Remember that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond with the suitcase on the stairs, and Ray and Debra are having an unspoken battle of wills about who’s responsible for putting the suitcase away?
I conducted a little experiment.
Since my husband, Charlie, and I got married two and half years ago, I’ve always done his laundry. He never asked me to, I just kind of started doing it because I noticed he’d dig shirts out of the hamper and re-wear them and that grossed me out. I mean, whatever, not a big deal. I could do his laundry easy enough.
Sometimes I even put his clean clothes away, but usually I just fold them up and lay them on the dresser or the bed for him to put away. Then I say, “Will you put your laundry away either tonight or before you go to work tomorrow?” And he says, “Mmhmm.” Then it’s done.
Lately it’s been different.
The last time I did Charlie’s laundry was February. He hasn’t done it either.
And have you seen that episode of Friends where Rebecca Romijn guest stars as Ross's dirty girlfriend with the rats and trash all over her apartment? Imagine that, kind of. But dogs instead of rats.)
See, there came a point in February- although it may have been the beginning of March- where I asked him a couple times to put his laundry away and he never did it. And I’m wasn't about to have an argument about laundry. Nor was I about to surrender to putting it away myself because guess what? Then he wins. So! After mentioning it a couple times, I let it go. I’d do an experiment, I thought.
I decided I’d ignore his laundry altogether.
More me time! Probably why I got so hooked on Real World this season. (Stupid Dustin not telling his girlfriend in the house that he was an ex gay adult film star, I MEAN REALLY.)
Anyway, I wouldn’t so much as touch Charlie's laundry, I told myself. I’d just sit back and watch what happened. I mean, he lived on his own for a long time before we got married and I know he managed to get his laundry done during those bachelor days. I’m not just assuming here, I actually heard the dryer running at his place.
NO CLUE what would happen with this. But I felt excited and liberated about it.
Well. The corner of our bedroom quickly turned into a dumping ground for all his clothes. Like a 5 ft x 2 ft space. I think at one point there were two distinct piles: clean and dirty, but eventually the two just ran together. What’d he wear, you’re thinking? In the beginning he went through all his favorite clothing articles several times. Then he started wearing things he didn’t really like. Older stuff. Some ugly stuff.
Then he started wearing really random stuff, like maybe from college. Abercrombie and Hollister type stuff.
Then really dressy stuff.
The pile in our bedroom got larger and larger. I didn’t say a word, ever. Neither did he.
I did do one thing though. I monitored his underwear drawer, because if he’d run out of clean underwear I would’ve totally intervened. But evidently that man has more underwear than I thought, although there were a couple times his underwear snuck in to my loads and got a sympathy wash. But for the most part, yeah. He was on his own.
This went on for two months, people.
I felt really bad at times. I honestly don’t mind doing his laundry at all, and really, he spends at least as much time working on my website. It’s just, once I started my experiment I had to finish it. I had to know how it would end. Would he ask me what was going on? Would he beg me to do his laundry? Would he start shopping for new clothes? It was fun! And like I said, liberating.
Soooo last weekend I went to the beach with girlfriends and when I got home Sunday evening, THE LAUNDRY HAD BEEN DONE. He’d done mine too. Of course I thanked him, and even though I made a production, A PRODUCTION, of putting mine away as soon as possible, his is still folded up on dresser. And the chair.
I went to a wedding once where the minister described a rose as a metaphor for marriage and talked about marriages having thorns just like beautiful roses and so on and so forth blah blah blah. THIS IS A THORN.
I’ll start doing his laundry again this week.
(He's sitting beside me right now, clueless, fascinated by some online forum where people don't even know who Osama Bin Laden is. Which I'll admit, weird. But yeah, he's going to read this post and be all, scuse me?)
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