Doing the Laundry

Okay, I’m going to lay it all on the line here.  I don’t want a bunch of fan mail or anything.  This really isn’t a big deal. Maybe I’ll alienate some men out there, maybe I’ll have some women attempting to mail me love letters… or maybe not… whatever.  I just feel its time, after all these months, to put this out there.


Wait for it…

Okay, here goes…

I do my own laundry.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, that there aren’t any guys out there that do their own laundry. That’s a terrible misconception though that I am here to correct. C’mon, give us guys some credit! Sure, maybe us laundry washing guys are a rare species, but it’s true, there are guys out there that can do their own laundry.  Seriously! My mom taught me to do my own laundry sometime around middle school age. I don’t actually remember learning how to do laundry as a kid and I don’t remember any kind of bribery or ultimatum. I only remember starting to wash my own laundry around that age. I keep hoping that someday I’ll be able to retrieve that memory from deep down inside my overloaded brain, so that I can similarly convince my own kids to start washing their own laundry.

You want to know what else?  Sometimes I iron. I know, I know… hold the applause.

Have I told you how awesome my wife is?  She’s the best!  She’s loving and caring and is a wonderful Mom to our two beautiful children.  She does so much for our family, she volunteers her time. She is well-respected and loved by many.  Plus she loves and puts up with me and for that she deserves a lot of credit!

Sometimes she even does my laundry.

My wife is always giving me shit because I am, apparently, particular about my clothes. It’s not the washing necessarily, but the drying. I have lots of clothes that have never seen a dryer and hopefully never will.  Dryers ruin clothes. Dryers shrink clothes and shorten their life. Because I fancy myself to be so awesomely suavé (aww-SUMM-lee SWA-vay) I buy clothes that are nice and fitted and one small trip through the dryer’s heat cycle and suddenly they don’t fit anymore.

So here’s my two rules of doing laundry.

1. There are two kinds of laundry.  All clothes that are not red… and clothes that are red. You don’t need to separate darks and lights. That’s just a waste of time.  Just don’t throw any red clothes in with your other clothes or you’ll have lots of pink clothes.  On second thought, just don’t buy red clothes… who the fuck wears red clothes anyway… what are you Santa Claus?

2. Nice jeans, dress shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, golf shirts and most pants should never, ever be dried. Never, ever, ever, never! They should be washed and hung up to dry.  Once they are dry, if they are wrinkled, a few minutes in a hot dryer will get the wrinkles out. Since they are already dry they won’t shrink down 3 sizes. Really, what’s so particular about that?

My wife has occasionally washed something of mine and then dried it, something that wasn’t supposed to be dried, and then it shrunk and didn’t fit anymore.  Because I love her so much I can usually get over it, they’re just clothes, right? But the other day she shrunk my favorite pants.

I don’t think I can forgive her this time.


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31 responses to “Doing the Laundry

  1. Well, my hubby does laundry, he will even hang my undriables up so they don’t shrink or ruin the fabric. All three of my kids started doing their own laundry when I went to work full time. Of course, the boys had one way of doing laundry. EVERYTHING went into one load. After the drier, than the clean clothes were kept in the laundry hamper, being used as the storage container.

  2. My dad was old school and my mum did everything around the house. In the 1980’s and 1990’s we heard about the ‘new man’; men who did house work and this was heralded as a break through. When I was single, like every man, I washed my own clothes, ironed them and did all the house work, cooking and cleaning, simply because I lived alone. When I got married I shared the house work and when my wife had to commute I took it all on, that was with a 60 hour a week teaching job for me. Now I’m unemployed and I do all the house work, but I’m not a ‘new man’. I coined a phrase for men like me. I’m ‘Millenium Man’. 21st century men all over the world have recognised that work is work, house or not; women don’t go for selfish slobs anymore, so ‘millenium man’ does housework, but works out too. ‘Millenium Man’ watches action movies whilst ironing and is proud to push the pram. A new breed of warm, fuzzy, helpful, self deprecating men who are capable of beating another man to pulp with little effort has emerged. ‘Millenium Man’ is in touch with his feelings and still capable of being uber male. Some say gender equality has caused men to feel insecure about their role, ‘Millenium Man’ doesn’t subscribe to this. Insecurity is for wimps. Not being there and crying when your child is born is for is for cave men. So what’s wrong with doing your laundry and ironing, they teach young men to do that in the millitary, it’s a matter of survival. Survival of the neatest.

