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Today I’m doing laundry. I have a rule that says I cannot bitch about doing laundry. I decided that rule many years ago. The first time I ever did laundry was my freshman year at college. Until that time I had no idea how to turn on a machine, what it meant to seperate colors, or how to measure detergent. (Ok, I was slightly spoiled in that regard) I was in the dorms and traveled to the basement with my fellow roomies and we would do laundry together. It was an event, it was fun. When I moved to off-campus housing I had the same thing – head to the basement and wash your clothes. I finally got my own apartment my senior year and guess what – same thing – machines in the basement.

It wasn’t until grad school that I discovered the horrors of the laundromat. I was in an apartment with NO machines. That meant I had to go to the laundromat for the first time in my life. I hated it. I dreaded dragging everything out to my car and then making multiple trips back and forth. I also hated having people stand there and watch me fold my undies and stuff. Ewww! That nightmare lasted for two years. Upon graduation we moved into our first apartment together and had a machine in the basement. Glory Days! But then we moved…

Mark got the job here. The pay was ok. I wasn’t working at the time, and we were mighty over-extended. Student loans were due, and those things damn near killed us. We got an apartment that had hook-up for washer and dryer – but no washer and dryer. Which meant, I was back at the laundromat. We only had one car at the time. It was rather pathetic actually. Here I am, the wife of a professor at the college, doing laundry with the kids my husband teaches. I despised it. I finally got hired on as an adjunct prof. That helped us financially, but we still couldn’t afford a washer and dryer. So, there I was – washing my unmentionables in front of my students. Boy, did I feel great, or what? That’ll wipe out any self-esteem you may have had.

There was a time when I was getting up at 7am on a Saturday morning to go do laundry in hopes of NOT running into anyone I knew. I was driving to the laundromat, and I think I had tears in my eyes even, I vowed that if we EVER got a washer and dryer I would never, ever bitch about laundry again.

Our wedding present from my father – a washer and dryer. We would’ve gotten married sooner if we would’ve known that. I was in love with it. I could do laundry any time of the day or night. Even if it was all icky and raining or snowing outside. I could quickly wash something all by itself even. I washed things that hadn’t been washed in years in our house – comforters, drapes, blankets – tons of things. I was clean!

I haven’t broken my promise either. I don’t bitch about it. I just do it. I will never ever bitch about it. Now, cleaning the toilets – that’s another story…

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