If there is ever an Olympic event that requires one to pick dirty underwear up off of the floor with one’s toes and then toss it into a faraway laundry basket, I’m going to take all the gold medals. I am the Michael Phelps of the “Too-Lazy-to-Bend-Over-and-Pick-Up-Dirty-Socks-a-cathalon.” Ten minutes ago, I made a bank shot off of the dresser from all the way out in the hallway.
The truth of the matter is that I hate doing laundry. I know a lot of people aren’t fond of the job, but most of you probably aren’t sitting at your computer wearing swimsuit bottoms as underpants and a chopped up, obviously-unearthed –from-the-bag-of-dust-rags, commemorative “I Ate At Shoneys” t-shirt.
It’s not so much the actual washing of the laundry that kills me. All I have to do is pick up the basket, carry it to the garage, dump the clothing into the gaping maw of the machine, feed it a convenient detergent filled pod, and start it up. I always feel good about myself at this point. “Look at me,” I think, “I accomplished getting the laundry started. I deserve a reward. I’m going to actually get it done this time!” Then off I go, working on other projects.
The same thing happened this week. The laundry had been piling up for a couple of weeks, and I had been assiduously avoiding it by shoving the baskets under my tall platform bed. Unfortunately, that’s also where Stadler hides when she’s freaked out, and because the house has been covered with roofers for the last month, she’s been scared pretty frequently. It only took about nine days for the under-the-bed laundry pile to reach critical mass, which caused the dog to burrow through it like a mole under a golf course. Discarded t-shirts, towels and underpants shot out behind poor Stadler as she fought her way into her hidey hole. I followed the T-shirt Trail, and found her happily perched atop what was left of Mount Laundry, grinning a big dog grin. Stadler doesn’t mind nesting in stinky things. In fact, she seems to prefer it.
This week, as usual, I had enough good intentions to build a super highway straight to Hell, complete with off-ramps leading to the DMV and IKEA. Plus, the idea of Jan Rankin’s expression if (and quite possibly when) I showed up to work in the top half of a prom dress, ancient boxer shorts, mismatched socks and combat boots was somewhat of a deterrent.
“I’ll just get this whole laundry problem sorted,” I thought, as I crawled under my bed to retrieve my now dog hair coated clothing. It was grosser under there than I anticipated. Stadler had padded her nest with several toilet paper rolls (chewed), all the shoes I was missing, a cat toy that she stole from somewhere, and a whole bunch of rawhide dog treats. She had also incorporated what appeared to be the squeaker from every toy I ever bought her, so my ingress was much more “musical” than I had anticipated. The chorus of “honk honk squeal squeak” brought Stadler careening in from the yard. She stuck her head under the bed, desperately concerned, and tried to claw her way in with me. I yelled at her to get lost (there really wasn’t enough room for both of us), so she started tunneling in from the other side. It didn’t take pokey nose too long to make it through. I really think she could have been of some use to those trapped, Chilean coal miners – but only if they all had squeakers.
For the next 45 minutes, I dug laundry and dog detritus out from under the bed, while Stadler (helpfully) brought stuff back. Eventually, I locked her outside. She let me know she was unhappy about her exile by scratching at the door and barking in short, distressed yips. As I finally opened the door, carrying the first basket of dirty clothing, she shot me a terrible glare and immediately entered the bedroom and jumped on the bed. I started the first load. By the time I returned, Stadler had knocked over both of the other laundry baskets, and returned most of the stuff to her nest. She popped her head out from under the bed as I walked through the door, triumphant. I could hear her tail beating a tattoo on the wood floor.
Once more into the breach, this time with zero trust remaining for my best dog and Filth Preservationist, Stadler, who had to go play in the yard. I gathered everything up again and locked the baskets in the bathroom as a security measure.
They’re still there.
All in all, I managed to wash two loads of laundry and dry one before I got distracted by a book called “101 Oragami Animals.” After about 9 hours of folding paper (which resulted in ½ of a swan), I remembered what I was supposed to be working on. “Whoopsy,” I thought. “Guess I’ll have to finish it tomorrow.”
That tomorrow never came. Even though I had to navigate around the laundry baskets in the bathroom every time I needed to use the facilities, I remained steadfast. I’m the Yo Yo Ma of procrastination.
I have clean clothes, but they’re currently entombed in my dryer, wrinkled like raisins. I forgot that the worst part of doing laundry is folding everything and putting it away. I’m using my dryer as a dresser. Unfortunately, I’ve already gone through all the underpants.
At some point, I’m sure, I’ll finish this project. I know (intellectually) that it’s not that difficult to do laundry. It’s not like I’m using a washboard and lye soap down by the creek. I have to admit, though, that I’m now regarding this as a challenge: me vs. laundry — an epic cage match to the death. “GET IN THE OCTOGON YOU DIRTY TANK TOPS!” I may wind up living inside an igloo made of pants.
The dog will be ecstatic.