Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Won't All Come Out in the Wash

Hello, Jared Moore with you today.

When Tricia and I first married, we both had a bit to learn about thoroughness. For Tricia it was about laundry. Raised by a single father who had little time or energy for domestic chores after his twelve-hour shifts at the mill, and having no mother to train her in the ways of home-making, poor Tricia didn't know where to start. I'd met her while on assignment in California, then moved her out here to Kanner Lake when we married, so the poor girl didn't have any girlfriends yet to help her out. I certainly wasn't any help; my mother had been a cross between Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart. Her pie crust was flaky, my dad's shirts and mine were starched and gleaming white, and the house was spotless. I had no idea how Mom did those things. I was just glad she did them, and I assumed my wife would do them too (don't lynch me, ladies. I've learned an awful lot since then.)

It all started with the first load of laundry. The morning after we returned from our honeymoon, I did what I'd always done at my parents' house--left my dirty clothes on the floor by the bed and went about my business. Later that day I suggested that my new bride and I go out to lunch. Tricia was thrilled and disappeared into the bathroom to get ready (a process I'd never realized could be so lengthy. My stomach growled louder and louder while I waited for my darling to emerge from the bathroom, but I didn't mind. I was in love after all. I figured I'd grab my wallet and wait out on the porch, but my wallet was nowhere to be found. I hunted high and low. No wallet.

When Tricia finally came out, glowing and gorgeous, I asked where she'd put my wallet. She said she hadn't put it anywhere.

"Well, where are my pants?" I asked.

"The ones you left on the floor? I put them in the wash."

"Didn't you take my wallet out of the pocket?"

Well, she hadn't. Nor had she taken out my pack of Wrigley's gum. No lunch was had that day. My driver's license and photos were ruined along with my laundered money and minty fresh, gooey clothes. I'll never forget that day. It was our first fight--me telling her she should have checked the pockets, her crying her little eyes out and saying I should have used the hamper and checked my own pockets. I did apologize and promised to check my pockets, but I'll admit I still used the floor more than the hamper.

There were more laundry incidents, like the time her new red sweater turned all my white shirts pink. My friends loved that one. And the time she didn't check her pockets and her lipstick came open in the dryer. Through the years, she's learned to whiten whites with the best of them. She taught me too, so I could do laundry when she decided to go back to school. I was sure thankful she showed me more grace than I showed her when I shrank a load of her sweaters. Turns out checking those little tags that give you washing instructions is just as important as checking pockets.

In some future post I may tell you what I've learned about careful checking while working on the paper. I was a reporter who couldn't spell in the days before spellcheck ...

-- Jared

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Jared, if I were Tricia, I'd have left your pants on the floor where you dropped them. I'd figure when you ran out of clothes, maybe you'd learn what to do with the dirty ones...
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 10:38 AM
You're a cold one, Ms. Monty.
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 10:39 AM
Good thing I married Tricia ;)
Posted by Anonymous Jared Moore : 11:20 AM
Poor Tricia. I once washed my husband's new fireman uniform with a bottle of hot pink nail polish, which came open in the dryer. What a mess. There are still pink swirls in my dryer.
Posted by Blogger Janet Rubin : 11:22 AM
At least you learned, Jared. Reading Wilbur's post a few weeks ago about trying to cook for his sick wife--whoa. Apparently, after years of marriage, he still doesn't know his way around a kitchen.
Posted by Anonymous s.t. : 11:36 AM
Jared, Tricia's laundry mishaps sound a bit like mine! Before I married my dear hubby, I thought I'd surprise him by doing his laundry. I did read the tags on his sweaters. They all said, "Lay flat to dry." Since I didn't have any place to lay them, I thought hanging them would be just as good--so long as I didn't put them in the dryer.
Hours later, when he went into his bathroom, he found all of his sweaters hanging from the shower curtain rod, and the sleeves had stretched down almost to the top of the tub! Thankfully, he married me any way.
Glad you men can be such good sports!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 11:47 AM
I'm going to do a flip flop here. When my husband and I were first married, on a Saturday I worked, he did the laundry and washed his red flannel shirt with my nice white underwear. Sorry ladies, I just wasn't as understanding as you. It took years to see the humor and he's never tried to wash my clothes since!
blesssings, e
Posted by Blogger Storyteller : 12:31 PM
Hey, S.T., you pipsqueak--why'd you have to pull me into this one? I was just minding my own business...
Posted by Anonymous wilbur hucks : 1:48 PM
Storyteller, here's a scenario for you--your guy did it on PURPOSE so you'd never ask him to wash clothes again. See how they get us? And they say women are tricky.
Posted by Anonymous darah : 2:09 PM
Wow, darah. THAT'S SCARY! Are they really that smart?
Posted by Blogger Janet Rubin : 4:55 PM
Sorry, Wilbur. Meant no offense.

You can get back to making soup now.
Posted by Anonymous s.t. : 4:58 PM
Bleach! It's the bleach that does me in. After so many years of bleach spots on his clothes, my sweet husband now washes his own. And no! I didn't do it on purpose..........
Posted by Blogger Mid Stutsman : 6:16 PM
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