Love it or Hate it: Laundry

by David Holub

Love itIf I have one superpower, it’s this: Looking at a pile of clean laundry, I can walk over to the closet and pull the exact number of empty hangers for my clothes that get hung up. The frequency that this phenomenon occurs (roughly 83 percent of the time) is astounding. One time I was left with two extra hangers, which shocked me. But then I remembered I had set two winter shirts aside to be folded and stored for the summer. My hanger estimations are the bright part of the one aspect of laundry I don’t much care for, the folding. Beyond that, I love everything about the chore.

I love the purring sound a washer makes when in mid-cycle and the whirring a dryer makes, punctuated by the staccato pops of zippers and the coins I forgot to take out of my pocket.

I love having all my clothes clean and having full run of my A-list shirts and pants. Or better yet, I love discovering a favorite shirt at the bottom of the hamper that had been worn at the beginning of a clean-clothes cycle and nearly forgotten about by the time it was washed two weeks later.

And there’s almost no greater feeling than putting on a big sweater straight from dryer and letting the toasty softness take me to an enchanted place of plush clouds, warm blankets and soothing April freshness.

— David HolubHate itLaundry is an enormous time commitment. To begin with, there’s never just one load. You’re supposed to separate your clothes into lights and darks. Or whites, lights and darks? I don’t really know. Then there’s the possibility of delicates, items that must be washed “gently” or else everything goes to hell. And after washing stuff for 40 minutes, you gotta put everything in the dryer for another hour. Longer if you’re washing something big, like a comforter. But wait! First remove all those pieces that will inevitably shrink in the dryer – those need to air dry. So many decisions: warm water, cold water, hot water. You might think you know how something gets washed, but you’re probably wrong. I only recently learned that hot water destroys the integrity of stretchy jeans. Have you ever ruined your clothes by accident? It’s easy.

I might also have laundromat PTSD from living in NYC, where you lug large batches of your personal stuff down city streets and then sit for hours inside one of the least-pleasant communal meeting spots on Earth. All the washers or dryers will be taken when you get there. And if you do manage to grab one, but don’t remove your clothes promptly once they’re done (like within 45 seconds), they’ll be dumped on the floor or stolen. People are pissed off. Your socks get mixed in with someone else’s. You always lose at least three socks. It’s chaos. At least in Durango I have my own washer/dryer, a relative miracle.

— Anya Jaremko-Greenwold


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