Woman, Thou Hast Sinned and Other Tales from the Washing Basket

I just sinned. I took the clothes off the line. When you’re pregnant with triplets, sin is relative.

The thing is my doctor has said I shouldn’t do the washing anymore. So I’ve (although really, it’s been my Mum mostly) has organised people to put the clothes on the line, and take them off the line. Unfortunately the Tuesday afternoon time slot hasn’t been filled yet. Which was fine today because I saw my neighbour when we were both collecting our mail. I asked her if she might take my clothes off the line. She happily agreed. Problem solved. Until she didn’t come home and the night air was getting damp. So I ducked out and took them off myself. Luckily unlike the last time I took the clothes off the line, there was no stomach pain afterwards…

Now I’m going to have to explain myself to my mother.

Whether you’re 10 and been caught stealing bikkies from the biscuit jar, or, well, 30 something, and pregnant with triplets, it’s never pleasant having to explain yourself to your mother.

I’m going to blame the neighbour. It’s not as good as blaming a sibling, because you know the neighbour’s not going to get roasted over it, but it will do. So long the heat is off me.

It’s an odd thing having people do your laundry. There’s all sorts of issues associated with laundry hanging that you may never consider should suddenly lose the privilege of hanging your clothes.

For instance, I normally have a hanging system. It closely resembles my mother’s hanging methods. I can remember grumbling when I was a teenager about mother’s system: hanging the underwear on the insides so people can’t see it, heavy items on the outside, so they have a better chance to dry, shirts are hung by the tails, etc, etc. In response to my grumblings, my mother would tell me that when I have my own house and my own clothesline I can hang it whichever way I like, but until then….

Inevitably, by the time my frontal lobe developed giving me the brain cells I was missing as a teenager, Mum’s way of doing things made remarkable sense, and that’s how I continued to hang clothes.
But everyone has their own way, and now when I look out at all the assorted ways that assorted people hang my washing, I just need to let it go. “It doesn’t matter that the trouser hung by their pant legs instead of their waistline, I tell myself.” I chide myself for my silliness, because after all, I’m very grateful for the help.

Just as well I’m not a complete washing Nazi and insist on colour coding pegs or anything.

Or there’s the delicate subject of the delicates. It’s a tad awkward to know your friends are hanging your undies. Especially when they hang what I classify as my ‘overnight undies’. That’s the underwear which has been a faithful companion for many years, however they have reached the twilight of their elasticised lifespan. I’m not so harsh as to immediately throw away these loyal, constant companions. I continue to don them as my evening wear. There’s nothing more comfy then slipping on your jammies, and your big overstretched undies and settling down for the night.

But, oh dear, what do people think when they hang them on the line? I’ve considered throwing them out, but if there is ever a time where I appreciate mis-shapen panties. It would be now, when almost everything I seem to wear feels considerable tight.

And so, they bask in the sunlight still.

Which can be unfortunate, because not everyone is as clever at hanging as my Mum. I have gone outside and found these unfortunate items of apparel on the outside line, on full display for the neighbourhood to see.

We all know that you lose a certain amount of dignity and decorum when you are pregnant. I just wasn’t prepared for this one!

So, do you have a laundry washing/hanging/folding system/obsession?

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  1. LOL! Great story! Cnat be easy the whole privacy thing!? I am obsessed with the washing from the moment it comes off to being put away. Wash colours, whites, towels etc seperate, different cycles for different loads, some get hung outside, others inside some for a touch in the dryer, and ironing well thats huge! Then the folding has to be the ‘right’ way and it all has it place!! When i had help in the later stages of being pregnant with Toby, mum and sister would fold and put away my washing, i was very greatful, BUT after they left i would unpack it and re-fold it because it wasnt done just ‘right’……no matter how hard i tried to ignore it, i just couldn’t!! Might be a bit of OCD i think!

  2. Rochelle – nice to know I have a fellow OCD washing chum.

    Mum – the thought passed through my mind to ring you, but I knew you were in the middle of helping the other daughter and minding 7 grandchildren, so thought I could get away with it…

  3. Why would you confess on your blog when you know your mum reads it??

    I’m only slightly OCD with the washing, mainly because most of it gets dried over the heating vents inside all through winter anyway, so most of it goes straight on hangers so I can pop it in the wardrobe when it’s dry. (Yeah – no ironing.) But I must ask… why do you change your undies to go to bed (instead of just keeping on the ones you wore during the day)? Aren’t you just doubling your washing there? Wait – does everyone do this?? Have I been breaking the rules and not even knowing it???

  4. Strange, the things that make you feel naughty when you are older… Had never considered that hanging washing might be illegal when you are preggers. But then you are having three in one go! Mmm, call mum next time will you gal-pal? You don’t want to complicate the matter even more!

    I hang my trousers by the legs, my mum doesn’t do it- but that way the waist, which is the thickest part material wise, gets drier quicker. Lots of love Sohette

  5. Now, I am Monday washing off the line helper and due to the no washing on the line I should DEFINITELY have been called in for duty!!

    I too am fussy with my washing. I like same types of clothes hung together, (though I do mix socks & undies), I also like small things on the inside line and larger on the outer – just makes sense. There are certain items that are hung inside-out and some that are kept inside to dry. Most tops are hung under the sleeves (to hide all peg marks) and pants are def. hung by the waist with the zipper up to avoid strange fade marks! I also like to use the same coloured pegs per row/section – but this is just for fun – not OCD!
    I do admit when I hung out your load I didn’t stick to my rules because it was too hard to know what was coming up and toddler was terrified of the dog!

  6. Sohette: Washing isn’t normally forbidden, it certainly is the multiple factor that has made it and many other mundane chores a no-go zone. Not always a bad thing.

    Mon. Washing Woman – You are a take off the line person, so haven’t seen your hanging style yet, but from your description, I don’t think I could object, you’re far more fastidious than I am! Next time maybe we should throw a bone to the dog to keep him out of the way of terrified toddler. Oh, and like I said, mind went blank when considering emergency washing contact…

    Emily Sue – I always have a shower before bed. I can’t sleep otherwise, I feel dirty. There have been times I’ve tried to get away with it, and I’ve ended up showing at 1 or 2 am. I also have a shower in the morning as well, because you feel fresh to start the day and ones hair looks lots better on the day it’s washed rather than the morning after. Personal preference, and not at all water wise, but I don’t really care… Oh and as for Mum reading this, I’d already told her, plus, I maybe took some writers liberty to pretend I was more scared of her than I really was. Plus I think she already knew it was a small load.

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