By Tracy Beckerman
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“Mom, did you do any laundry?” my son inquired.
I rolled my eyes.
“When do I NOT do laundry?” I responded. I do laundry every day. Sometimes twice a day. I had one husband, two kids and somehow, for some reason, I had as much laundry as Michelle Duggar.
Of all the chores I have to do as a semi-professional Domestic Goddess, the one I like the least is laundry. It’s is one of those thankless jobs that you can never get ahead of. I will barely have finished folding the first load of laundry when I will find another hamperfull needing to go into the machine. Although I’ve contemplated moving my family to a nudist colony to get around this drudgery, I personally don’t have the guts to let it all hang out there. Therefore, laundry is one of those annoying things that just has to be done, like flossing, and lying about your weight.
As bad as our laundry needs were in the past, they increased exponentially when my son returned home from college. For some reason I assumed that since he had done his laundry at college, he would continue taking care of that task at home. But from the minute he got back into his childhood home, he picked up right where he had left off 10 months prior - cleaning out the fridge, playing video games and leaving his dirty clothes in a heap on the floor. When I asked him to cover this particular job, he batted his gorgeous, 19-year-old green eyes at me.
“Do you mind, Mommy? I have so much to do,” he begged sweetly. Of course, when he said, “so much to do,” I knew he meant, kill zombies. But I’m a sucker for that whole “mommy” thing, so I agreed.
The problem is, as a normal teenage boy, he was in for three to four outfits a day: There were his daytime hangout clothes, his workout clothes, an occasional beach ensemble and something nicer to go out in at night. He had more costume changes than a performer in La Cage Aux Folles, but without, you know, the feather boas.
“Tell him to do his own laundry,” my husband retorted when I gave him a laundry list of things I was irked about.
“I would, but it makes more sense to throw his stuff in with the rest of the family so we don’t waste water,” I said. “I just wish there wasn’t so much of it.”
Finally, when I was on my third load of laundry in one day, I decided the time had come to lay down the law. I was done being the family laundress. I had a lot of important things to do. I had a house to run … a dog to care for … bon bons to eat. I didn’t have time to wash every sock, brief, and boxer that came down the laundry chute. If he wanted clean clothes to wear while he rid the world of zombies, he would have to wash them himself.
Resolutely, I grabbed a pair of my son’s jeans to throw in the machine for the last time. But as I picked them up, I felt something crunch in the pocket. I reached in and pulled out a 10 dollar bill. I looked at the money in my hand, then I tossed the jeans in the machine, pocketed the cash, and smiled.
So what’s a little laundry anyway?
Follow Tracy on Twitter at @TracyinSuburbia.
Lost in Suburbia: 19 loads and counting
By Tracy Beckerman