Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Queen Domestic, or today I'm acquiring Man Hands

Sadly, last night our washing machine broke. My husband is pretty sure he can fix it, just like he's pretty sure he can figure out how to use the pottery wheel and rewire the satellite. But he's a busy guy, so I know it's going to be at least the weekend before that machine can get looked at. Now, we're a family that likes to pretend we could get along without modern conveniences, and, with a family of five, you can't exactly wait on the laundry. So here's how I spent my morning: I filled the bathtub with hot, soapy detergent and water, then put an approximate load of laundry into the bubbles. Then I agitated, like my faithless washing machine would do. I agitated and agitated, then I called the kids over. We had a lot of fun, that first time. Then I hand-scrubbed socks, and rinsed... and rinsed, and rinsed. Then I wrung the clothes out as best I could, and dripped them over to the faithful dryer, and threw them in. Then I went back to the tub and started another batch of clothes. I let those soak until the dryer got done, and went and did dishes. When I checked the dryer a long time later, the clothes were still soaking wet. Grrr. So I pulled out the heavy stuff, draped it around the house, cleaned the lint guard and threw the clothes back in. They dried in an appropriate amount of time, and then I was back at the tub, agitating, rinsing, then dripping the clothes back to the dryer. This time I wrung them out much better. I did three loads of laundry this way, people. I'm afraid of getting muscular, manlike hands already, my arms have reached muscle fatigue, and we have all redefined "dirty." Slept in your pajamas? They're not dirty. Get 'em outta the hamper. In fact, I was making cookies (since today now seems to be domesticity day) and I heard my daughter spill something. Her older sister said, "Get a towel," and I yelled,"A paper towel!" Yikes.


So the clothes thing is going okay, and they're all folded neatly into everyone's pile, to be taken care of. My husband is going to come downstairs, and I am going to show him my accomplishment. I'm nearly as proud as if I'd knit socks. I can hear him now, praising me, thinking how cool I am to have gotten the laundry done. And then I realize that, yes, I got it done, with no help from the washer. In fact, I had become the washer. And as long as I was the washer, and working fine, the other washer was going to go on the backburner of things to do. So now I'm on strike, and will get back to my knitting.


Thrummed mittens, nearly done:




Husband's sweater, moving nicely:




If the dryer breaks, I'm outta here.

9 comments:

AR said...

Oh, man! I'm afraid people around here would have to dig out clothes they hate, or wear something more than once. Hand washing the dishes is tough enough for me. I don't even want to imagine life without the washing machine!

We'd better meet for knitting tomorrow. Sounds like you're having a tough week!

Mouse said...

This is the first house we have lived in for a LONG time that has had a washing machine & dryer in the house. Nothing sucks worse than having an infant & a 45 minute drive one way to the laundrymat. I told my husband that I'm now spoiled and demand a washer & dryer in the house when we move..

Carrie K said...

I'd've trucked it all to a laundromat too. None near you? I can barely manage to handwash my handknits. (In fact, that's one of the reasons I have so few handknit pairs of socks. Oh, I've knit them.....

But go you! Did you feel all pioneer like? And boo to the faithless washing machine, btw.

LaurieM said...

I think they call that a career limiting move, as in you'll be limited to doing laundry the rest of your days!

Your knitting is pretty and blue. I really like the waves in your husband's sweater.

PICAdrienne said...

All the more reason to knit with wool. The lanolin is good for the water-logged hands. I hate being without a washing machine. Of course, I also lived for a few years with a dryer that would take three times longer to dry, than any normal dryer. The drying rack was a permanent fixture, out of the washing machine, onto the drying rack, then from the drying rack (damp) into the dryer. Towels and jeans need to softening effect of some time in the dryer.

TheAmpuT said...

I'd be on my to Target for sock and underwear. Or maybe out looking for an old-fashioned clothes wringer. Or I'd be making everyone wash their own. Good job, mamacita!

Liz said...

Wow, I am impressed! I'm not sure I would have had the stamina to hand wash all of those clothes--and if I did, they certainly would not have been 1/2 as clean as it sounds like yours are! We had an unexpected (squirrel) visitor in our laundry room last weekend, so I was unable to access the laundry room for two days. I am still catching up!

Jennifer said...

I applaud you on your resourcefulness, but you should definitely keep your skills on the down-low so that you get a working appliance. Some people will take advantage. Not that your family would of course, but my dad didn't buy a TV with a remote until after I left for college, because I'd get up and change the channels for him. 'Nuff said.

del said...

You are so much better than me. When our washer broke, I went to the laundromat! So glad the dryer is faithful, lol.