You know, laundry didn't used to be the task it is now.
Back in The Day, I did about three loads--darks, lights, and a pile of leftovers that usually got shoved to one side until it was load-sized, and was usually comprised of oily rags, car-washing rags, the rag I used to clean up the cat's puke the week before, and stray underwear.
Now, things have changed.
With only three of us here I now do about seventeen loads of laundry a week. I feel like I'm doing not only our family's laundry but that of my neighbors and my brother's and some stuff that Goodwill sneaks by occasionally, to save on their own laundering costs.
I now have to divide laundry into about twelve distinct piles:
Blue jeans. This is understandable. Blue jeans are the ultimate utility clothing item, and since the wife wears one pair to work every day, plus my at least one pair for Casual Friday at work, that makes one load, give or take what happens over the weekend. This is understandable.
White towels. The wife bathes often. Sometimes up to five times a day. And since we only have five wash cloths, three hand towels and six bath towels, I wash a lot of white towels. And since they need to be washed with like colours, it makes perfect sense to wash them with the other white towels. There is ALWAYS a load of white towels ready to do, usually by Monday afternon.
Dark Blue towels. These are mine. Same quantity as whites, only dark blue. I use one bath towel a bath, and one washcloth. And toward the end of the week I have been known to hang a damp towel up to let it dry, then use it again. My conservation techniques go for naught, however, when, by Wednesday night the wife has used all her white towels, most of Weerelephant's light blue ones and is starting into my stack.
Light Blue towels. The Weerelephant's bathroom is done in sherbert and pumpkin orange, with slate and light blue accents such as towels and a bathmat. Since she's never here, Grandma does most of her bath stuff and her uniforms. I guess Grandma misses the days of laundry piled to the rafters and is attempting to recapture the Glory Days.
Other White Clothes. This includes socks, T-shirts with logos or coloured stuff, ringers, and the like. It also usually captures cat toys and dishwashing rags.
Off White stuff. This captures all the in-between colours that don't really fit one pile or the other, including khaki pants and socks, medium green things, and most of the underwear, since I can't afford silk and don't care for black boxers, as they make the day very long and sweaty.
Grey. Grey is the new black, so I own enough grey t-shirts and shorts to dress a batallion for outdoor fitness exercises, as long as they all don't mind XXL T-shirts and roomy shorts, so naturally there is a sizeable grey pile.
Bed Sheets. I like clean sheets, and so I wash ours weekly. Figure in the master bedroom's sheets, then the daughter's room, and once a month the ones in the guest room, which are usually more covered in cat hair than dirt, but hey, a guest is the jewel on the pillow of hospitality, right? And even with a super-monster duty washer two sets of bedsheets is a load, no matter how you pile it up.
Pink. This occurs only when my daughter is home. She's not a girly-girl in the strictest sense, nor is she a tomboy, but for some reason every other article of her clothing is pink. From rose pink to hot-screaming-poke-your-eyes-out pink, she owns something in every shade, and two or three items in the more stringent pinks. For some peculiar reason these articles of clothing ALWAYS make it back here in time for Saturday Wash Day, even if Grandma finds herself skulking around the house looking for things to machine wash, like curtains and rugs, and the dog.
And then there's usually a pile of rags from bike maintenance, vehicle washing, tractor cleaning, sweat-rags from working outside, and other unmentionables that need to be washed occasionally in very hot, very soapy water. Usually last, because this load is known to leave rather dark, rather flammable rings on the inside of the washer tub and all along the neck of the agitator, rather like dirt necklaces you see on street ladies. Not very appetizing.
So there you have it--my Saturday in a nutshell. I need to go now, my spin cycle is off balance. As am I.