Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

What is Constant

Am I a constant person? Constant, as in- day in, day out, same cheery person? No. I wish I was. But something that is absolutely constant, something I can always count on to be there for me… .


I can never catch up. I am amazed that some people ever get it down. It may be the hallmark of the truly parent. Unfortunately, if I had a job description, laundry would be on it. And if I got a quarterly job review, this laundry might make me get fired. Yes- it’s the laundry that would make me get fired, not Me, and my problem completing it. I blame the dirty clothes.

I can never catch up. And on the rare day where it is really ALL DONE, every member of the family, all in the drawers & closets, with empty hampers (and no piles of dishtowels “on their way to the kitchen”, but all stacked neatly in their drawer) well, the joy is brief. I see a stray shirt freshly shed from a soiled child. The agony!

The only time I can actually sanely fold clothes is after the boys are down. So that has me starting to fold after 8pm. I could do a whole day of washing and then have piles ready to fold at 8, but… I can’t trust myself that I will actually fold on any given night, so then– all those clean clothes just waiting to be attended to? It’s worse than dirty clothes, because the clean clothes start to get picked through every day as members of the family attempt to get dressed (we do always manage to put clothes on, one way or another) and then dirty clothes start to mix with the clean, and then it’s just all for naught. Or, worse yet, is starting a wash and promising myself to remember to get to it directly into the dryer the next morning. My low-water washer & arid (sometimes) climate allow for a quick overnight stay for wet clothes in the washer. Oh, but I forget. And then that load stays for a couple days in the washer. And then I find them damp and waiting for me while I’m in the laundry room looking for a hammer in the toolbox. They seem to have survived the extended stay in the washer. Or so I think at the time. So I dry them, put them away (eventually) and then continually discover these clothes with a whiff of mold that are unacceptable for wear.

I have made resolutions. At times I have kept them. The best one so far has been the one load a day ritual. But miss a day, and then with two loads in the queue, it just seems a tad too much, then, before I know it five loads are waiting.

Today, I washed & folded two loads for the boys (I must put them away tomorrow… or risk the week-long clothes hang out on the stairs by the boys’ rooms), folded a clean load from last week (the last load after maybe five, and this one was the remnants of stuff found around the house), and I washed & dried a load of our darks, but no folding yet on those. They are still in the dryer. As I did this today, I realized what might give me some sanity about this. Maybe I just need to accept that I will constantly be making adjustments. I will never be great at this. Sometimes I will think- Eureka! I’ve got it! I’ll think I have discovered the Holy Grail answer to the great Laundry Question. But then next week comes, and I am freshly stumped as to how to tackle the giant that is my household of dirty clothes.

Some things never change.

p.s. I was just going to title this “What is Constant”, show the picture, then write: My Laundry. Then I wrote all this. I guess that’s one thing I do fairly consistently. Expand on topics I’m writing about. Case in point here.

2 Replies to “What is Constant”

  • You ARE good at expaning on a topic arn’t you? 🙂 Ahhh Laudry, same prob over here, no answers for you, it’s constantly going, there is no done, maybe just forget trying to get it finished and just learn to live with the constantness of it, like it’s another family member or something

  • I will soon know your woe on this one! Just be grateful that you’ve got your own washer and dryer that you can leave your clothes in! : )

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