Lebanon Reporter

Columns

October 3, 2012

Lurking in the laundry room

—  

Beyond a slight, nagging dread in the back of my mind, I don’t think much about laundry. Like a clingy friend, it’s there every time I turn around, and I wish it would get a life of its own. Occasionally, I have to remind myself that if I don’t keep up, small purple dots of mildew will appear on our clothing. 

Sixteen years ago, when we first moved into our home, I asked hubby not to relegate the laundry to the damp, occasionally flooded, basement. Cracks in the walls and floor allow entrance to all sorts of critters. He promised that he would always do all of the laundry forever and ever, cross his heart, hope to die, stick a needle in his eye. With childlike faith, I believed him. 

The day after we moved in, I gave birth to our third child. While I was in the hospital, hubby did a single load of laundry. I wish I’d been there to witness it. I think it would be kind of sexy to see him do laundry, but I’ll never know because he has never washed another load. And I kind of suspect the load he takes credit for was actually done by his mother.

Spiders and frogs were regular participants in my laundry experience. Twice, creepy blind moles, with ugly thumbs, charged at me from under the clothing piles. Once, I had to call hubby to deal with a snake that was wriggling in my path. He appeared, wearing goggles and leather gloves, wielding a five-gallon bucket and long BBQ tongs that we normally reserve for catching mice. 

As he gradually eased closer, 10-year-old son came bounding down the steps. “Cool! A snake!” he exclaimed as he reached down and picked it up with his bare hands. Needless to say, it was son I screamed for when I spotted a salamander sitting in the corner, eyeing my every move. 

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