Monday, December 28, 2009

Amy’s Fun-Time Laundry Game*

I have this race with my clothes dryer every time I pull clean laundry out of it.

We have this bar hanging over the washer and dryer and I’ve gotten in the habit of hanging clothes directly onto it instead of pulling everything into a basket, hauling said basket back to the bedroom and then forgetting it’s there while I find something I would rather be doing than hanging laundry. (Scrubbing tile grout? Changing poopy diapers? Grading papers?)

While I’m hanging clothes, there’s a light on in the dryer. Kind of a courtesy light, I suppose. It helps you see into the depths of the cavernous space that is my dryer. I suppose the Whirlpool people figured that seeing a foot and a half back from the open door without  the assistance of Edison Magic is akin to sticking your hand into a muddy pool of crocodiles. I mean, they might not bite you, but either way, you’ll never see them coming.

The light shines for some amount of time before it clicks off, very unceremoniously. I’m not sure how long before it clicks off. I know there’s enough time for me to walk back to my bedroom and get more hangers, but there’s no way that I will finish hanging the load before it shuts off if I do that. Half of the load, maybe, if I don’t piddle around. I suppose I could set a timer and then open the door, fold and hang some laundry and actually see, but I prefer to keep specific times out of my head. For one thing, my math-tardation pretty much means that I’ll forget the numbers by the time they’re not directly in front of me anymore. Besides, it would mean that I’d have to actually do a load of laundry, dry it and get it hung up. I’m too lazy for that.

Thing is, I don’t want the pressure of actually knowing. If I knew it was exactly seven minutes, then I’d become obsessed, desperately keeping pretend time in my head and dreading the moment that it would click off. If I were to finish early, I’d worry about the slipshod job I had done in trying to get finished so quickly.

So my game is this—I desperately try to hang an entire load of laundry before the light goes off. I long ago eschewed folding underwear and sock as an “after hanging” activity. These articles of clothing go into the basket at the foot of the door. Everything else is hung as quickly as possible, all while trying to keep it separated into household-member-specific bunches. If it’s a big load, I might even forego that nicety and just hang-hang-hang-hang-hang until it’s all up. The one rule is that everything must be out of the dryer before the light turns off.

Sad thing is, I usually don’t win. The dryer will be sitting there, doing nothing and I’ll think I’ve got at least two or three more minutes left and danged if it doesn’t click off.

The sane person—the normal person—would just take this as the way it goes and continue on as if nothing happened. This hypothetical person might not even notice that something had happened. If they did notice it turned off (and they’re worried about the dryer crocs), they’d probably just reach over, tap the button that turns the light back on and continue their business.

I, on the other hand, spend the entire (seven minutes?) time trash talking the machine, telling it that there’s no way it’s going to win this time and basically promising that it is [this] close to being my bee-yotch. When the light goes off, depending on my company, I will either cuss the dastardly thing or just send it a dirty look. (I don’t mind teaching my kids how to be crazy, apparently, as long as they don’t cuss while they’re doing it…)

I have pretty simple forms of entertainment. I don’t get to watch TV or movies very much and when I do, there are either furry characters with hands up their backsides or men in tights and capes. Sometimes robots. Sometimes a combination of the three. I don’t get to read very much, outside of bathroom reading. I just finished Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and was more excited about the fact that I was reading for pleasure!! (and not just on the john!!!) than I was about the book itself. This is not to denigrate the book—I really liked it! But still, the only books I’ve been reading lately have been of the kid lit variety, so it was an accomplishment.

So cussing out the machinery while I try to outwit it is pretty much it for me. In some ways, I’m a little girl again, being defeated by that little clucking twerp in I Took A Lickin’ From A Chicken. I eventually got pretty good at tic-tac-toe, but there was a lot of grumbling at the machine before I did. I suppose if the curve stays true, I’ll eventually beat the dryer at this game.

That’s going to take a lot of laundry washing/drying/hanging, though. Maybe I don’t mind so much that it wins as much as it does…

* Or, It Might Be Time To Up Amy’s Medications.

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