Laundry Hang-Ups

Like all men I am genetically impaired and cannot do laundry correctly. I offer into evidence Exhibit A: My Y Chromosome, and Exhibit B: My Charming Bride, Di [insert image of enraged spouse flogging me with ruined panties]. Case closed, slam dunk, thanks to the jurors, and bailiff, drag this jackwagon off for laundry instruction. This entry isn’t about my inability to correctly execute laundry operations, because to my mind I do them just fine. In fact I do all my own laundry and a lot of the can’t-go-wrong items like rags, rugs, blankets, bedding, towels, and Di’s socks. No my freinds, this entry is about my personal laundry hangups, both inherited and ingrained. [cue dramatic music]

My personal –isms can be broadly categorized into washing and folding categories, sort of, ‘folding’ being pretty loose and including storage of the clean items. The ‘washing’ category is largely self-explanatory. Keep in mind here I am fully able to operate our washer and dryer. Di is more than happy to let me have at my weekly reeking pile of cotton too, and I like to imagine that with my frequent travel schedule and all, I’m saving her a lot of “honey, I need this clean by tomorrow” moments. Do unto others, or some shit like that. On to the explanations:

Washing: Softener. I don’t use fabric softener. Ever. I put up with that crap for 18 years in silence while walking around smelling like Downy in ironed blue jeans. I think softener is a scam, because all you’re really doing is putting a light coat of scented soap on the clothes right at the end of the cycle. Obviously The Man wants us to blow our hard-won money on this, and so Marketing generated a need. I also prefer to smell like one of two things: Dial antibacterial soap, or sweat (when required).

Washing: Wash Cycle. We have one of the front-loaders with 6,392 possible combinations of settings, excluding the self-clean one. I choose the 2-1/2 hour rollercoaster for my clothes, with the cyclotron-level spin, and tap-cold water. Why waste gas on this, really? That’s what the ‘adventure’ setting is for. That also keeps my shit from shrinking and fading.

Washing: Separating. I don’t do it as a matter of policy because I see that as a waste of time. The only exception is new stuff that might ruin my uniforms, and only as long as it takes to unscrew it. Otherwise, it all goes in one load. The few non-cotton items I wear regularly are workout clothes.

Washing: How to Dry. I didn’t make a third ‘drying’ category because there’s one rule here: socks and underwear go in the dryer, all else is hung. I like my tee-shirts to feel ‘crispy’ and hang drying does this. It also reduces wear on them. The dryer setting for the socks and underwear is on low to preserve the elastic elements.

Folding: Folding. Tee-shirts are folded lengthwise, front in, sleeves tucked, and then in thirds, no exceptions. Underwear is stacked flat. Socks get paired by color and wear, one elastic top folded down to pair them. This system ensures I can pull stuff out and dress in the dark without a TGIF mess.

Folding: Storage. All items are put back into drawers in reverse-geology format. This means the stuff just cleaned goes to the bottom. This evens out wear. Things needing a hangar are organized by function (pants, shirts, sweaters), then type (long vs. short sleeve), then by color (black, gray, Army).

At this point in the rant, you’re probably relieved to know that I can clean clothes but are wondering in a disturbed way how knowing this about  Rants’ underwear is going to make your life better. To be honest I can’t answer that for you. It will have to be one of those little mysteries you pick at like a scab. What I can explain is the why behind my OCD/anal approach to such a simple task.

Simply put, I was brought up to be neat. In addition, I half of my genetic material comes from my Father, who ran his closet and drawers much the same way. Last, I can thank the Army for making me this way beginning nearly 24 years ago in school, causing me to get twitchy when the process isn’t strictly adhered to.

I’m guessing you’re feeling those tax dollars were well-spent, yes?


53 Responses to “Laundry Hang-Ups”

  1. 😀 Interesting *strokes imaginary beard*

  2. savorthefolly Says:

    in terms of laundry you and I are clearly NOT cut from the same cloth. my husband does our laundry and won’t let me fold because apparently I don’t fold correctly. he seperates whites from colored clothing and dries most things and hangs up others. I am responsible for my own dry cleaning. I would say that about half the time we get our clean clothes from a huge pile of clean laundry sitting in an equally large “clean laundry” hamper in our bedroom. The girls have learned that if they need clean clothes and can’t find them in their closets, that they should just riffle through the clean clothes hamper in our bedroom because it’s probably there.

    basically I was raised by men so I don’t know any of those mysterious housecleaning things that most other women seem to understand intuitively – and also this means that it doesn’t occur to me that I’m supposed to know them either. (my husband did in fact know what he was getting himself into when he married me – I didn’t bother to hide it from him when we were dating….)

