Are you a laundry freak? I know I am. I hate it when my husband decides to do a load of laundry because his favorite pair of jeans happens to be dirty. I cringe whenever I hear the words: “I threw in a load of laundry earlier.” Myriad scenes play over in my mind about what might have been in the laundry basket, as he does not know the meaning of separating anything. Dirty paint or construction clothes, jeans, sweaty bicycle clothes, dress shirt and khaki pants, grass stained white socks with clumps of dirt, all go into the same load.
“You didn’t throw that blue sweater in, did you?” I asked, thinking of the time he threw my two hundred dollar Anne Fontaine sweater into the dryer—it will soon be delegated to my five year old niece.
I have since decided to separate most of my delicates, but there are still those occasional things that go into the regular laundry basket that aren’t deemed delicate enough to go into the white (for whites) delicate basket, or the blue (for darks) delicate basket. And those things cannot go into the dryer. My husband, for the most part, has learned this, but his remedy is not to wash anything of mine anymore, which is also frustrating because now he has thrown off my load system, and my pile of clothes is much too small to justify two separate loads.
If you’re a laundry freak like me, you’ll relate to all of this. But I go beyond that. If my husband (on the rare occasion) decides to fold laundry, I will refold everything. All of my towels, for example, need to be folded the same way, revealing no ragged edge in my linen closet. My husband’s underwear drawer is rather large and shares its space with his T-shirts and socks. I fastidiously fold each T-shirt as though it were on display in a department store, I match socks, and have individual piles of various colors, and to the far right, lie all of his neatly folded underwear. I do this, I think, with love, until the next time I open the drawer to put more of the unending, ever abundant flow of laundry away, (how does one man dirty so many clothes in one week?) and there I find what looks like the Tasmanian Devil himself has rummaged through his drawer. I berate him, I plead with him, I threaten to go on strike, but none of it works—he doesn’t care! I’ve even threatened to fold his T-shirts the same way they go into the laundry basket—inside out—he then wears them that way just to aggravate me.
The truth is, I don’t really do it “with love” and “for him.” I do it because of my OCD tendencies. I cannot stand to see things in disarray. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” But I have come to terms with this. My husband and I live at odds when it comes to laundry. His nemesis is that I don’t help him in the yard, but that’s my payback for all my indoor chores.
“That’s not my job—its outdoor work,” I say, as I walk back into the house.