Laundry Ethics

September 24, 2011 by Rieshy

My washer ate a Haitian octagon-shaped coin.  It did not agree with the pump.  While waiting for the new part to come in I've been communing weekly with a laundromat.

Washing weekly instead of daily for a family of 9 means that I load up the back of my van with bag after bag after bag of smelly laundry... actually it means I have the children load up the van with bag after bag of smelly laundry, and then head to King Neptune for 2 hours of washing bliss.

I'm not kidding about the washing bliss part.  I can knock out 12 loads of laundry in 2- 2 1/2 hours.  Not only that but I can buy a large drink and sit by myself and read while the rest of the family does Saturday morning chores at home.  As a bonus, when I arrive home to my newly clean house my family even feels sorry for me.

I shouldn't have let it slip that the Laundromat has free wifi, my husband is getting suspicious; last weekend he asked just when the part would arrive.

If it wasn't for the $25- $30 a weekend to use the Laundromat I might never fix my washer.  Well, that and the fact that to keep to 12 loads a week I've become the laundry police, "What do you have on? No, wear what you had on yesterday.  Sheets?  No they don't need to be washed yet!"

Normally, my older kids do their own wash.  Everyone helps fold- everyone puts their own things away.  This is important because it prevents me from facing a moral dilemma faced by mothers everywhere-

Can I throw away this particular item of clothing that personally offends me while no one is looking and afterwards feign ignorance?

At the Laundromat, however, I have have no audience, no witnesses, no accusing glances to fear.  If I simply pitch something there will be no wail of, "But that's my FAVORITE."  Or even worse, the calm, self-assured voice of an older child asking, "Why are you throwing out the 3 year old's favorite pair of shorts?"

I'm not talking morally questionable clothing, modesty and respect are not involved.  I'm speaking of personal preference and taste.  I'm actually specifically referring to a pair of silver basketball shorts owned by one of my younger sons.

They are tacky.

That's it.  They are just tacky.  So of course, in accord with the mysterious physics of hated clothing, he will Never outgrow them and they will never stain or rip.

I recently read the book, Zebraland, by Marlene Roeder.  In it she asks if who you are is defined by how you react most of the time, or how you react under extreme circumstances.  Actually, she asks a lot of questions along the lines of whether people are basically good with occasional evil actions or basically evil with occasional good actions...  thus the zebra stripe imagery.

Anyway, back to the laundry.  Am I basically deceitful, with honest moments, or will I wash and fold these stupid silver shorts and take them home for another week?

Posted in | 3 Comments »


Brandee Shafer said...

Ooh...the suspense is killing me. I think the key is to "accidentally" tear them. Because thing with holes must go in the trash. No exceptions.

CristyLynn said...


Rieshy said...

Sigh, I folded them and put them back in his room. Hoping for a growth spurt...

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