Thursday, March 23, 2006


Who ever knew that doing laundry was such a meticulous chore? Now I'm a perfectionist in nearly all that I do (J will agree with the exceptions of loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry.)

As we all know, I'm type A. If you've ever met my lovely fiance, you'd know he's type B. So how is it that J is so fastidious (read: fussy) about his clothes care?

Let's start at the beginning. When I moved out of White Columns (how I loved that place) and into my own apartment upon graduation, I no longer had a washer and dryer in my apartment. I chose an apartment without connections because I didn't think I really needed it. J had a washer and dryer and I was often with him. Our work schedules sometimes varied so I'd go to his apartment and do my laundry whenever necessary. While I was at it (being the wonderfully thoughtful person that I am) I would gather his dirty duds and sort them with mine to make full loads. I knew that J like to hang his dress clothes, but I didn't know all the specifics that came with that.

First--you wash dress pants with dress pants, and dress shirts with dress shirts. Me? I think it's all dress clothes and nothing should fade so stuff it all in together and add some Tide and Downey and off you go. But oh no, no, no, no! I thought (and still think) that the all pants and all shirts rule is slightly (very) silly, yet often abide by it because at the end of the week we have 10 dress pants/suits and 10 dress shirts or more depending on my stylish layering.

Beyond that you only wash jeans with jeans. Me? Jeans, socks, sweaters, t-shirts, miscellaneous items, it's all the same! He did (believe it or not) put t-shirts, boxers, socks, all in the same category. I'd just throw those in with the jeans et. al.

So, I mastered the art of how to sort laundry the J way and thought I was rolling, but alas, I had another lesson to learn. Remember how J liked to hang his dress clothes? Well, it's not as easy as out of the washer and on the hanger. First, you must gingerly dry the shirts/pants for a brief time in small groups. That's right--a few shirts in the dryer for about 6-8 minutes, then on the hanger. Then repeat. A couple pants in the dryer for about 10 minutes, then on the hanger. Then repeat. Geesh--I think my physics class was simpler.

So finally--I could sort clothes, I could circumspectly dry the clothes before putting on hangers, I was a laundry diva. But J's school of laundry is apparently three-fold. I've been hanging clothes since I was about 8 years old (you do the math if you'd like to know how long that's been, and it better not be more than 13 years or you've obviously miscalcuated), and thought I was rather swell at it. But, I was indeed a neophyte. Although I could hang a shirt properly, I didn't always ensure that the top button was buttoned and the collar was aptly shaped and smoothed. I saw the err of my ways, realized those were valid points, and now I can properly hang a dress shirt. But the pants? That is a whole other story.

Me-I shake them out fold in half with the button area being the center, and then fold over a hanger or hang by the ankles on a clip hanger. However, in J's Right Way to do Laundry Guide forGirlfriends (who become fiance's), the only thing I did correctly was shake them out. Beyond that you button and zip and line up the seams by the ankles and smooth over a hanger. Well, that's not so bad, so I conformed. It did create less wrinkles and the crease part is rather invisible when you put them on.

So for more than a year when J and I did laundry together, I was on the ball. I nearly asked for a gold star everytime I did it all to his standards! (Kidding honey!) But this past weekend I moved into Intermediate Laundry Lessons. In case you weren't aware, the open part of the wood hangers (because WHY, WHY would you use anything else?!) faces the left sleeve. That way, all the shirts are hanging identically in the closet. Beyond that, the leg part of the pants faces right, so again, all pants are hanging identically in the closet. I just stared at him open jawed when he earnestly gave me my latest lesson in laundry.

Yes--I have signed up for this for the rest of my life. At least I know the hot buttons. If I want to get out of laundry chores, I'll just do it my way! And on a closing note I'd just like to say that I think someone has a little type A in them!

1 comment:

girl from the south said...

Haha! Joel would have died the way I did laundry at White Columns. All those piles of similar colored clothing lying in the middle of the hall. He could teach a Chinese Laundry a thing or two.

BTW, good use of the word fastidious. Ed would be proud.