My Battles with Segregation

I never really had a real concept of the existence of laundry until high school, when I was finally on my own, and that pile of stinky clothing in the corner of my room didn’t magically disappear and reappear folded in my dresser. Suddenly I was in this position where an entirely new task that I had an incredibly minimal concept of, was my responsibility.

To be fair, my aunt who lives in the same town as my high school came by and took my laundry off my hands for a few months. But I started feeling bad about that, because I was usually too busy to hang out with her while she did it, which meant that she was just doing the same magical thing that happened when I was still living with my parents, where suddenly the clothes were clean and folded and everything was easy.

I still remember that first time I decided to do laundry on my own. I lugged my clothes up the stairs of the dorm to the floor where the laundry machines were, and, well, first I realized that all four of the machines in that room were making noises, and when I opened one of them, I realized that meant there were still clothes in them, so, I lugged the laundry bag back down to my room to try again another day.

When I finally dragged my increasingly large bag up those stairs to find that the machines weren’t making all those loud noises, I had a new issue: which machine does the washing?

No, I’m kidding. I had enough knowledge from seeing the machines as a kid to know which one did the washing and which one did the drying. But I also knew there was this concept of separating colors or something. In the end, I dumped the entire pile into the washing machine at once, used some laundry detergent I found already hanging out in the laundry room (which I later found out wasn’t communal detergent and that I had to provide my own cleaning product and that we shall never let the person know that I stole approximately $.27 worth of detergent from them back in 1995), and begged for some quarters so I could get the machine to start, which still didn’t work, so I had to ask around for someone who knew the process and finally got the machine running before standing in front of it wondering what to do next.

And so began my lifelong affair with the terrible process of cleaning clothes.

I still don’t separate colors. And the process of actually cleaning the clothes is barely something that registers on my mind as it’s little more than dumping clothes and soap into a machine and hitting start.

But folding clothes is where I get to truly shine.

Well, I don’t know about shine, but I’m the only person in my house who actually does the work of folding clothes, which means that every Monday, I sit with a pile of laundry and turn it into several categorized piles of clothing while I watch approximately an hour’s worth of television.

It’s not my favorite, by any means, but at the same time, it’s probably the most relaxing task I have in my incredibly task-filled life. And, it’s the one time I get to choose what I want to watch without worrying about whether it serves any interest for anyone else. This means I’m finally watching the cartoon Star Wars: Rebels, which is a show that my kids never seem to actually want to spend any time watching.

So, right now, laundry means more Star Wars, and that’s alright by me.

And look, I wrote an alright post about laundry. I knew I could do it. Want to suggest my next stupid topic to tackle?


Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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