable knit. Jessica says sweaters need cold water and a bag and need to be laid flat. Okay. This is a sweater. But this small, delicate, fuzzy thing that is hiding under the other stuff is not.
I actually was home for the discovery.
My husband came upstairs, from the depths of the basement where our machines lurk, and he was holding something.It was purple. And fuzzy.
“Why is there a football in the dryer?”
If you are a knitter you may understand what happens when you put a piece of wool and soap into the washing machine. It is a process called “felting” and fabric artists do it for a reason. It forms a near impenetrable surface. Water proof and warm. It turned my Mary Tyler Moore sweater into a Nerf Football.
No more slinking around the school corridors feeling superior.
In one day my husband had pulled the ladder of success out from under me and I was dumped out of the realm of the rich into the realm of reality.
After many losses and lessons we now have a system for delicates. Anything that doesn’t go in the dryer goes into the special laundry basket and then it goes directly into a mesh bag. It never touches the regular laundry pile. Ever. Anything in a mesh bag gets either hung up or dried flat.
And my husband still does the bulk of the laundry. I’m not crazy. You think I’d give up on a sweet deal like that just to wear a sweater like Mary Tyler Moore?
Tell me your laundry fiascos, I know you’ve got ’em!