  3. By definition laundry creates hangups. That’s what clotheslines are for. And yes, you are doing things correctly by placing the clean, folded clothes on the bottom of the other clothes in the drawers. Clothing must learn to take turns. You are not ranting; you are instructing.

    • Instructing? Nobody would or should entrust education to me on any topic. I couldn’t pour piss out of my own boot if the instructions were written on the soles.

      But thanks for stopping by!

  4. Ha, you’re even more anal than my husband is about folding. I do most of the laundry, but stopped folding his shirts years ago. I don’t get his system. There’s the stack of work shirts, dressier T-shirts, lounging about the house shirts, suitable for company shirts. Then certain shirts get demoted from time to time. It’s all too much and never mind the actual folding part. I will sometimes open my T-shirt drawer to find he’s applied his folding skills to my mess of a drawer. He actually, when he does the laundry, will fold my shirts, but won’t put them away. My drawer is too chaotic.

    • It’s all about being able to dress without turning on the light. I also don’t put Di’s stuff away but it’s because she reformats her drawers too frequently.

  5. You should probably be very concerned that 90% of this applies to me too.

  6. Holy wash/dry/fold/putaway batman, this is…well, just….wow. I thought I was pretty efficient when it came to laundry, but you have definitely raised the bar, my friend…Hubby came back from cop-training and all he had to know was “iron down the Buffalo’s nose”. Hmmm…

  7. jennygoth Says:

    laundry a piece of cake lol in the washing machine in the dryer and done lol most doesnt need ironing but cleaning army clothes another matter lol least said hmm its an exorcise in itself xxjen

  8. I am such a bum when it comes to laundry… My husband won’t let me touch his.

    I do a load of darks, and a load of whites…

    I hang up t-shirts, and the rest get folded and put into the top of the drawer. I’ve got three pairs of jeans and about six t-shirts that I wear on a weekly basis… No rotation involved.

    My husband is the type to wash clothes and then hang them all over the house. It never surprises me to come home and find a t-shirt draped flatly over the door, t-shirts hung in the shower, and boxers flattened out over the towel rack. I’ve learned to always ASK before putting anything away.

  9. John Erickson Says:

    Oh man, you have just initiated the strongest desire in me to find your house and just rummage through your clothing. Not take anything, just mess it up and watch your OCD implode! (From a distance – I may be crazy, but I ain’t dumb.)
    By the way, I think there’s a website that offers photos of guys being beat by women wielding their panties as weapons. Just FYI.

  10. Wow, I think I would have done well in the army. My one outlier is separating darks and whites. I could use these instructions for some of my grandkids…they might be able to find the floor in their rooms.

  11. For someone who doesn’t do laundry “right” you sure have a lot of rules. Your wife is probably happy she doesn’t have to do your laundry. Now if only I could convince my husband to do his own. Iron his jeans you say? Hmmmmmm…

  12. Well, I guess I am genetically impaired and cannot do ANY household work correctly… Hilarious post!! LOL!

  13. Dial soap? You are undoubtedly a very Manly Man. I think the real question here is not only how you stack your underwear, but what kind of underwear ARE they? Because different panties get folded different ways, you know.

    • Well, I don’t fold mine for one, just stack it. And I leave the panty expertise to Di. That falls into the category of stuff I’m not allowed to launder.

  14. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    I agree about the Fabric Softner. The T-shirt folding was mind boggling (are you a little vain about your clothes and using the Army as an excuse? I think you are) 😉

  15. I swear it’s an Army thing. My husband does it the same way, except he rolls his shirts up after folding. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t fold his clothes at all, and I won’t touch his ACU’s.

  16. lmao!! Loved the laundry rant. It is a military thing (I remember my father’s laundry days). And, similarly, a Man Man thing. I will rush through laundry before Mr. Str8 can get his hands on it. If there is even a hint of a load about the house, he will throw in everything into one: no seperating, no worry about towels, blankets, mats, socks or my best microfibre dress shirts. And he pretty much folds the same way. Cheers!

  17. The fact I know how to do laundry better than many girls my age is hilarious, only because I had a great teacher who taught me how to do laundry correctly. Of course, this won’t stop me from beating your sorry ass, John. As for the raid on Rants’ closest, I’m in. Savor gets the boxers, John gets the panties, and I get the safe. >;D

  18. […] 4) Laundry…what?  I have some time and might as well do the laundry.  Besides, I’m not all anal about it as some people… […]

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