Had I known that paper dolls would result in long-term wardrobe issues, I never would have given them to my daughters. From dressing and redressing their paper dolls, my little angels gleaned the importance of changing into the appropriate ensemble for even the least important of events.
Today, when asked to check the mail, my pre-teen must first change into the correct mail-checking outfit: peddle-pushers, a cropped tank, and white canvas tennis shoes. Before we go to the store for a gallon of milk, I have to wait for my teenager to change into appropriate milk-buying clothes: flair legged jeans, a peasant top and hunky-chunky sandals.
When I washed darks this morning, I found twenty-three pairs of jeans that belong to my ten year-old daughter. Twenty-three pairs of jeans! Now, I know that I did not purchase all of them, and the last time I checked, she was about six years shy of a work permit, so the question I have to ask is this: where in the world are all of these clothes coming from?
There is only one workable theory I can think of: My dryer vent is a portal to a place in the space/time continuum where all of the missing clothes in the universe exist. Itís true. Whereas most dryers export clothing, my dryer, apparently, imports it. This means, of course, that I have your missing socks, and I would appreciate it if you stopped by to pick them up.
Not long ago there was a television commercial for detergent, and all of the dirty laundry marched down the steps into the basement of its own volition to launder itself. My husband said that if our laundry ever started walking around on its own, it would be time to find a new house. However, that didnít stop me from scouring every store in a three county radius in search of magic detergent that would do my laundry all by itself.
It seems Iíll never get it completely done. Iíve tried frontal assaults, divide and conquer, and attempted to run a Hail Mary around the whites, but the towels sacked me before I got to the machine. I even took a faith-based approach, commanding the mountain to ďMove from here to there!Ē but it didnít budge an inch.
I try not to let small children near the laundry room, for fear that theyíll fall in. If they fall all the way to the bottom of the pile, they may never be seen again. I have not seen the bottom of my laundry basket in months, and the last time I did, I found a baby blanket that belonged to my 14 year-old daughter.
This would keep my friend Teresa awake at night. She obsesses over laundry. Her laundry room is impossibly neat and clean. Lint is afraid to live there. When you open the door, a light shines down from heaven and the angels sing the Hallelujah Chorus.
She has four labeled baskets for darks, colors, whites, and towels, which are discreetly hidden in custom built cabinetry Ė and none of these baskets are ever more than half full before she is rooting around for enough to make a full load. She washes everything on its proper setting, and she even adds lavender water to the rinse cycle.
Personally, I think she needs therapy.
My laundry room is not much bigger than a closet, and doubles as a sleeping area for the cats, and a pantry for extra food. So if you need a can of peas at my house, youíre likely to have to circle around the whites and stop to scratch an insistent calico or two in the process. My biggest fear is that I will one day accidentally fluff dry a kitty.
I wash everything on the permanently pressed for time cycle, regardless of weight or material, and am happy to remember the detergent, much less lavender water. I donít even sort anything anymore. It was just easier to train the family to appreciate the various shades of gray.
My children seem to believe that my purpose in life is to do laundry, but I hope theyíre wrong about this, because it is said that Godís purposes for us are eternal, and I really have no desire to spend my eternity doing laundry. But just in case, Iím going to start praying now for Him to install industrial size machines in heaven.
Which brings me to wonder just how often the angels change their robes.
Copyright 2004 Dori Knight
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