As an adult, I hate to do laundry. Hate doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion I have for this chore. Loathe? Abhor? Despise? Abominate? You get the idea. Laundry is icky. It ranks right up there with (shudder) dishes.
I know, I know. How can a person dislike something that, in theory, only takes ten or fifteen minutes from beginning to end?
Because you’ve never lived in the Cady household.
You should know this by now. We’ve been blogging for months about our lives. Have you learned nothing about us yet?
We Cadys never do anything half-cocked. Nothing. That includes our laundry.
First off, Mom only had one washer and one dry. For twelve people. Plus, we didn’t have super-capacity washers or dryers. Take a moment and wrap your mind around that for a second, and then bow your head for a moment of silence. My mother truly sacrificed for our family. Our washer and dryer must’ve been going non-stop, from dawn till the wee-hours of the night, to keep up with our clothing consumption. Seriously.
With that said, I can pretty much tell you there is NO WAY Mom would have been able to wash, dry laundry, AND fold our laundry by herself while still taking care of ten kids. Obviously, something had to give, and it wound up being nice, wrinkle-free clothing, neatly put away in our drawers.
This was war, people! She was outnumbered nine-to-one and sacrifices had to be made!
So, she washed our clothes, but we were expected to fold and/or retrieve them ourselves. And, of course, we were kids, so…duh. It wasn’t getting done. Ever. Instead, a system was devised.
Next to the dryer sat our sock bin. This was a 10 gallon bin which once housed food storage wheat. After said wheat was turned into flour, the parents turned the container into a sturdy catch-all for any socks deemed clean enough to wear again. The term “clean” was loosely used. Each morning, we’d fish through the hundreds of un-matched socks until we found two close enough in color to be considered a pair.
Next, we’d address the laundry. Stretching of one’s body may or may not have been necessary to adequately prepare before going through the pile of laundry.
No. Pile does not adequately describe the six-foot table shoved up against the dryer, covered from end-to-end with clothing, often reaching taller than I could reach from the ground on my tippy toes. When I was younger, I used to burrow holes into the herculean mound of material, creating tunnels and hiding places during hide n’ go seek.
As a teenager, I only saw sheer tonnage of trousers and t-shirts, mocking me. I’d usually climb onto a chair, or on top of the dryer, starting at the top of the mound, digging downward until I found an appropriate outfit for school or church, creating a new, smaller pile filled with discarded items for someone else to sift through at a later date.
Heaven forbid I was in search of a specific item of clothing. I’d have to budget at least ten or fifteen minutes to find said item, if it was even in the avalanche of clothing. You never knew if a little sister had pilfered the shirt you were looking for and had worn it to school, or was hoarding it for another day. But that’s another story for a later date.
If I was lucky, and if I had enough time, I had a 50/50 chance of finding what I was looking for. Most days it was a matter of ‘find something that’s clean and fits’.
As I got older, Mom began assigning laundry duty. This wasn’t so bad though. By the time I began doing laundry, several of the older kids were in college or married, and washing was more manageable. We still never folded it. You were on your own, buddy.
Now, as an adult, I see the beginnings of a pile forming in my laundry room, and I have a small panic attack. I’m physically uncomfortable with unfolded laundry in my room. If I notice someone has stuffed the last load of laundry in a hamper, I might pass it twice before I’m on that puppy like white on rice, folding every last piece into carefully assigned piles for each family member.
But don’t you worry. That’s as far as I get. My hatred of the chore creeps up on me, until I’m staring at massive leaning piles, waiting to be delivered to their homes. At about that time, I holler at the top of my lungs, “Laundry’s done! Come and get your piles!” Then scurry out of the room, trying to shake off the shiver running up my spine. Oh, how I loath laundry, and all the memories it brings with it.