Sunday, January 4, 2009

Men shouldn't do laundry.

It's a known fact! Men shouldn't do laundry. Why you ask? Well let us start the whole color separation thing and then the water temperature options. Then there is fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and then what should and shouldn't go into the dryer. Here's a little setup to the unfolding story I am about to tell. Last Thursday my wife had a load of laundry in the washer (hers, not mine. I refuse to have my wife do my laundry. Goes back to my childhood when my father constantly was screaming to my mother, "Dolly I need socks". Well get the heck in the basement and put some in the washer! Long story, maybe later) and as the spin cycle kicked in I heard a horrendous high pitch noise coming from the washer. Now my wife who really doesn't seem to pay attention to strange noises coming from major appliances or anything in the house for that matter, didn't seem to notice anything strange about the sound. Must have been a really good show on the Do It Yourself Network, because I think the neighbors down the block heard the noise. After a few minutes of listening to the scream from the washer I went downstairs and stood there like an idiot looking at the washer, trying to figure out what is going on. Finally realizing my complete inadequacy in major appliance know how, I decided that it is going to have to finish the cycle, hoping it would not start to smoke and catch fire. As the spin cycle finished my wife and I both decided (unusual I know, that we decided on something together) that it might be better not to use the washer until we could have someone look at it. Then I got to thinkin'. Hold onto your hat. We have had this washer for 12-13 years and we do use it a lot, so maybe it would be best to get a new one. Well, we could spend a couple of hundred on more having the spin cycle transmission replaced and after that who knows how much longer it will last, or we could get a new one.

Yippy, off to the appliance stores to buy a new washer. It is strange, but I get a kick out of appliance shopping. Sad I know, a 43 year old man gets excited over buying a new washer. I also like scraping the 1/4 inch of ice we got last night off the sidewalks and driveway. Never said I was normal.
As I proceeded to the store I thought I can't go overboard. I don't need some $1,300 washer that does everything but fold the laundry. Keep it simple, water, spin, empty into dryer. Ha! That lasted about 10 seconds once I started looking at the latest and greatest in washer technology. Wow, where have I been? Steam washers, computer controlled everything, and more options then I will ever use in my lifetime. You will be proud to know that I did not go overboard this time. I did opt for the front load washer just because of the water it uses. Did you know that a top load washer uses 44-48 gallons of water per load, and a front load only uses 14-16 per load. SOLD!!!! Our water bills her in town are outrageous.

Ok, I'll get to the point. We got the washer Saturday morning and I wanted to try out our new front load as soon as possible. Plus I needed clean underwear. Crap, the delivery guy said we needed to wait 6-7 hours before using because of the water in the washer. They test each washer at the factory and water remains in the drum or something like that. Well the washer was loaded onto the delivery truck the night before, and seeing how it was about one degree again, the water was pretty frozen. Oh well, I'll wait.

It was early evening and I decided that was enough time for the ice to melt. I thought I could put a load in and then start dinner. Yes I do all the cooking. Long story. I gather my goods and place them in the washer. No there was no separating of colors. Give me some credit, I am a man. I place the laundry in the washer, close the door, add the 2 tablespoons of detergent, yes I said 2 tablespoons, another benefit of a front loader, less detergent, and I hit start. Wow, very cool. There is very little noise. This thing is great.

Blah, blah, blah, get to the point! The washer performed beautifully. After 43 minutes the cycle was done and I transferred the washed cloths to the dyer. What I forgot was that the nice new green sweater my wife got me Christmas was in the washer and she specifically told me not to place it in the dryer. It is 100% cotton and will shrink to an infants size small if place in the dryer. In my rush to get dinner done and complete my laundry I forgot, what can I say, I am a man, after all how much can something really shrink.

Dinner was fantastic and after doing the dishes (yes I do all the dishes, even longer story) I didn't feel like folding laundry. I decided to get the laundry out of the dryer the next morning.

Sunday morning, approximately 10:00 am. My lovely wife wants to try out the new washer. We go to the basement and I show her how to use the new machine, and I decided I should get my cloths out of the dryer so she can then use it after she is done with the washer.

Oops! After folding numerous t-shirts, undies and a few pairs of jeans, I reach in and grab the beautiful green sweater that I was so happy to receive as a gift just the week before. Immediately I notice something was terribly wrong. It was really, really small. As I looked up, there was Betsy looking at the very thoughtful gift she had bestowed on me, not noticing at first that it was small enough to fit Clyde our dog. I guess I should have just folded it and put it in the back of the closet, but as a man I am not that smart. All I said was "I think it shrank a bit". The disappointment on her face was enough. I folded the sweater, took my laundry upstairs and thought I had really screwed up this time. She has told me numerous times that she would wash my sweater, but I really don't want my wife doing my laundry.

After a bit of time had passed everything seemed alright. I think the moment I put the sweater on and she had a good laugh, all was well. I didn't think it fit that bad. I mean why not so off a little belly once and a while.

At the end of the day we both had a good laugh. After all it is just a sweater. There are much worse things in this life to deal with then a sweater that is a bit small. We have been blessed by God with health, a small house, hot water, food, great jobs and two hounds. So many are without so much, I feel that if people realized just how much we have here in America, and how fortunately we all our, maybe people would not expect so much. When was the last time you went without a meal or a hot shower.

I pray you all give thanks to God for all that he has done for us and continues to bless us with. I do. Yes there are times when things are tough, but overall we here in the U.S. have it pretty good.

Be kind. God Bless.

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