Laundry is something I wish I didn’t do. Wish I didn’t have to. When I lived at home as a graduate student and chose the chore to express my independence, it felt therapeutic to pull sleeves from the tangled mess and make new piles like primary colored paint pools. I look, now, at the overfilled bin of co-mingling cottons with a side eye, skittishly escaping into the other room before the laundry sees me.
There’s no way to keep the dirty, like a negative charge, from sticking to positive you. Cover the body with clothes and then the you and the clothes need to find their way back to clean. In our house, there’s no fighting about who does the laundry, only agreement on how we avoid it until no underwear remain.
The truth, though, is that I do the laundry. As much as I’d sometimes like to, I don’t wear dirty clothes to work or inside out underwear underneath. I wash the clothes, leaving dryer sheets stuck in armpits and losing mismatched socks like upside down miracles. I do not separate the clothes like my dad so dutifully did when I lived at home, and nothing, thankfully, turns pale pink and plays on tricks on me. I wait until the very last minute, forced to put together tights and tops and scarves and shoes in a rainbow of shades, six different blues, but I get dressed and do the laundry and we all wear clean clothes because of this thing I (we) do.