Dirty Laundry

I did a Google image search for 'fluff and fold' and I got this as one of the first results. Now I REALLY don't trust these places with my laundry.

I restrict my wardrobe to jeans and Mossimo T-shirts for a couple of reasons. The first reason, as many of my female friends have politely reminded me over the years, is that my fashion sense is terrible. Reducing my wardrobe to one type of pants and varying colors of the same T-shirt means that I don’t have to start my day off with a bunch of nerve wracking decisions about which colors match with which.

For the record, President Obama reportedly does the same thing, limiting himself to only blue or black suits, so he can preserve his decision making capacity for the rest of the day. Admittedly, his decisions are usually matters of diplomacy and national security while mine are simply how much blood splatter I can sneak into a trailer in spite of ESRB regulations, but it’s as good an excuse as any to wear basically the same thing every day.

The other reason I keep my wardrobe simple is because even after living on my own for six years, what I don’t know about laundry could fill a warehouse. I know that you’re supposed to put detergent in before the clothes and I know that you’re supposed to separate whites from colors* (which I usually don’t do, because it’s more work), and that’s about it.

*Taken out of context, “I know that you’re supposed to separate whites from colors” is one of those lines that could really make me look bad. Fortunately I’ve written plenty of things that make me look bad in context, so hopefully none of my enemies dig this deep. 

The merits of cold water versus hot water? No idea. Bleach? I’m not sure where in the process it gets used, although I have heard that it’s a bad idea to drink the stuff. Ironing? I know of it. I remember staying home sick as a child and watching Due South with Mom while she ironed clothes. More recently, I remember seeing friends my own age iron clothes and immediately revising my opinion of them.

Hold up. This motherfucker knows how to iron his shit? Clearly I have underestimated him.

The two rickety washers and driers in the basement of my apartment complex only have a couple of different settings, but even those confuse me. The washer, for example, has a WARM water setting, and since that seems to give you the best of both the COLD and HOT settings for the same price, I can’t see why anybody would use anything else. The drier has a NO HEAT option, which I imagine is there if you like your clothes damp and cold but still want to know that they’ve been bounced around for an hour.

Mossimo T-shirts, jeans, and the sheets on my bed can all be washed using my limited breadth of laundry knowledge and come out of the drier with no ill effects. I know that my more delicate wardrobe options – dress shirts, pants with creases in them, my one nice sweater – require different, more intricate treatment that I will no doubt screw up, so I just don’t wear them. I guess I’d prefer to have nice clothes in my closet and not wear them instead of having no nice clothes because I ruined them with my ham-fisted attempts at washing. Either way I’m not dressing nicely, but at least my way I still have nice clothes if I need them.

I know there’s no excuse for me to not learn how to do my own laundry when I’m A) an adult and B) an adult who spends 18 hours a day in front of a machine that can access any information in the world. The truth is that even if I knew how to wash delicate sweaters and iron nice shirts I still wouldn’t do it, because it looks like an uninteresting and time consuming process, and washing and folding the clothes I do wear is already enough of an ordeal, what with the finding enough quarters and the walking up and down stairs.

I was griping about this to my mother on the phone the other night.

“Somebody must’ve stolen some of my shirts or something, because it seems like I’m doing laundry more often than ever now,” I sighed, holding the phone with one hand and sifting through my upended piggy bank for quarters with the other.

“Y’know, if you hate doing laundry so much you could just take your clothes to a fluff and fold.” Mom suggested, probably in hopes of getting me to quit whining.

“So they fold my laundry for me? I like the sound of that. Not sure about ‘fluffing’, though. If that means what I think it means, I don’t want them doing it to my clothes.”

“You give them your dirty laundry and they wash and fold everything for you. It costs money, but you’ve got a job. I’d do the same thing if I lived in an apartment, honestly.”

Since she mentioned it I’ve been watching the pile of dirty clothes in my hamper growing and slowly giving the idea more and more thought. I’m no Vanderbilt, but I make enough doing what I do that I could probably support a mild cocaine habit – a moderate to severe professional laundry habit sounds both cheaper and healthier.

Something about it makes me uncomfortable, though. I just feel like 24 is a little bit young to start throwing money at every domestic task I don’t want to do. I mean, it’s not like doing my laundry is keeping me from doing anything truly important – I’m not exactly curing cancer in my non-working hours. Usually doing my laundry just distracts me from procrastinating about writing.

I’ve always been quite clear about what a lazy piece of shit I am, but hiring someone to do my laundry for me would be a brand new level of sloth. Once I go around that bend, what’s next? If you’re too lazy to do something there’s almost always a person who’ll gladly take your money to do it for you. Would I wind up hiring someone to carry me to the bathroom, or outsourcing this blog to India?

Fortunately, I don’t see myself taking my laundry to a fluff and fold – largely because the nearest one is a few miles away and I’m too lazy to spend more time in traffic than I already do. It looks like the only thing saving me from succumbing to my laziness is more laziness – that is, until I find someone who will drive my laundry to the fluff and fold for me.

Truman Capps will shamelessly pick up any quarter he sees – even one on the floor of a public bathroom – so he can add them to his laundry machine fund.