Friday, September 2, 2011

Inside-Out Privileges

In this household, I do most of the laundry. I find it an easy chore, although, granted, I’m not doing laundry for thirty people!

No biggie; separating whites, darks, colors, multi-colors.

Laundry allows me to do a bunch of other things around the house while, occasionally, checking to see whether it’s time to move the wash to the dryer, or remove dried clothing for folding. I often start laundry loads, then blog, or take out my guitar and sing, until I hear the dryer buzz!.

Laundry is not without its challenges and hazards! It’s incredible; I often buy those bags of white sport socks for myself, Susan and Tristan. There may be twenty pairs in a package and yet, within a couple of weeks, we’re down to six intact pairs, each! Where the heck are these socks running off to?

In an effort to reduce losses, I now resemble a bomb disposal expert as I slowly scoop ticking socks from the washer and transfer them to the dryer. Carefully, I hold them at arm’s length, to better allow me to spot the defectors, lone white socks, frantically jumping for freedom.

Truthfully, handling socks like nuclear waste hasn’t helped my average. You’ll be happy to know, no sock is wasted. Unmatched socks can look forward to being stuffed inside the waffle balls we use for floor hockey!

Certainly, there are worse fates. They could end up on my feet!

At some point, I was probably folding a pile of clothes and grumbling about all the inside-out shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts and socks! Susan says it was sometime after we were married that I warned her she would eventually be losing inside-out privileges.

Shortly afterward, it happened, and I no longer turned her shirts, blouses and other clothing outside-out. I decided from that moment on, I would fold clothing "as is"; if it’s inside-out when I pull it from the dryer, that’s how it would be folded.

You understand. It just slowed me down too much and severely compromised my efficiency!

A couple of years ago, I told Tristan that, at sixteen, he would lose inside-out privileges.

I would find myself turning inside-out jeans, sweatpants, shorts, sweatshirts, hoodies and thirty million t-shirts, outside-out! Alone and trying to maintain my high-speed folding mode, I found it time-consuming and downright exasperating!

Last night, as he pulled on a T-shirt that he had just turned outside-out, he asked whether he had, indeed, lost inside-out privileges. It’s been a few weeks since his sixteenth birthday and I, feeling terribly guilty, admitted the privilege had gone the way of a stray sock.

My first impulse is still to turn his inside-out clothing outside-out!

It’s tough and I’m torn. I want to be a good father, but it’s ridiculous! Plus, I’m pretty sure being a good dad does not entail painstakingly pulling fifty million articles of clothing from inside-out to outside-out!

Besides, I’m still doing all their inside-out socks - and that’s enough to keep my sanity teetering precariously.

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