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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2223903-Laundry-Detail
Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #2223903
Winner - Writer's Cramp 6/8/20
Laundry Detail


I’m on laundry strike. The clothes are piled high. I can’t push the laundry room door open anymore.

“Where’s my favorite purple shirt?”

“Anyone seen my other yellow sock?”

“I need my jeans, you know the ones.”

I heard the complaints as I sipped my coffee. Coffee breaks were rare in the past. But today is a new day and I’m enjoying the break.

The sign said it all. “If you want something washed, do it yourself.”

I posted the sign last night after walking into a room full of dirty clothes and having what I now figure was a lapse of sanity. But no one ever died from wearing dirty clothes.

“MOM!” Both children yelled then rushed into the kitchen.

“I need my shirt. It’s my favorite. I have to wear it to school today.” Julie, our fashion guru, whined and pranced about.

“Sorry, Julie, I’m not doing laundry anymore. Didn’t you read the sign? Wash the shirt yourself. You know how.”

Julie sighed dramatically. “What? Me? Wash clothes? No one else has to wash their own clothes. That’s mean.” Julie rushed out of the kitchen.

I sipped my coffee, round one.

“Does this mean you won’t help me find my yellow sock?” Andy came up and leaned against me. His big brown eyes searched mine.

“That’s right. It’s probably in the laundry room with the other lost socks. I’m not doing laundry. You have other socks. Wear the green ones.”
Round two, need to make more coffee. I think something strong in it will help. Kahlua? Where’d I hide that bottle.

“What’s with the sign? I need those jeans.” My lovely George rounded a corner and headed my way. “I have no clean jeans. Did you do laundry?”

Ah, the coffee tasted mighty fine now. “Didn’t you read the sign honey?”

“Well, yeah. Listen, doll, I’m in a rush. Did you or did you not wash my jeans? I …..”

I held up my hand. “Stop! I am not washing any more clothes in this house. Hear me? No more. You’re an adult. You can do your own. And when you finish washing your clothes, you can help the children with theirs. I have a full-time job too, you know. In fact, I’m taking a day off from that job. I think I’m going to take a mental health day today. What about that George? So go find your jeans, wash them yourself, and leave me alone.” I poured a generous dollop of Kahlua into my coffee, took a big swig then smiled sweetly at hubby.

“You’re off your rocker. Are you nuts?”

“You know, there is a good possibility of that. Nuts. Do we have any? I could use some cashews. I haven’t had breakfast yet.”

“Are you drinking, Mary? You are going crazy. I’m going to work. When I get home, we’re going to talk.” George stomped off.

I hope he found some pants to wear.

Julie rushed into the kitchen again, this time in an old shirt of hers. I hadn’t seen this one in months.

“Everyone will think I’m stupid wearing this old rag. Thanks a lot, Mom.” She grabbed a yogurt and rushed out the door.

Ah, the agonies of being a teen.

Andy came in next, wearing flip flops. “Mommy, I can’t find any socks. My feet will be cold.”

“That they will. Sorry about that.” I munched on some pistachio gelato and sipped the Kahlua coffee. Never could find the cashews.

Andy sniffled for effect. “You don’t love me anymore. You don’t care.”

“Come over here.” Andy snuggled for a hug. “I love you very much. Now get off to school. Don’t forget your lunch.”

Andy shuffled out the door acting all pitiful with his super hero lunch box. He was rather funny. I tried hard not to laugh.

Finally alone for the day. A whole day. To myself. No laundry. No work. What will I do with all this time! A gift has been given to me. No, I gave myself a gift. So, if you’re given a gift, appreciate it. Don’t waste it. I have eight hours. A paltry amount of time to be sure.


At the end of the day, Brenda has all the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away. Henry vacuumed everywhere, deep cleaned the kitchen, and cleaned all the ceiling fans. Nicole did all the dishes, cleaned the fridge and the microwave, alphabetized the pantry, and waxed the kitchen floor. John mowed the grass and trimmed the flower beds. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished with a phone call.

While the temp team worked. I sat and drank more Kahlua and coffee. I called Door Dash and ordered lunch for the gang. We ate carry out burgers, fries, chili, salads, desserts, and lots of sodas. It was like being back in college. Again, it’s amazing what you can accomplish with a phone call.

Later I posted a new sign on the laundry room. “Pay as you go.” I decide everyone can now pay me to do their laundry. Let them figure out what they can use to pay off the debt.

Life changing? Indeed. Revolutionary? Definitely.
But all revolutions have to start somewhere.

W/C 868


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