Saturday, June 24, 2006

Deficit of Attention.

I just want you to know why nothing gets accomplished in my house.

Tonight, I walked into our bedroom, and noticed that the lid to the laundry basket was perched jauntily askew on a pile of laundry which rose easily six inches over the top of the basket. Had the basket been French, and the lid been a beret, it would have been terribly chic.

“Well,” I thought astutely, “I might want to do laundry”.

I dragged the basket to the laundry room, holding the lid in place with my chin, neatly avoiding the dog that, sensing I was attempting to do something, became anxious and tried to knock me over so she could sit in my lap and talk about her feelings and the cat who is under the mistaken impression that if she causes me to break my neck, she gets the full inheritance.

I got to the laundry room, opened the washer lid and discovered wet laundry. I then dimly recalled starting a load of sheets and towels last night.

No problem, I thought stoutly. They weren’t left in the washing machine for several days, leading to a weird smell (I’m not saying that’s ever happened); they will go in the dryer or on the drying rack, and I’ll start another load of laundry.

I opened the dryer. I stared at the pile of laundry in there, waiting to go into the folding basket. I looked over at the drying rack, and noted that it was full. I then glanced at the folding basket; it too was full.

Someone please explain to me how three people of average wardrobe size generate the laundry of a college dorm.

But, sadly, I couldn’t focus on that, because I had to take the laundry from the dryer and put it in the folding basket. I had to put the laundry from the drying rack, and put in the folding basket. I now had enough clothing piled in the folding basket that I could conceivably hike it for training for Mount Whitney.

Having created space, I was able to put the air-dry things on the drying rack, and the machine-dry things in the dryer.

I then stared around, pleased but a little confused. I had cleaned out the dryer, I had hung things up to dry, this was all good, but didn’t I come in here for another purpose? Mercifully, the dirty laundry drew attention to itself by suddenly slumping sideways against me, knocking me off balance.

The washing machine dutifully chugging away, the smell of Shout strong in the air, I contemplated Mount Laundry. I had, easily, forty-five minutes of folding and sorting to do. The only painless way to do this would be to watch TV at the same time. Ah, yes. My rented DVD of “Deadwood” -- Timothy Olyphant might possibly be the only antidote to “Where the hell is the other khaki sock?”

I dragged the folding basket into the living room, setting it on the couch. As I did that, I came across a letter which must have slid out of my hands as I came in with the mail this afternoon. It was from the Humane Society, asking for money. I have given them all I can this year, but the letter reminded me that I wanted to get certified to be an animal rescue worker. After New Orleans, a couple of rescue groups started training for people to be able to go into disaster situations and help locate, triage and house domesticated animals in the same way the Red Cross does for people.

I looked at the letter. Had I actually signed up for training, or did I just think I had signed up? I left the living room, went into the office, got online, and froze. What was the name of that organization again? I scanned all emails which might have something to do with animals; when you’re me, that’s a half-hour right there. I finally found http://www.noahswish.org, only to discover they didn’t have any nearby training planned for right now. I made on the note on Outlook to check their website in the beginning of August, answered a few emails, and then sat there for a moment.

Wasn’t I doing something?

Oh, right. Laundry.

I went back into the living room, and tried to locate the “Deadwood” Netflix envelope. Hurrah, the envelope! Oh, it’s not “Deadwood”, it’s “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”. Paul Reubens is a fine actor but I needed lanky and tortured by moral uncertainty, not a red bow tie and a way with the phrase “I know you are, but what am I?”

I continued my search, which produced a hairbrush I returned to the bathroom, an overdue library book I took to the car, and a small bag of cat toys I deposited in the laundry room, next to the litter box. By now, nearly two hours had passed since I first walked into the bedroom.

While I was in the laundry room, I moved the by-now washed clothing into the dryer, and I took the finished clothing in the dryer out. Holding it in my arms, I looked around. Where was the folding basket?

Oh.

Methodically, I walked to the living room. I noted, but did nothing about, the pile of today’s paper on the kitchen table. I passed a blinking answering machine light without a pause. I walked to the couch, and dumped the dried but unfolded clothing on top of the last three weeks worth of same. I then dragged the entire thing back to the laundry room.

I got the clothing out of the wash. That’s really all anyone should expect of me.

10 Comments:

Blogger torontopearl said...

"Tonight, I walked into our bedroom, and noticed that the lid to the laundry basket was perched jauntily askew on a pile of laundry which rose easily six inches over the top of the basket. Had the basket been French, and the lid been a beret, it would have been terribly chic."

Wonderful imagery/parallel, Quinn.
C'est magnifique. Merci.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

I say job well done on the cleaning of the clothes, and...well...Rewards Time!

http://www.babylovesdisco.com/calendar/

look near the bottom for the los angeles event, which is Sunday, the 25th.

We're gonna try to make this, I could use a good 80s relive.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Storm said...

At least I take great comfort in knowing I'm not the only one. Last night I spent upwards of 2-3 hours doing laundry I should have done over the past weeks. Why, why, why do we do these things to ourselves?

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Christine said...

We need to form a club for all of us that need about 2 1/2 more hours in each day--either that or give up all that frivolous night time sleeping.

PS-Many thanks for the great ideas for our very brief upcoming LA trip! Sounds like some great ideas!! Christine

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

At least you hadn't reached the stage where the cat decides the folding pile is perfect for a nap -or, in the case of our elderly cat, just the thing to avoid a long trip to the litter box - thus necessitating washing it all over again. That, imho, is far worse than needing to re-wash the load that mildewed while forgotten in the washer - you were SO CLOSE to the finish line. (I can only hope that my mentioning this doesn't jinx you so that by now, the cat not only napped in the folding pile but urped furballs and chewed on a mouse there as well.)

6:54 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Christine, where in LA will you be?

11:35 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

We are living in a parallel universe. You just described every day here in Casa Too Many Kids.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Penny, a regular reader:

First, condolences on the loss of Aaron Spelling. I'm guessing he was a close friend of yours.

Second, your post reminded me of this classic, "If you give a mom a muffin" found here:

http://weeplayinfo.tripod.com/id9.html

It's worth the read and fits right in with the mom-life!

3:22 PM  
Blogger Exquisite Thunder said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Exquisite Thunder said...

And then, you hear those three little words we all dread. The ones that make your head explode like a psychotic firework:

"What's for dinner?"

4:09 PM  

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