Written By: Leslie Means
My father taught me to never use the word hate.
“Nothing is ever bad enough to use that word, Leslie,” he would say.
I think about this often when I’m frustrated with someone or when a negative situation occurs in my life.
“You don’t hate them, Leslie” I say to myself. “To use such a tense word would be unnecessary unless the situation is so terrible that finding another word in the English language to describe it is impossible.”
I have indeed found something I hate.
I’ve known this for a while. I think it’s safe to say my mother hates this too. And there’s a good chance that someone reading this column will agree with my tension for this chore. What is this action that leads me to use one of the most vulgar words in the English dictionary?
I have an issue with laundry; washing, folding, ironing, sorting, and putting away every mismatched piece of clothing makes me angry. It started when I was a young girl. It was one of the first jobs my sister Lindsay and I had to complete on Saturday mornings. We couldn’t get out of it. And now I know why mom made us do this; I think she hated it too.
What’s the difference between my mom’s dislike for laundry and mine? She actually knows how to iron, remove stains, sort into piles and fold properly. She taught me how to do this too, but I dislike those tasks so much, it rarely happens.
I’ve tried to be like other families that have laundry skills. I know there are people that actually take the clothes out of the dryer when it beeps and remove the wet laundry from the washing machine only moments after the cycle is complete. I know there are human beings who take time to fold every sock and underwear when it’s still warm and fresh from the dryer. I have even met people with scented dresser drawers and neatly organized closets.
I am in awe of them.
On more than one occasion I have tried to emulate their skills but I just can’t keep up. Even if I wash my laundry daily, dirty clothes are in the hamper at the end of the day. Unless I plan to do my laundry in the nude – then I could probably have clean clothes for a few hours.
That’s not in my foreseeable future.
At any one time I have at least 3 loads of laundry to wash and 2 to 4 loads to put away. The clothing piles up near our washing machine and I usually don’t take the time to sort it properly. In fact, I rarely check the pockets and have washed many unfortunate items within the past few years. The list includes: pens, countless dirty diapers, stickers, baby shoes, money, crayons, paper and a mole. Yes, a mole. Thank God I found the rodent before I threw him in to the dryer.
After the washing process the clothes get thrown into our single clothes basket until the day Kyle and I decide to sit in front of the TV to fold them. This doesn’t happen very often and we are usually frantically trying to hide our laundry from guests who stop by.
Last week we had a new babysitter in our home. I told my 4 year old, Ella to stay out of our bedroom, mostly because we had at least 6 loads of unfolded laundry sitting on our bed and I obviously didn’t want the sitter to see our disaster. When I got home that evening I asked Ella if she stayed out. What was her response?
“Mama, we went in there for a little bit. But it was OK. She (the babysitter) didn’t trip on the clothes or anything.”
Clearly we have an issue here.
Someday when my girls are old enough, I’ll pass on this task to them. They will have many Saturday mornings to create their own opinions of this daily chore. In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away. I can’t promise I won’t wash anymore rodents but I can promise my feelings of hatred for laundry will never subside.
Sorry dad. Some things are just too awful. I couldn’t think of a better word.