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Beverly Godfrey: Airing dirty laundry

I have some dirty laundry to air in the form of a confession: For at least a couple of decades, I have not separated lights from darks when I wash my clothes.

Beverly Godfrey
Beverly Godfrey

I have some dirty laundry to air in the form of a confession: For at least a couple of decades, I have not separated lights from darks when I wash my clothes.
And you know what else? Nothing bad has ever happened because of it.
To me, it seems the perfect example of making a chore harder than it needs to be. And it makes me wonder: Was this practice started in the days when fabric dyes were less permanent? Would colors bleed out and discolor white things? That must be the reason, but it doesn’t seem to happen anymore.
Living in a family of six people, I’m happy to find ways to make the chore easier. It gets to the point you encourage your kids to take “pajama days” on the weekends because it means less to wash later.
But I shouldn’t complain, really. My husband does his own laundry. My oldest kids do, too. That leaves my laundry plus two little kids, and my husband also does part of that. You’d think there wouldn’t be a lot more. However, five beds’ worth of sheets means there is a lot more, and in this age of entitlement, I’d say I deserve a larger washing machine.
But that would cost about $1,000, and when faced with price tags that high, my thoughts wander to how far the money would go toward paying for a trip to Disney World.
Do I hate my washing machine enough not to go to Disney World? Thanks for the perspective, voice in my head, because the answer is no. I don’t hate it that much.
I can still dream about a better laundry room, though, not the laundry “nook” I have now, squished into a space behind the hot water heater. I can dream about a room big enough for a folding table in the middle of it, with a chute that sends clothes down from the bathroom and a large washer, and a screen door that takes me outside to a clothesline eight lines deep.
Of course, this laundry fantasy takes place on a warm summer day, on a day I don’t mind doing laundry so much because, as strange as it might sound, I do enjoy hanging clothes outside to dry. They smell so good afterward, right? Even in the darkest days of winter, you can pull out sheets for your bed, and if they were washed in the fall and hung out to dry, you immediately smell that warm, fresh air.
But that’s missing from the task right now. Doing all this laundry in winter makes me wish I had two clothes dryers. Once in awhile, I will take everything to a laundromat so I can be done with it all in an afternoon. Yep, that’s the kind of “treat myself” moment I embrace. That’s where my “mad money” goes.
But if that voice of perspective chimes in again, at least I can be grateful I don’t have to haul the laundry down to some river and beat it on a rock.

Beverly Godfrey is a News Tribune columnist and copy editor. You can reach her at bgodfrey@duluthnews.com .

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