Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Fold

So, it's come to this. A laundry post.

I don't know what to tell you, other than that on this rainy August day, my love for laundry was never more pure. So deep was my love that I felt compelled to share it.

This is the way I fold laundry, several times a week, week after week after week.

I sit right here on the floor and I lose myself in the warm, smell-goody artifacts of the people I love the most.

And for doing their laundry, my family pays me not in cash, but in cool stuff like this. I found it today, I do not know what it is, nor from whence it came, but it's rusty metal, and I'll take it.

The arm of the chair is designated for those items that will go straight to the closet.

The kids' stuff gets stacked in Ruby's laundry basket.

Our stuff gets piled onto the floor, where it just may remain for the next day or two.

I have very stringent folding standards that I impose upon myself. I like methodical. I like orderly. This is one small corner of my universe that I have control over, barring the odd, stubborn stain or the runaway sock.

I typically like to stack the items by size, but today I hid the unmentionables somewhere in the middle. A little prudishness never hurt anyone. And if I were Cory, I would not necessarily want people knowing that I wear polar bear underbritches.

While I fold, I do some thinking. (My best thinking comes during laundry folding, weed pulling and eyebrow plucking, fyi.)

Today I reminisced about the time that Ted Kennedy nearly knocked me over in the Russell Senate building. Now you think I'm name dropping, don'tcha? You think I'm gloating over the fact that I'm practically part-Camelot. In truth, of all of the political figures roaming the hallowed DC halls, Ted Kennedy would not have been my first choice. Still, he was a political celebrity and since I've never met (or been run over by) any real celebrities, I'll take what I can get.

I was folding today on my lunch break, so in between basketball jerseys and dress socks, I ate my left-over sauerkraut, sausage and mashed potatoes - one of those magical meals that tastes even better re-heated.

I tried not to think about these:

They are the bratty exception to my laundry love. They are boring, boring, boring. And mostly, they are inside out. I have made peace with turning t-shirts right-side-in, but I draw the line at socks.
You break 'em, you buy 'em.
*(Please modify the previous line for compatibility with laundry. I don't have it in me right now to work that one out.)

I also realized today that this is the only vantage point in the house which could have drawn my attention to this:

For reasons unclear even to me, I was drawn to Charlie, mischievously dipping his paw into an unsuspecting Lucy's bath.

I am not entirely convinced that toys do not come to life when the humans retire for the night. I've caught too many of these suspiciously "staged" vignettes to rule it out.

Since it's Friday and all, take a look here and here. If you have any luck at all, other people will be hooked on something a little more exciting than laundry.


  1. Man, you write really well. I keep meaning to put you on our blog roll, but updating it seems to be one chore that keeps alluding me. I will get it done. Incidently, I was once in a revolving door with Ted Kennedy; a celebrity that we have in common! xo

  2. My laundry is done continuously. I have this OCD problem with my laundry basket filling up...don't like it.

    My husband tells a funny story of wearing the same pair of underwear everyday for a week. When people give him a strange look, he tells them it's because I do laundry all the time and "fold & put-away" the same pair on top of the pile. So yes, they are clean :)

    When I fold clothes, I fold them on top of my bed so I have to put them away before sleeping. Works for me (or I guess I could sleep on top of the pile).

    BTW, your writing is getting really good!!


  3. I too so enjoy your blog!

    I love laundry too. It's where my controlling nature can reign supreme. I do not allow help with folding. Everything must be so. Now that I've been using the clothesline exclusively, I find the freakish control there too. Everything must be grouped by item, color, and size.

    I miss the dryer. I long for the sound of clacking zippers and tumbling Keds. I like the smells, the warmth and the softness. Another reason I long for winter. Warm, soft, Downy scented towels.

    Thanks for letting us take a peek.

    To answer your question from my blog...I ate mashed potatoes, meatloaf and corn succotash. :-)

  4. Oh, I want some of those leftovers! I, too, love to fold laundry....I don't know why but it's very satisfying to me. I especially enjoy folding laundry that's been hung on the line. Like you, the sorting and organizing must be the draw...
    PS: Our kitchen is almost done, it's the little details that are taking me the longest!

