...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Standoff

My hubby and I get along most of the time. We do not see eye to eye on the laundry, however. He believes the following things about laundry:

  1. There is only one load, everything. Sorting is irrelevant.
  2. Everything should be washed with hot water and lots of bleach. The more bleach the better.
  3. Folding and putting away clothes is a waste of time.

And, he doesn't want to change. He doesn't care if he has a pink shirt or bleach stains on his pants. I, on the other hand, don't particularly like these "side effects" on my own clothes.

Luckily, I don't mind doing laundry. And because I am mildly OCD about organization, I like to have separate baskets of white and colored laundry. I don't mind carrying it downstairs, washing it, drying it (or hanging it out to dry when I have time), taking it back upstairs, folding it and putting it away. In fact, normally it doesn't faze me at all to do this. As long as I carry something every time I go up or down, the laundry pretty much stays caught up.

That is until I put my husband's clothes away. Our room has a very small closet. Seriously small. So we have a couple of wardrobes for our clothes. I put the clothes away, folded, and stacked. And my husband roots through his and makes a huge mess. Some fall on the floor. Now, being that he is freaky over germs, he feels that these clothes must be washed again or left on the floor until they are dirty enough to wash again. Which means, immediately.

This has made putting his clothes away, quite frustrating for me. I asked him to at least try not to unfold and make such a mess. I begged. I may have yelled. Okay, I yelled. And, nothing happened.
So, last summer, I stopped. We had reached a standoff.

I started stacking all his folded clothes in our Pack-N-Play. To my chagrin, he actually liked this. He could root around and nothing would hit the floor. I even stopped folding them. (Really, what is the point when he just messes them up?) My folding time was cut in half, at least.

For awhile, we were both happy. Until, he started to drop clothes all over the floor when he was looking for something. I then moved the Pack-N-Play into the hallway so I didn't have to look at it. This, too, seemed better. Out of sight, out of mind. It wasn't a mess I could see, so I felt much less annoyed by it.

But, by last month, it was all I could take. Clothes were everywhere. I was constantly being asked were this pair of pants were or that shirt was. I was finding clean clothes in the laundry all the time. Clean as in they had just been washed. Dirty because they hit the carpet during his daily search for clothes. There were no matched socks.

I stopped letting people go upstairs. I was embarrassed of the mess. Not my husband, he didn't care! In fact, I debated about taking a picture of the Pack-N-Play filled with clothes. But, frankly, it put me over the edge. I started thinking that I was going to need powerful drugs just to be able to write about this situation.
So I gave in and I ended up sorting, hanging, and folding all the clothes and putting them away properly.

I thought I would teach him a lesson. Make him see the error of his ways. And do you know the only comment I heard after everything was neat and clean was, "Hey, what did you do with the Pack-N-Play? I liked that thing!"

I thought about taking my own life at that point. Seriously.
Anything ever backfire on you?


jeannine said...

I say, let him do his own laundry! I've had the same problems with my daughter, actually. if they're on the floor, she doesn't remember if they're clean or dirty, so she just assumes they're dirty. And her drawers are NOT organized, she just stuffs piles of clothes into any drawer, then she can't find anything... yeah, I totally feel your pain here.

Sherrie said...

I am stressed out just hearing your story! We don't have quite that different ways of doing the laundry, but my husband finds it impossible to put the dirty laundry in the bin. It baffles me that it makes to the floor next to the bin, not 5" more to the bin itself. I have tried the standoff also, waiting to see if he gets fed up with the ever-growing pile. The truth is that it is only punishing me. Especially since I am the one home all day looking at it. I have surrendered to the fact that I am the only one who will put the laundry in the bin. At least I am not getting angry every time I walk by the closet any more.

Bryssy said...

I feel you, Sherrie. I have given it up (all of it, and any anger or resentment). I am much happier. Although, I think my hubby misses the pack 'n play. :-)

Karly said...

Ahhh, laundry...your speakin' my language!! Prior to having children, when we both worked full-time, we both did our own laundry. We had separate closets, so I didn't pay any attention to his clothes situation. Now that we have three children, somehow I am now doing the laundry for everyone. (Mount Everest!) For a long time I left my husband's clothes in a basket at the end of our bed for him to put away, but it just left it there and took clothes from the basket. Finally, it ocurred to me to put his clothes away for him.

Although, some weeks I feel like all five of us are fishing stuff out of the clothes baskets before I get the clothes put away. The laundry is never ending!