Well, look at that. It's January and the world didn't end. So much for the Mayan calendar end-o'-the-world predictions. Although, the truth is, people - well, at least the citizens of Pima County - don't know how very, very close they came to being buried alive ... by dirty clothes. Generated by my family.
Piles upon piles upon piles of T-shirts, jeans, smelly socks, Hello Kitty and Transformers undies. And that's just my husband and me. Throw in three kids - who have a penchant for spilling, being a poop magnet for birds and deciding after 30 seconds of wear that an outfit needs to be changed - and we're talkin' Mount Everest-sized piles.
On a regular basis, my household creates a fair amount of laundry. On the weekends the house buzzes with the sounds of Domestic Spotify, the lame parental edition, featuring the gurgle of the washer and thump of the spinning dryer along with the occasional expletive from my husband because what you don't ever hear is the buzzer, signaling that his nice work clothes are done and wrinkling more and more with each passing second.
Now imagine not being able to do laundry for days, nearly two weeks, thanks to an epic and previously unknown pipe issue. The "Seinfeld" version: Bonehead former homeowner did the laundry room plumbing (poorly), yada, yada, yada, four-figure bill, no washer, no dryer.
Everyone knew this was coming. The day before the Big Disconnect, I warned the household.
Me: "Hey, if you have anything that absolutely has to be washed, bring it to the laundry room now."
Correction: It wasn't totally quiet; there was the sound of crazed cackling - also signaling the end of civilization because the kids who will one day run our country think the Disney Channel's "Austin & Ally" is quality TV. But more importantly, the fact that "Austin & Ally" was on meant they were not paying the least bit of attention to me. So of course the next day - Day 1 of Laundrageddon - I got asked, "Did you wash my softball uniform?"
Um, I didn't even think you could get that synthetic material wet. Shouldn't it just be smacked against some rocks and laid out in the sun?
By Day 5, things were getting desperate.
"Mom, I'm starting to run out of pants."
Life was turning into "Survivor: Surburbia" with only our wits and those little Shout wipes giving us any chance of making it. At Day 10, panic started to set in.
"Moooooommmmm! I'm out of underwear!"
"Turn 'em inside out."
Will that one get me on a CPS watch list?
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that dirty laundry, like water that filters through layers of rock and soil, gets purified as it drifts through a hamper. Clothes get shoved further down, and they're miraculously clean once they reach the bottom through a process called ... clothesmosis. Could it be true?
Nope. Mental note: Must buy a water purifier.
Just when things were looking pretty grim, Day 12, the plumber finished and the washer and dryer were back in action.
I promise to never, ever complain about doing laundry again.
Contact Kristen Cook at email@example.com or 573-4194. Kristen Cook is the mother of three kids and believes that children simultaneously make you feel young and suck the life force out of you.