That sonab*tch hangs around me and is my burden to bear alone (most weeks). Bumper tries to help but truth be told, she can't sort whites from colours worth sh*t, and don't get me started on hot and cold loads. And SB comes on handy on the weekends but everyone and their uncle is in need of clean attire for date night, so that rarely pans out.
The best time to do laundry in this building is in the daytime - when it's me and the blue-hair brigade. Don't get me started on how much of a joy it was for me when the building switched from coin-operated to pass card machines. As far as I now understand: Technology is trying to kill the old and make them wear dirty clothing to meet their death. But I digress.
A small bonus of being the resident washer woman is the visits to the side room off the laundry. It has a few chairs, a table, and bookshelves full of left-behind treasures. People dump boxes of nicknacks worthy of yard sales and all sorts of good finds but mostly it consists of books and magazines.
Have I ever mentioned I'm a magazine-whore? I'll spare you the details, so let's put it this way: When a new stack of mags arrive in the laundry room I'm all over them like dirt on my kid. Free and recycled. I will recycle them too. What more do you need?
Last week, some new fodder arrived that I actually had never read before: Family Circle.
Sure, I've seen it in the doctor's waiting room but with a name like that, I dismissed it as matronly. So FC would hardly be my first choice, but this particular issue promised "No-Cook Dinners - Easy! 15-Minute Meals".
With dreams of food that required no cooking and still resulted in sustenance for her family, motherbumper yelled "Sold!" (Editor's Note: exclamation point required to match zeal behind original headline. Motherbumper is not that enthusiastic, even when something is free).
So I threw it on the clean clothes and trucked it upstairs to read at my leisure.
The recipes were nothing to write home about (I'll just keep serving them cereal) but I found the advice columns refreshingly scary. Nothing beats you over the head to other POVs than reading outside your norm.
Here's a slice:
(click to enlarge)
Synopsis: Sixteen year old son crashes at friend's house twice a week after band practice. It bugs mom because he is "living" at the other kids house and she wants to know what she should do to lessen the hours spent away.
So what advice is doled out? Alarm bells and the poor boy needs structure. I'll buy structure but alarm bells? The part that made me squirm: "... I think there are two likely explanations for his behavior. Either he's escaping your home because someone is making him feel unsafe, or he wants to drink or get high without having to deal with you."
Good Lord. How about asking him why he likes to hang out there so much? Maybe tell him what constitutes too much time and he will be okay with that. Maybe you can have a conversation about it and everything will be okay.
Maybe he just hates his mom's cooking and his friend has a hot sister.
Next came this perfectly normal request for
(click to enlarge - that's what she said)
Synopsis: Husband is sloppy and he thinks she should pick up after him. What can she do to get him "to do a better job" to cut down on cleaning?
Advice: if you treat him like your toddler you might get some positive results. That "Good Job!" praise annoys my toddler so I can only imagine what it would do to a full grown adult. Actually, I've seen this done to friend's spouses and it ain't pretty. It pisses the husband off - unless he is whipped and then this question would be moot because the house would be clean.
Also suggested? Maybe YOU have set the bar too high. Hmmmmm... well okay, I understand the "it's me, not you" theory. I would have preferred to read a suggestion along the lines of healthy adult discussion that results in compromise but whatever.
I seriously let that one slide until I read the last statement: "Or you'll learn to live with it, which wouldn't be such a bad outcome for you or your marriage."
Translation: If he doesn't shape up, lay down and modify all opinions, beliefs, and standards to that of husband. It will save your marriage. Next level: move to Stepford.
Oh my, motherbumper's head hurts. I really must go back to censoring my reading materials. This step on the super-duper, so far right that it's right behind your husband, conservative side scared the crap outta me*.
* don't think the (morrisette-like) irony escapes me: I'm a mom who does all the laundry but trust me, if we had 24 hour laundry, he'd be doing his own. I'm very grudgingly the laundry b*tch around here.
Also, I have a had an episodic brain meld of the Spelling variety and since I firmly trust these ladies to be correct: I was wrong about the "curse of the mermaid 90210 dress" - it was Kelly's slutty vampy temptress costume that led to near molestation while Donna's mermaid costume was just a wardrobe malfunction. Thank you mac and cheese and Ali. I know that if I was ever stranded on a deserted island with those two ladies and there was satellite tv, there would be no fighting over what to watch.