My Husband Does the Laundry: A Modern Gothic Horror

Sensational Saturdays

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!






Filed under Sensational Saturday's

15 responses to “My Husband Does the Laundry: A Modern Gothic Horror

  1. Great post! My confession is that I buy/hoard white tank tops! Just because my washer secretly hates me and rips holes in them. Also he has no problem doing the darks. But for some reason when he does whites its a special occasion!

  2. I am a self-confessed laundry destroying husband. I do try, and I’ve managed to stop turning my wife’s normal underwear into thongs…

  3. LOL, Jessie on the purple snurf ball sweater. My DHs definition of doing the laundry: “put a load of towels into washer, move them to dryer, wait for them to fold themselves.”

    Timely post b/c we had a conversation the other night about my tight deadline. I was already in SPINNING TOP mode, when he came out to the patio in the morning with a list of nit-nat calls for me to make while he golfed. Mind you, I feel BLESSED that DH golfs regularly

    At dinner, I told him I felt overwhelmed. He said, “Why? What do you have to do? You’re gone every day writing. Things are fine around here.”

    Me: Muching on salad, staring thoughtfully at new spiderweb in corner. “Yeah, you DO handle vacuuming. Munch. Munch. I only have to dust.” New bite. “And keep up with the kitchen. Munch. Munch. And handle the bathrooms.” New bite. “Oh. and handle the laundry.” Munch. Munch. “And get a FRIGGING book ready for Atlanta before the end of the month.”

    He now chases me out of the house in the morning. Woo-hoo! But, I DO pull delicates from the laundry and put them in a separate stack.

  4. Well there was this one time when my mother came to visit, (Operative word: one. She has not been invited back), the woman who cannot admit to ever doing anything wrong, even if it’s an honest oops.

    And then there was a full bottle of bleach. (Operative word: was. It was full, and then it was empty.)

    No, no. I prefer not to talk about it. Things that defy logic give me a migraine.

  5. Love your post. Your husband sounds irreplaceable! The laundry is the one household chore I actually love doing. Well, and cooking. Sometimes. If I’m not too tired, bored, excited, or itching to go out. My husband vacuums, does the garbage, paints, cleans the garage, washes and vacuums the car, and a host of other chores. He does not do toilets or bathrooms at all. And because I like my clothes to stay the colour and shape in which they arrived, he does no laundry. Sorry if that’s trite, but there it is. BTW I wouldn’t change him for anything!

    • Your hubby sounds like a keeper. I’m of the opinion that as long as everyone feels like the division of labor is equitable, it is!
      We also mostly divide things along traditional lines, that’s why the laundry thing came as a surprise. It just worked out that way due to the fact he’s nearly a foot taller than I am, much stronger, and I was home with the kids. I have no qualms about being the only one who cleans the toilets!

  6. My laundry fiasco begins tonight when I do my two weeks’ worth of dirty clothes! In an outside laundry room of my apartment complex being battered by a tropical storm! LOL. Thanks for dropping my blog, Roland

    • I hope you meant, thanks for dropping by your blog. 🙂
      So sorry you are doing laundry in the rain. Not much fun, but lots of story possibilities.! I can see Lucy and Ethel frantically trying to catch up on laundry during the tropical storm, trying to get it all done before a VIP comes to the house, and every time they get a load in, the evil neighbor pulls it out. Sopping wet laundry everywhere! Oh, yes, a definite story idea!

  7. Jessica, what a hoot! About 30 years ago, we ran out of dishwasher detergent and decided to use laundry detergent in its place. We were just kids of course. (Twenty is kids, right?) What difference could it possibly make?? Soap is soap, no?
    Uh, no, it is not. Later that night, we had tsunami suds like you have never seen take the kitchen in a soapy overthrow. We could hardly find each other in the suds. And that is my displaced laundry story.

  8. Sigh… at my house, my husband PREFERS to do the laundry…

    • Sorry Carole, you went into the Spam folder. Not sure why.
      I am so jealous of a husband wanting to do laundry. That is amazing! Mine does now only because now that he’s taken it over he thinks I do it wrong. I do one load a day, and then I only have one to put away every day. He likes to do it all on one day. Then it is all finished. I think that means a whole day tied to the machines. No, thank you!

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