4.18.2012

recycled :: laundry

 This is probably my favorite thing I've ever written.  Some may have read it previously on another blog, but I happened upon it and just had to share it again.  I feel like I refer to laundry a lot when I write.  It's just so relative to... well, everything! Here's an explanation of why I think so... enjoy!

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If there were ever a fit analogy for eternity, it must be laundry.

It is the ever-present stuff that life is made of. And even when the baskets are empty, the promise of tomorrow's dirty socks, underwear lingers. Since, after all, every today's starchy button down or grungy Saturday t-shirt is every tomorrow's lights and darks.

Even before birth, one's diapers, clothes, and bed linens must be laundered appropriately. A time-consuming task for the nesting mother. One's laundry must be continued indefinitely by whomever is brave enough to take on the task.

All of this is hardly a concern to most until the great new adventure of college life, at which time one must find a suitable laundromat or haul home gigantic bags of increasingly moldy and mildewed unmentionables to Mother. Laundry, at this point, becomes a concern of great proportion since laundromats cost money and Mother nags.

Perhaps laundry is the infinity represented by the exchanged wedding bands, as the task of laundry only grows with the swap of those sacred vows. Ceremony and reception in hindsight, what is the next step but to hurriedly shed the symbolic attire, which is tossed aside becoming tomorrow's wash pile before the marriage is even consummated. Sure there's still the honeymoon, but that, of course, only leads to sand-filled swim suits which naturally must be laundered (and normally HAND laundered, I might add).

Thus life begins and wedded bliss ends. The towels creep from the hamper and slowly progress toward the ceiling. The young couple grows accustomed to each other's varying stains and smells and settle into a comfortable familiarity. Everything ticks along swimmingly until the washing machine becomes unbalanced. The newly wedded pair sit bolt upright in bed alarmed by the racket coming from the laundry room, a rhythmic ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk. The brave young husband dashes through the house in his skivvies only to find that the washing machine has tangoed its way out of the laundry room and halfway across the kitchen. There is no long-term repair, they find. So, the concede to closing the laundry room door, turning the television up, and doing their best to ignore the spin cycle.

These are only a few aspects of life affected so distinctly by laundry. There are many more. Introducing children into the household creates more laundry and less time to do it. The older the child, the more varying the stains. Babies produce only two or three kinds of stains, but a more independent child who is capable of preparing his own peanut butter and banana sandwiches as well as going outside unattended to feed it to the dog is capable of a virtual rainbow of stains almost every day. Thus, pre-treating becomes something of real importance.

At this point, Mother's only hope is that the child will prefer the laundromat over her nagging. And then it's most likely not far off that the child will get married and start his or her own wash pile.

In the end, a person who is careful to make plans ahead of time has everything put down in a will. With every detail in place, one's executor should know even what outfit one would prefer to be laid out in. Unfortunately, too many times, said outfit has been stored away in a stuffy attic or perhaps with mothballs. Since no one wants Mother, Grandmother, etc. to smell of mothballs the outfit must be, you guessed it, laundered.

Thus is the great circle of life... all laid out in the ever-present medium of laundry. 

*Written on June 23, 2007

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