In my young(er) adulthood I was by far the most un-domestic woman you could meet. I could barely properly cook boxed macaroni and cheese (sometimes it ended up soupy). My bedroom was always a mess. Clothes strewn everywhere. I had the mentality of why should I bother putting the clothes away when I’m just going to wear them again? Kind of like making the bed.
I generally destroyed any baking-type activity. I was not artsy craftsy. (I’m still not, but I soooo want to be. Which is kind of weird too.) I also hated cleaning. Truly. Not that anyone likes cleaning, really. But there are times when now I feel motivated to have a clean work space. Or I just man up and do it because it needs done. Living in chaos, however, never used to be an issue. I was raised with four siblings, three dogs and two parents. Chaos was an everyday thing. Completely livable.
I’m pretty sure I have evolved into a whole other being. And it kind of freaks me out.
I’m married now. We have an apartment. I cook. Real meals. I bake. I baked a pie the other day for a party and not only did people eat it – they asked for the recipe! I know, I’m impressed too. My mother asked if I was sure they weren’t secretly scraping it into the trash can. (You see how domestic I have been in my life?!) I clean. I spent my Sunday scrubbing an oven. I do laundry. At least once a week.
When we first moved to Greensboro we had an apartment with a washer/dryer hook-up. What we didn’t have was a washer or a dryer. What we had was a Laundromat on site. During those days, this is what I learned:
- Laundromats aren’t so scary after all. The people there are almost friendly.
- They are, however, quite dirty. (The Laundromats, not the people.) Which seems a little paradoxical, don’t you think? Since you’re going there to clean something.
- You will not collect enough quarters in a week to do your laundry. You will have to get a roll of quarters from a cashier somewhere or (God forbid) your bank. No worries though. Cashiers are surprisingly unfazed by this and super nice about it. Tellers not as much.
- Do not leave your laundry in for more than 15 minutes after it’s finished or someone will take it out. Especially if you’re using the good machine. And you may end up missing a sock. Or a bra. Whatever.
- Oh yeah, there are good machines. Always get the good machines. The rest are really bad. Ours was the dryer closest to the door.
As an early Christmas present my parents purchased us a washer and dryer. Every time I say that I hear the Hallelujah Chorus in my head. It’s glorious. And we got a killer deal at Lowe’s. Always check the rejects – sometimes it pays. Doing laundry at my convenience is oh so lovely. But now I need to be a better laundry do-er. (Personal conviction.) And with an in-home washer and dryer there are some new beasts that I’m learning to tackle:
- It’s okay to leave your clothes in the dryer for a few days and then refresh them before folding. It is NOT okay to leave them in the washer.
- Bleach IS scary and intimidating. And I still don’t know how to use it properly.
- Reading how much detergent goes into a load instead of just filling up the whole lid and tossing it in would save me money.
- Stains do set in. Don’t let them sit. They will ruin your favorite shirt or your brand new khakis.
- Sometimes husbands just need to clean their dress shirts by hand to deal with the dirt around the collar. (How does that happen though, really? What is happening at their collar?!)
- You can wash everything on cold. (I am so sure this is wrong, but I do it anyway. It seems like it will save us money on our electric bill or something.)
- Not folding clothes right when they come out of the dryer is a mistake.
Life lessons through the eyes of an undomesticated woman being house-broken, so to speak. (Was that totally anti-feminist just now?) Advice, suggestions, kindred spirits are all welcome.