Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Laundry Memories

My Dear Reader,

As being in a family of eight is only common among Mormons and select other groups these days, my guess is that your mothers never had quite the battle with dirty clothes that my Madre did. Cleanliness is supposed to be next to godliness, and as it has been suggested that my family has an unusually keen sense of smell, clean clothes were as important to our sanity as they were to our normal sense of basic hygiene.

This meant that the washing machine was constantly going, and it seemed that Madre was constantly folding clothes. I'm pretty sure that it was a daily ritual, since Madre decided that folding laundry earned her the right to simultaneously watch television and Oprah was on at four. She would then do extra sessions later in the day during the Kings game. Considering that these programs, Star Trek (Padre's show), and PBS were the only television allowed in the house for years, I guess that you can see the kind of odd childhood that led me to be the person that I am today (considering that Star Trek was the closest I ever got to prime-time drama before age fourteen), but I digress.

Now, it seems that folding laundry and watching sports are as inseperable as Mary-Kate and Ashley, and Madre taught me very early in life that the proper way to watch sports included yelling "Go, baby go!" at the screen at least once every five minutes. This would be followed by one loud clap, or two if the play actually ended in a basket. And yes, you can shake your fist at the Lakers and bundle socks at the same time; it just takes practice.

All things considered, Madre was pretty good at keeping the laundry at bay, but in between Oprah and Mike Bibby the clean clothes seemed to multiply into a large clump that encompassed the entire couch. While embarrasing when we were entertaining company, it was perfect for a young girl who wanted to avoid doing the dishes. I spent hours hiding in the pile, and as I recall, Madre never once found me until I got bored and forgot why I was in there in the first place. As I got older and larger, I found that I didn't need to cover my entire body with clean clothes in order for the trick to work; I could leave a careful amount of already-clothed body parts exposed. As long as you've got your head, arms, and the majority of your lower half covered, you're set. And you'd be surprised the things that you can learn while on the lam in the clothes pile. HermanaMayor, for example, never gave a second thought about censoring her phone conversations when Cecily was probably outside playing and her only company was a large lump of clothing. As time went by and I really got too big for the clothes pile, I found a new hiding place when I learned how to climb on top of the roof, but there are certain perques you can only get in the comfort of your newly-washed pajamas, jeans, and t-shirts.

So I hope you'll understand my dissapointment when I grew up and found out that laundry just isn't that fun anymore. I mean, even if I had enough clothes to create a pile large enough for me to play in, the roommates probably wouldn't be all too pleased, and my time working in the clothes department at the bookstore sucked all the fun that I could ever have in the actual folding process. If you ask me, people are way too uptight these days, running straight for the seven deadly sins for thrills while completely ignoring the good clean fun that is sitting right there in the living room.

Regards, best wishes, and chore evasion,

-Cecily Jane

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