Dave started doing his own laundry after Phoebe was born, partly because he had nothing to wear, but mostly because he’d ask, “Can you wash this? I need it for work,” and I’d say yes and immediately forget. Then he’d asked me about it later and I’d cry because in addition to being the worst mother in the world, I was also the worst wife.
(I would also imagine the affair he might have and how it would start with a woman commenting on his clothing. “So, breastfeeding is your superpower, eh?” She’d tease him.
“Oh, actually this is my wife’s shirt.” He’d reveal that I hadn’t been keeping up with my clothes-washing duties or packing his lunch and she’d tell him he needed a woman that will take care of him and offer him a sandwich and…well, you know how that stuff goes. You’ve watched television.
That never happened, of course. I don’t even own that breastfeeding superpower t-shirt. But it didn’t stop me from worrying and querying about the laundry habits of every woman he knows.)
I’ve since regained dominion over the laundry. Well, most of the laundry. Okay, Dave is still doing his own laundry, which might sound like a good thing, until you consider his method. I’ll tell you right out, I don’t exactly get his method, but it involves many, many baskets, including, but not limited to: a folded clean clothes basket, a needs-to-be-folded clean clothes basket, a dirty white clothes basket, a dirty dark clothes basket, a dirty colored clothes basket, a dirty pants basket, and a wore-it-for-an-hour-so-technically-I-could-wear-it-again basket. And because he refuses to use the laundry chute, they are all in our bedroom.
Now, I have some beliefs about the bedroom. I believe the bedroom is where clean clothing should be stored, however, I also believe that when you walk in the bedroom, you should not be able to see that clothing as it should be put away neatly in a closet or a drawer. But Dave’s crazy laundry-doing has been forcing me to live in a way that conflicted with my real values about the bedroom. (And also my role as doer of laundry.) So, over the weekend, I decided to shut Laundrytown down and reclaim the bedroom. (And the laundry.) Dave was agreeable (he reminds me of the guy from Casual Sex? (at 1:08)) and we worked together to get the clothes back in the dresser and closet, which happened to be full, in spite of the basket situation.
Dave had approximately 10,226 shirts with collars and horizontal stripes in varying colors (though some of them were older than our marriage and he’d been wearing the same six for almost two years now). We narrowed his shirts down to twenty, because that seemed reasonable and because that’s how many were free of rips, stains and bad taste. We did the same with mine, except I had less shirts to start with and we could only narrow it down to those that were the least stained, because the pathway from my plate to my mouth is heavily traveled. Still, I was happy to let go of the shirt I was wearing when I had that uncomfortable confrontation at the softball field, and also the one I wore when I overheard a co-worker make fun of me.
Now, I’ve got a load of Dave’s socks and underwear in the washer and we have room in our closet. Maybe for money?