  5. I watch TV while I fold laundry. That way, I don't have to think. ;) I learned to fold when I worked retail in college, and I HAVE to fold shirts a certain way or it will drive me nuts. :)

    Not a fan of Ted Kennedy....

  6. I'll have to make sure that Brooks reads this post...he always tells me I should be glad he is willing to help and not be so picky about how things are folded. I'm very glad that I'm not the only one who has a certain way for things to be folded and put away!

  7. Wow, I think I am your only blog reader who does not love folding laundry. I do it b/c it must be done. Period. How are we even friends? ;)

  8. I'm an ironing girl myself....something about getting all those wrinkles out (so metaphorical!). It is satisfying to look at the piles in neat rows. I love the paw in the tub pic---made me laugh.

    Got your note---adorable card! I am such a letterpress whore...It seems I'm always buying more for the 'ole writing desk drawers.
    Enjoy the weekend!

  9. Wow! If you ever need more laundry to fold, you're invited to my house! The only politician I ever met was Gerald Ford!


  10. You make even a laundry post interesting:) Seriously I never get tired of your sweet blog. Happy weekend to you.

  11. I also love to fold laundry. It's therapeutic for me. I also love to vacuum. I should be practicing some of that love around here today but I'm afraid I'm just not up to it. I will just sit here and admire your neatly folded piles of laundry instead.

  12. Ahhh... the socks, they are the worst. I too refuse to turn my husband's long work socks right side out. I don't mind ankle socks so much... but long, work socks are my enemy!

  13. I met Mrs. Ford on the tarmac once when she visited my hometown long ago, can I join this discussion? Gosh, I'm with you on the sock basket thing! All those white socks, each one slightly different... instilling a love for rolling up socks in your kids is important.

  14. You are too cute- lovely post! I have officially revolted against turning my hubby's t shirts right side out but I lovingly do so for my daughter's clothes and of course he notices and it kills him!
    Happy Friday. :-)

  15. Folding laundry is so therapeutic for me--plus it is where my OCD reveals itself in color coded piles (not really...well...sort of!).

    I love the thought that toys come to life, wouldn't it be grand if we woke up and they had taken care of all of the chores we DON'T like???!!!

  16. If you will come and do my laundry, I will come and wash your windows. Deal?

  17. i don't do laundry ....
    we like to wear dirty clothes and smell.

  18. I sit on the floor and do laundry too! It's the one thing that gets me to actually sit down and think! My girls will agree with you about their stuffed animals coming to life at night!!
    happy weekend,

  19. I hate laundry! Put it in the marriage decree that the hubs HAS to do it. I took one look at his sea of black dress socks the first time we did laundry and said "I don't think so," and have never looked back...

    :) T

  20. Reading Beachbrights' comment brought back a high school memory. I was too tired. So, rather than fold the enormous pile of laundry on my bed...I climbed on in under it and used it as a comforter. I went to school the next day and told a classmate about it. A month or so later, Melissa, the classmate I had let in on my little secret, informed me that she had been too tired the night before...she had found herself in the same predicament, remembered what I had said, hopped onto her bed, pulled all of her clothes up around her and was quickly sound asleep.

    : )

    Happy folding!

    Julie M.

  21. So very sweet and well written. I have a passion for laundry too.

    TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

  22. Oh too funny to find the puppy in play, a delightful distraction from the routine of everyday moments.

  23. I love posts like this! It makes me know that we all always have laundry in common! I like to say it is never completely done unless you do it naked!
    Funny about your inspirations always come to me when I am blowdrying my hair...something about the "white noise".
    ♥ Jen

  24. I like doing laundry I'am a little fanatical about making it smell nice though, not so much the folding. You definitely keep it real that's why I love your blog so much! Traci

  25. Hey I have a basket just like that! :o)

  26. Ehhhhhhh, not a fan of doing laundry, but I remember your stringent rules of folding from college. I think I was always afraid to fold your t-shirts and towels.

  27. Just became a new follower! Cool blog!
    Check mine out at:

  28. Found you through Edie, catching up on your archives. I came to this one, and now I know we're sisters at heart---because while I love to do laundry, I despise the basket of socks.

    Thankfully, my husband views it as a labor of love to put them away for me. :)

    Thanks for sharing about your family. I'm having a nice evening to myself, catching up on 2009.