I know you are there. I see you, trip over you and sometimes even smell you. I get it. Does it make you laugh knowing the amount of control you wield? I would not tolerate anyone else’s constant cries for attention. Even the babies outgrew their incessant neediness.
I find sweaty balls on the floor looking like boy’s socks. I find you in corners of bathrooms resembling dirty underwear. I find your wet pile on bedroom floors looking remotely like a previously clean towel. You taunt me and yet I seek you out.
You hide your stains in folds and rolls. You relish my aging eyes and I don’t see what you are protecting. I suspect those spots are your badges of honour signifying love. Do you hide that stain to shout ‘I am worn and I am worn often!’?
Once I corral you into your plastic pen, get you in further heaps by colour or type, I begin the process of nurturing you. I slather you with pre-treater. I read your labels and put you in the machine for your delicate handling. I hang you in inconvenient places all around the house. Your endless demands have rendered my treadmill useless as you relieve yourself of the water you have taken on in the process of my care. You could help and be happy with the dryer without shrinking to my daughter’s size. But you are spiteful.
Is it truly necessary, Laundry, to begin the wrinkle process while I am finally enjoying my lukewarm cup of coffee? I hear your loud beckoning for fuck’s sake and it makes me jump if that was your plan. I haven’t neglected you in that drum for hours or days. You grow impatient and wrinkle like a baby who has been in the bath too long after just minutes. I am your caregiver, your loving handler, your purchaser and the person who returns you to your beloved. I am the only one willing to help. Work with me!
I can sense your dislike of the iron and steamer. You squirm away uncomfortably and I don’t blame you. That extra hot blast is a reminder that you are weak. That sadistic little laugh and occasional uttered obscenities as I manhandle your delicate form, forcing you into submission, cannot feel good. The solution is simple. Get your ass in the dryer, like it there and don’t wrinkle up until I am good and done my cold coffee!
Finally, I know you want to have access to your home. Your drawer. Your closet. Understand that it is my home, my drawers and my closet. Ha! These are my choices. Sure the family may seek you out, but if you do not comply, do you think I will casually point them to you hanging on the back of the railing? No! You can rot there until I am good and ready to deal with you. If they find you, then you win that one. But you only get one win. Next stop, the “accidental” trip to the charity bag.
Dear sweet Laundry, you may win the game of who can outrun whom. You may win the game of whits for the spot search. You may even win the wrinkle run. But let this be a warning to you that winning the battle is not winning the war. I refuse to pander for your amusement. You can stay in that dirty, stinking heap. You can keep your stains. I will not comply with your demands.
That laugh you hear is mine. I am enjoying a hot coffee, at last.
The Former Laundry Slave