It All Comes Out In The Wash



I’m about to share some crazy behavior with you, so don’t judge…


When I’ve been hurt/wronged/depressed/injured/ill or felt bad in any way at all, I absolutely must wash the clothes worn during the pain. It doesn’t matter if the pain is physical or emotional, it seems to me that the negativity of the experience attaches itself to my clothing. For me, the only acceptable course of action is to launder the clothes to eliminate any remnants of the pain.


You might not think this is a big deal, but sometimes the clothes just aren’t dirty. And sometimes I’m wearing a dry-clean-only article, and that’s money, y’all. And even if the clothing is machine-washable, that’s still water and energy – down the drain (along with the bad vibes).


I don’t know when this particular behavior began, as I’ve been doing it for most of my adult life. And now I’m carrying it over to Mister. After his biking accident this past weekend, I was desperate to get the clothes he’d worn that day into the washing machine. I couldn’t stand knowing those clothes were carrying the weight of that accident in their fibers. Yes, I know – cuckoo.


I don’t know if you ever saw an old episode of “Tales From the Dark Side” back in the mid-80s, titled “It All Comes Out In The Wash.” In this particular episode, some a-hole is using the services of a creepy laundry service to wash away his bad behavior. As long as the dude has a pile of fresh, clean, unsullied shirts, he can just wear himself out being a terrible human being. As soon as the shirt he’s wearing becomes too full of his douche-baggery, he takes it off and puts on a new, sin-free shirt. (It all comes back to bite him in the butt, but you know, before that happens, it’s pretty interesting.) Maybe seeing that back in 1985 had an effect on me. Maybe not. Honestly, I just don’t know.


Either way, I’m happy to report the dirty laundry has been handled and all the hoo-doo is gone. At least I hope so anyway. And if you happen to have a similar behavior in your quiver, I’d love to hear about it. I don’t want to be the only dirty laundry freak, you know.

Dirty Laundry



Our washing machine is on the fritz. It will be repaired – eventually – but for now we’ve got a big pile of dirty laundry. And it’s growing.


My great grandmother, Granny Vera, had an old-school washing machine. During most of the year, she’d operate it out on the back porch, where it resided. (On the coldest winter days, she’d roll it into the kitchen for that day’s laundry.) I seem to recall an extension cord dangling from the overhead, bare-bulbed light socket in the kitchen, snaked out to the porch for power. She’d run a garden hose from the nearest spigot over to the basin to fill it. There was no lid, so the machine’s back-and-forth would slosh water all over the rotting boards of the porch. The attached wringer was a hand-cranked model. Granny would have to maneuver the laundry from the tub up into the wringer rods, all while cranking that bad boy by hand.


I still remember the day my great grandfather – Big Papa – brought a brand new washing machine home for Granny Vera. She was so excited, she did a little dance. It was basically the same model as the old one, only the wringer was automatic as well. All Granny Vera had to do then was feed the laundry through. No more cranking. You wouldn’t have thought something so simple could be so important, but I swear, y’all – the woman shed grateful tears.


Looking back on those old days and remembering how hard Granny worked, I realize I can deal with my current pile of dirty laundry. No complaints here.