  3. Like you I also do not dry my shirts….jeans is another thing, that and undershirts…those are ok to dry.

  4. bigsheepcommunications

    I’m applauding you – if you’re going to be picky about your laundry, then you’ve got to do it yourself. Fabulous photo, by the way, you’re obviously the fashionista of Brown Road.

  5. You are correct about always hanging clothes to dry. As a person of little wealth, I’ve worn clothes that were my Gram’s (me wearing them through the 80s and 90s and up until a few years ago, when lets face it, they started getting a bit worn…they were WELL MADE compared to “today” as well) for many years, as well as my own. I’ve only ever shrank a couple of things: one being a lovely silk sundress. I’ve found that even silk (not fake silk but real) can be handwashed. That came out like a doll’s dress. It was too funny to even get angry about only having worn it a couple times!

    Every man I know other than Papa does his own laundry–not anybody else’s in the family (except Brother who does all housework).

    I can’t imagine some imbecile expecting me to do his housework and laundry for him. A team is a team. Some people like certain chores where others abhor them…but you don’t “expect” a woman to do jack. I don’t expect a man to take out the garbage or brushhog the south 40, do I?

    • You are right, today’s clothes are crap and don’t last very long. My wife typically takes out the garbage because I forget all the time. Now brushhogging the south 40, on the other hand… that sounds like fun, but I guess I don’t really now what that means. I am responsible for most of the outside work including keeping the grass and fields mowed.

  6. Did you ever think that your wife destroyed those bozo pants, accidentally and maliciously on purpose? Oops! Every time my husband buys one of those Big Johnson tees, the cap on the bleach bottle gets real loose.

  7. I do my own laundry. My system is the same as yours: anything red is separated … if there was anything red.
    I don’t have a dryer, so everything is on the clothesline, never shrinks, and only smells like burning barrel detritis when the neighbour goes pyro on me.

  8. Margie

    Do you do the whole families laundry? That would be truly awesome!
    I put just about everything into the dryer. Yes, it shrinks, but shrinkage in the length of anything is great for a women who is just over 5 feet tall…

    • Margie, actually I will often wash everybody’s laundry but I’ll have to say my wife gets infinitely more credit for that than me. Our problem, as stated above, is that no one likes to fold, so we end up living out of the laundry baskets.

  9. My husband helps with the laundry and is a better ironer than I will ever be. If I were your wife, I have to admit I would have a real problem with not using the dryer. But, since I’m not her, that is irrelevant! There are only a very few items that I line dry.


    • Ironing seems to be a skill that lots of guys are good at. Perhaps that’s from having to wear pressed dress shirts??

      • Not in our case. We bowed to the inevitable and take the dress shirts to the dry cleaners to be washed and pressed with medium starch. It saves us a lot of time, and the shirts look better than when I tried to do them anyhow. We have other things, especially pants, that need to be ironed.


  10. My husband and you would get along well. Mr O is VERY particular about his clothes. I do the washing part, but he does the rest (well, actually, everyone in our house does their own thing after I’ve washed it all).

    I don’t iron unless threatened with a job interview or something equally serious, so hubby has to iron.

    We do not own a dryer. Terrible to the environment. Although I am seriously thinking with 6 we will have to get one before next winter – just too much damn linen to dry. I like the sun and wind to dry my washing, but I can understand in Michigan that might be a problem in the winter!

  11. sportsattitudes

    I do my wife and I’s laundry every week. Have been for most of our 28 years together. We rarely iron because the clothes don’t call for it in most cases – that’s a time-saver. Was doing my own in college and when we got married for whatever reason I adopted the duties. She puts her stuff away…I do mine. The system works.

  12. Gosh, am I ever glad that I don’t wear “complicated” clothes! Who knew reading about laundry can be so much fun? 🙂

  13. I do my only laundry too – have been since about the same age, 13 or so. And, I too have separate laundry piles for exactly the same reason – shrinkage! My freshman year in college I made the mistake of drying my lacrosse shorts, and looked like John Stockton for the rest of the year on the field. . . lesson learned and mistake never repeated.

  14. I’m impressed! Not so much by the fact that you can do laundry well, but that you still choose to. My husband (thanks to a short stint in the army) can do laundry and iron clothes amazing well. But when he can, he lets other do it for him.

    I agree with your two rules of laundry – why make things more complicated than they need be?

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