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Newfangled Laundry Woes!

June 12, 2014

Growing up, my brother and I once played a colossal game of Clue. By colossal, I mean our characters spent about five hours trying to figure out where poor Mr. Boddy had been done in. With 6 suspects, 6 weapons, and 9 rooms, there are 324 possible outcomes. (Have I ever mentioned I love math?)  I am certain we tried almost all of them. We were sure of the perpetrator and the weapon, but we spent hours trying to determine where in the cat hair this murder took place. Complete and utter aggravation! Eventually, frustration overtook us or perhaps it was our early bedtime. We looked into the mysterious envelope to discover the error in our logic.

It was Miss Scarlet with the knife in Colonel Mustard. He might have been a big man, but I think he would have taken umbrage with his comparison to being as big as a room. Honestly, I don’t blame him.

It was our original card choosing and not our logic at fault. Whew! We laughed for days. Looking back now, our parents should have been proud of raising persistent children.

I recently ran into another one of those moments of frustration. Since I love to cook from scratch, I create stacks of dishes. Since none of my workers, children, are particularly persuaded by mine or Madge’s promise of extremely soft hands, I am (alas!) the cheese. You know the cheese stands alone washing all the dishes and cookware which appear to multiply when we leave the room.  I envision Lumiere (of Beauty and the Beast) lighting up a rousing rendition of “Be Our Guest”, inviting all pots and pans to a luxurious hot tub soak.

Warning: Not a staged photo.  These are the real dishes that accumulated between lunch and supper today.

Warning: Not a staged photo. These are the real dishes that accumulated between lunch and supper today.

When I am doing the dishes sans help, I have a system that works for me, but not necessarily for my small kitchen – the bane of my existence as a foodie. My method involves allowing the dishes to drip dry until . . . the saints come home. Since my sink-style drainer can only accommodate the silverware, three or four cups, and the plates, once upon a time I  placed dish towels all over the counters with the remaining piles of sparkling dishes on top.

I am a nothing if not a woman committed to progress. My archaic system went by the wayside like the daily sweeping of my golden retriever rugs laminate floors did before God’s greatest invention since sweet tea, the Roomba. A chance encounter with an end cap special at the Mecca of the South and Voila! Instead of piles of dish towels, my counter had a lovely, little, rapid-dry dish mat.

Although not coordinating with my décor, the colors reminded me of the beach; so why not? Do what makes you happy! At least, my super soft hands can pretend they are in the Gulf of Mexico while my eyes are stimulated by the colors of my beloved Emerald Coast. If I poured sand around my feet, then I would have the complete package. That, however, might tax my precious Rosie (my beloved Roomba). “The Jetsons” fans would totally understand my attachment to her. Seriously, I adore her.

drying mat

All was fine until my drying mat (who has no name – yet) encountered a wayward marshmallow. Really, who leaves a marshmallow, a green one nonetheless, to bake in the sun on my dish mat buddy? Oh wait! I get it now! One of my children just wanted their new little mallow friend to enjoy the illusion of Pensacola Beach like their mother does when Calgon doesn’t take her away after meals.

Wonder Twins (aka washer and dryer) to the rescue! Only that’s not what happened. Instead of a quick cleaning, I had to get an advanced degree in laundry terminology.

A cursory glance at the tag on the mat had me just about as frustrated as that Clue game of my childhood. My first thought was, “What in the mayonnaise am I supposed to do with this?” If Rosie had been more like her namesake, she mostly likely could have interpreted. She was no help  – whatsoever! I was stuck trying to decipher what to me appeared to be the Rosetta stone of laundry.

laundry tag

One not prone to waving a white flag hastily, I managed to come up with the following instructions. Add one Alka Seltzer tablet to a glass of water, use not one but two drumsticks on a percussion triangle while listening to your favorite 45 play on your record player, and whatever you do – avoid bumper cars.

While I would love to sit around and bang drums all day, I failed to see how any of that was going to clean marshmallow (he seriously should have used sunscreen) off my drying mat. Acquiescing to husband’s sage advice of “this isn’t rocket surgery”, my quest for truth, justice and the laundry way led to a resource, with a saucy little name, which enlightened my laundry knowledge.

Frankly, I think my instructions had much more pizzazz, but at least the decoded ones actually work. I am attaching them here to save another mom or dad or better yet, teenager, the agony of a deer-in-headlights feeling of not knowing what to do. See what I mean by saucy: textile affairs – which leads me to wonder if they know about any trysts involving wayward socks.

Oh well!  Never take yourself too seriously, and next time, I think I will just have kids dry the dishes.


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