In Hindsight: Airing our dirty laundry

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The laundry room

We received piles and piles of marriage advice and tips before we got married: Keep communicating. The first year is the hardest. Don’t go to bed angry. Be honest and open with each other about finances. Pick your battles.

Yet not one person mentioned a huge, glaring, fact about married life that has affected me deeply: the amount of laundry increases exponentially.

Full disclosure: I have a lot of clothes. Plus, I came up with the brilliant idea of having enough underwear, bed linens and towels to last me a month, so I would only have to do laundry (which I dislike) once a month.

That system was working fine for me…until I got married. There’s just something about men’s clothes—maybe it’s that they are usually physically larger so their clothing requires more material, but it just seems like men have more laundry. And it piles up faster.

However, my wonderful husband agreed to do his own laundry and as he has less clothes (and underwear), he does his laundry more often than I do. This usually keeps the amount of laundry at any given time in our place to a manageable amount.

But recently, whether due to stars crossing, bad timing or Kim Kardashian announcing she wanted to run for political office, our laundry schedules came to an unholy convergence. The piles were so monstrous it felt like they were pushing us out of our apartment.

So one night (and by that I mean it was after midnight) we loaded the laundry into the back of my SUV (yes, that’s how much laundry we had) and drove the 50 yards to our complex’s laundry room. There are 7 washers.

We used every single one of them.

We had fun though, sorting and stuffing the washers and making fun of each other’s underwear. With the detergent portioned out, the lids slammed and the quarters slotted, we sauntered out.

Thirty minutes later we returned to a dirty lagoon.

Something had gone terribly awry with the washers. Cloudy, rust-colored water covered the floor of the laundry room. Now we understood the presence of the bucket and mop in the corner, even though the place employs a cleaning service. We grabbed them, but the mop was painfully slow in soaking up the flood.

It was 1:15 a.m.

We finally had the brilliant idea (and by that I mean I did) to push all the dirty water outside the laundry room door. We even set up a system. Bjorn set a wave going from one end of the room and I directed it out the door when it reached me about halfway down. When all was done and said (the cleaning, the transferring of the clothes to dryers, the drying of the clothes), we finally returned home, exhausted, at 2:45 in the morning.

My advice to newlyweds: Do your laundry together. Many hands make tasks light…plus you never know when you’re going to have to face a sluice of dirty water.

Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman

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4 Responses to In Hindsight: Airing our dirty laundry

  1. Duane says:

    I think you’ve left out the most important point when talking about an apartment complex’s laundry room: the important commodity of quarters!!!

    Once a month, hmm . . .


  2. Alissa says:

    My ex drove me nuts turning everything inside out and putting dirty clothes in the same washer with clean, wet clothes and washing them again…making for a totally off balance washer…I am glad I got my new washer and dryer and do my own now:) Sorry for your troubles!!

  3. It’s true; I think I’m fairly well-known at the bank now for asking for $20 in quarters. And it may sound crazy, but once-a-month laundry can be done 🙂

  4. Wow, that would drive me nuts, too. Just reading it put my teeth on edge. 😀 Thanks for the sympathy!

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