Friday, May 25, 2012

While Mama Goof is Away, I am allowed to do laundry

The kids got home and saw clothes hanging and said, shocked, "Daddy, you did laundry! Are you allowed to?"
"Why wouldn't I be allowed to do laundry?"
They were suspicious, "Does mommy know you are doing this?"
Mama Goof is in LA, not for fun, more on that in some other post. I am pretty good at single parenting - for a disorganized guy. We monitor the little Goofs screen time pretty carefully, so we bend a bit when one of us is away. I'm a pretty lousy homemaker, but I can get by - except for one thing. Mama Goof does not trust me to do laundry. She’ll tolerate my minimalist efforts to prepare food (veggie chicken tenders and cucumber slices for dinner anyone?) But not laundry, she trusts no one and especially not me. Her mania is to the point that she left the detergent bin empty to prevent me from even trying.

A few years ago that would have dissuaded me, but no more. I told her I was going to do laundry no matter what, so she may as well give me instructions and thereby at least mitigate the damage inflicted on the family wardrobe.
The basic mistakes of male laundry involve the failure to distinguish between different phylum of clothing, efforts to press the engineering capacities of the washer and dryer to their maximum capacity, which are then exacerbated by a general sloth (the vice that is, not a very slow animal with lots of epaulets – although that would be pretty cool).

I promised Mama Goof that I would separate lights and darks, when in doubt use cold water, put anything really nice to the side, and hang to dry if I wasn’t absolutely certain. I promised to pay close attention and not let clothes ferment in the appliance after their cycle was complete.
I explained that I understood that Kenmore washing machines are not Corvettes or pickup trucks. Pushing them to their limits is not fun and could result in flood or fire. No shortcuts, I would do modest sized loads of laundry and not do experiments to see just how hot the dryer could get.
But this wasn’t enough. For Mama Goof, laundry is more a Faustian affair. Washers, like imps, are not to be trusted. But dryers are demon-powered machines that derive their heat from the fires of Tarturus. They are just looking for excuses to destroy clothes. If GoofManor ever has a poltergeist, it will enter through the dryer. Dryers are not to be trifled with; to do laundry is to dabble in the dark arts.
I promised to do everything my wife said, but still MamaGoof wasn't sure. She stared into the distance for a moment then said, “Before putting something in the washer and after taking it out of the washer – just shake it out.” She demonstrated.
“What, that’s it?” I said, incredulous, “That is the big mystery behind doing the laundry. Are you that concerned I can’t shake the clothes out, and then there might be a wrinkle? If I don’t shake the clothes out, does it make them more prone to shrink?”

She nodded sadly, knowing that I would inevitable forget to shake the clothes out. But I haven’t forgotten to do it – I’ve been very careful. I don’t want to know what happens if the washer imps and the dryer demons link up.

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