night. David and
I are sitting in the middle of the bed, with the laundry basket parked
between us, tandem-folding two fresh-from-the-dryer loads. For inspiration, we are each wearing a
clean pair of women's Danskin underpants on our head.
we sort and fold, he
tells me about a conversation he had with a woman in his office this
morning. The subject of the conversation was rude people. David was
telling her the tragic tale of the neighbor who snuck into our laundry
room, this past weekend, and snagged the only working dryer right out
from under him ... even though David had clearly gotten there first.
(Then this person went off and left four big messy wet loads of laundry
unattended for hours, effectively bottlenecking the process for
everyone else in the apartment complex for the rest of the afternoon.)
the kind of
stuff that just drives me nuts," David told his co-worker.
looked at him in
surprise. "Don't you have a new wife?" she asked.
that yes, he got married last summer, she
said -- and I swear to god I am not making this up -- "Then why
doing your laundry?"
OLD is this
woman??" I shrieked, when David told me about her comment. This sort of
backward-thinking might be more easily understood (if not forgiven) if
she were of a certain age or era or cultural persuasion. A sweet
little old grandmotherly type, for instance. Or an Osmond.
But David says
no, she's closer to our age, late thirties/early forties, and that
she's a married, working mom with kids who otherwise appears to be
running a decade or three behind the rest of the modern world.
emphatic response to her was, "Just
because I got married doesn't mean that my laundry becomes someone
else's job." He told her that he
has always done his own laundry, ever since he was a kid. His mother
was a working mom -- a nurse at a local hospital -- and she taught her
three young sons how to do laundry very early in life. Plus, he
bachelor until he was nearly thirty years old. Even a swingin' young
punk rocker needs clean socks and underwear.
you tell her that
you do my
laundry, too?" I said. I've never met this co-worker, but I already
she's probably not ever going to become my new best friend. How would
she react if she knew that not only does David routinely take care of
his own laundry, he often does his wife's
laundry, as well? (Although -- if it makes you feel any better --
not very good at it. I have an entire wardrobe of Barbie-size sweaters,
thanks to Mr. *Hot Regular Wash/Hot Perma-Press Dry.*)
said no, that was
pretty much the sum total of their conversation. His co-worker seemed
shocked enough to hear that The Man of The House was on more or less
permanent laundry detail. He didn't want to add to her distress.
in the evening, after the laundry was folded and put away, I took a
break from my
critically important People Magazine article ("Rosie's
Brave Step: She's Gay, She's Happy, and She's Very Much In Love")
and wandered out to the kitchen. David had washed the dishes and put
them away, scrubbed the countertops and the sink, wiped down the Ugly
Pink Stove, swept the kitchen floor and hauled two bags of garbage out
to the dumpster. Now he was getting a jumpstart on cooking tomorrow
smells great," I said, lifting the lid of the saucepan and taking a
long, appreciative inhale.
he said, "it's
not as good as it could
be. I couldn't find the Italian seasoning anywhere."
reached into the
kitchen cupboard above the drainboard. "You should have asked me
to look for it," I said, plucking the jar of Spice Islands Gourmet
Blend from its hiding spot behind the Lapsang Souchong and the bag of
dried plums. "Now I feel bad."
kissed the top of my
forehead. "It's not your 'job' to keep track of the spices," he said.
And he lifted the lid of the saucepan and stirred a healthy sprinkling
of basil and oregano into his spaghetti sauce.
the way," he said,
as he stirred. "I'm going to iron a couple of shirts in a minute. If
you've got anything you need to have pressed, bring it out here to me,
we'd better not
tell The Co-Worker about this one, either. The shock might kill her.
throw a rock