Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Laundry (Or, Another Example Of My Husband’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

You would think that doing laundry would be a simple thing, but instead it is fraught with peril.  The process from start to finish is just a little more than I can stand. 

Consider the sorting of the laundry.  There are four laundry collections in the house:  the basket in the laundry room, a basket in my husband’s closet, my daughter’s bedroom floor, and my daughter’s bathroom floor.  We haven’t quite gotten her trained to the basket thing just yet.  Of course, that is probably our fault, as we just get disgusted and pick everything up for her.  When my husband and I do laundry together, I get the laundry room basket and my daughter’s stuff, and he gets his stuff out of his closet hamper.  Then we make a black and purple and red pile (my hubby’s invention), a white pile, a khaki and tan pile, a pink Walt Disney pile (my daughter) a blue jean pile and a scrub pile.  When this is done, my husband rearranges all the piles to his liking.  Don’t ask me what was wrong with the original piles.  Don’t ask him either.

Then there is the old detergent and fabric softener issue.  We have both in liquid, and they have to be measured out into respective caps.  How much to pour?  My husband is the only existing authority on this subject.  He is also the only existing expert on how to rinse out the caps so they don’t drip onto the washer after they have been replaced onto their respective bottles.  According to the husband, each cap must be rinsed in the water a minimum of three times and scrubbed out so that it cannot be dripped onto the surface of the washer.  There will be a Discussion if there is drippage.  I once nearly strangled my husband for accusing me of not rinsing the little cups, when I had, in fact, rinsed them the precise three times he requires and scrubbed them out so they wouldn’t drip.  They dripped anyway.  I was accused of being a Non Rinser and I could feel my hands clenching, unbidden, in a serious desire to wrap around his throat.

Now, what about the washer settings?  What gets washed in Hot?  Scrubs and whites.  What gets washed in Cold?  Black/red/purple.  Everything else is my husband’s choice.  He will meander into the laundry room after I have started the washer and reset all the buttons.  I am apparently not competent enough to correctly select the washer settings.  Excuse me.  Dryer settings?  Same treatment.  I want to put the dryer on Normal Dry, but it stays on Delicate because my husband maintains that on Normal, the dryer gets too hot.  I do not get a say in this.  Also, timing is everything.  I like to set the timing at about forty-five or fifty minutes.  Hubby likes to set it on anything else, and he walks around opening the dryer door throughout the cycle because he is SURE that the clothes are already dry.

Then there is the dreaded Dry Clothes Issue.  The clothing must be removed IMMEDIATELY (or sooner) upon the buzzing of the dryer.  This is mandatory per my husband, because if everything is not immediately removed it will all wrinkle, and the cuffs of his pants and the collars of his shirts will be set wrong.  Turning the dryer back on and tumbling it some more does NOT cut it.  So we are running up the stairs during meals, movies and bathroom breaks, enslaved to the buzzing dryer.  Then folding is a family affair.  Everyone is urgently summoned.  A does socks, underwear and towels.  I do my clothes and her clothes.  DH bustles around importantly hanging his hangables before they (gasp) wrinkle.  Sheets are a two-man affair and DH does the final folding.  The towels must be folded a certain way or they will not fit correctly into the linen closet (per hubby).  I think they fit just fine, but what do I know?  I only have a medical degree.  I understand nothing of laundry.  Then the lint must be removed from the dryer before it cools.  Loads must be immediately rotated.

Things get a little dicey at A’s nap or bedtime.  The dryer buzzer and wrinkle guard must be turned off so they do not buzz or thump and wake her.  The cell phone must then be watched like a hawk so that not an evil moment passes with nonmoving clothes in the washer or dryer.  Evening television is interrupted so that laundry can be folded.

Early in my marriage, I nearly strangled my husband a number of times during the laundering process.  Once I caught him trying to sneak a towel covering with Bird Goo from a bird strike he had had in his plane.  I told him self-righteously that I would not be fishing beaks and feet out of my lint trap, thank you very much.  For some reason, he can’t stand a wrinkled shirt, but having buzzard bits mixed in with his clothes bothered him not at all.  He also used our brand new wedding towels to sop up an overflowed toilet, but that is another story for another time.  The moral of the story:  if you are going to live with an anal retentive obsessive compulsive, you must not take it personally when your sorting/laundering/folding beliefs are challenged.  The OCD person is broken and cannot help himself.  He would do it to anyone.  So unwrap those hands and get those strangling thoughts out of your head.  In another hundred years, will it really matter?

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4 thoughts on “Laundry (Or, Another Example Of My Husband’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

  1. Duncan Barshaw on said:

    Aside from being mega-rich and famous, what do David Beckham and Leonardo di Caprio have in common? Both suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by an obsessive or distressing thought. It may also involve compulsions or “rituals.” It is such a serious concern that event the World Health Organization has labeled OCD as among the top 10 most disabling illnesses faced by society today. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 3.3 million people are suffering from OCD.’

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  2. Thanks for sharing. My daughter’s OCD definitely involves laundry. She’s made strides since she can wash without using hot water for everything. But her method still means several steps and as much laundry as the rest of the three others who live in the same house.

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