One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to submit a newspaper column once a month. I slacked off in February (hey, there was a lot going on) and while this one didn’t run until today, I submitted it back on Feb 28th, so I’m cutting myself a break on that. I will do better this month.
I also resolved to write one short story per month, which I neglected to do, so TWO stories in March!
AIRING MY PREVIOUSLY DIRTY LAUNDRY
I am not a particularly domestic person. When it comes to cleaning, I’d say I’m more of a planner than an actual doer. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m noticing how dusty my computer screen is, but I have no immediate plans to wipe it off. Let me try blowing on it and see if that works…nope, not really.
I do have general good intentions, and I make lists of things to do, like “fold all laundry” and “clean all dishes” and “vacuum all floors,” but when the weekend rolls around I cross off maybe one and half things and then applaud myself.
Drew and I are halfheartedly looking for a new apartment. Halfheartedly because we don’t really want to move anywhere until the end of April, and everything we look at now is available for new tenants on Monday. So it’s hard to look seriously at anything just now.
One of the amenities we’ve agreed that we want is a washer/dryer in the unit. Having a washer/dryer in your own place is amazing, no doubt. But I think I have discovered the downside to having such readily available appliances: there’s never an excuse to not do laundry.
When I have to walk it outside (or down four flights of steps) (okay, onto the elevator), I can always fall back on an excuse for not doing it today. I’ll do it tomorrow, I just put on pajamas. Or I’ll do it this weekend, I’m kind of sick today and don’t want to expose the rest of the building to my germs. Etc.
But when the washing machine is just behind a door (and not even a sturdy exterior door – just a flimsy interior door!), then I have no excuse. Oh look, there’s one full basket of dirty laundry. Why am I not washing it right now? There’s no reason to wait. In fact, there’s all the reason to do it right now. I’m not doing anything. If I wash it right now I can wear my favorite sweater again tomorrow. (Not that I will.) (But maybe.)
Heaven help me if I had to actually wash things by hand…like, beat them against rocks in a stream, and then wring them out and hang them up.
And let me be honest: of all the chores, laundry is one of my favorites. (Doing dishes is the other.) Because you start with a pile of something dirty, and then, a short time later, you have a pile of something clean. That’s progress. You know what I hate more than anything? Sweeping. Because after you sweep a floor, all you’ve really done is discovered that you need to mop it.
Tonight I’m on a weird little cleaning kick, and I finally tackled that immense, intimidating basket/pile of clean clothes. I folded like a machine, and I stacked and then I placed on shelves. There were nigh on six towels in that basket-pile. When I was done, I fetched the clean clothes from the dryer from yesterday, and I folded all those. You want to know how long it took me? Seventeen minutes. That’s the equivalent of four and a half songs playing in the background. My commute is longer than that. I’ve taken showers longer than that. And now that intimidating pile is gone. And I feel invincible. I even looked around for more things to fold, but no dice – I got ‘em all.
So what’s next? Will I clean the bathroom? Wash dishes? Vacuum out my car? Grab a Swiffer and wipe down my computer screen? Who can say? Today, domesticity… tomorrow, the world.