I was going to tell people that the new pope could be a breath of fresh air. Then I learned he only had one lung. Now, I -want to say that all the time.- Either or, today is Pi Day. If I weren't packing, I would have made a pie. But I am, so I didn't.
Anyway, the laundry discussion is another early one I had worked out between Christine and Lucy. It really should have appeared sooner, because like the one about movies, it helps define their characters. I actually feel bad burying it so late in the story because I think making Lucy miserable is funny in the way that making any protagonist miserable is funny. Luckily, by dropping it in here, we get some actual humor wedged in after a rather boring scene about waffles.
I also like Peter's "I'm just trying to figure out the rules!" and utter confusion about Lucy's particular quirks and women's clothing. Either way, fiction is below. The table of contents is here.
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Getting home early in the morning after waffles always made me feel good. The glow of the TV let me know that Christine had fallen asleep in the living room. The first thing I did was give a cursory glance inside the living room to make sure Peter wasn’t there. Satisfied that there were no naked men, I went to my room to change. I was looking at myself in the mirror.
Lucy, I said to myself, straightening out the slip, this addition to Christine’s plan is brilliant. The best part will be that we won’t tell her, so even she’s surprised. All it would take is convincing Sam to do us one more little favor.
Then I realized I was talking to myself like there was more than one of me. That was disturbing, so I tossed my skirt and blouse into the hamper. Then I moved the skirt into the hamper I kept darks in. I had four hampers: Lights, darks, whites and hand wash. Christine had one hamper. Then again, she used her floor as extra storage, so I don’t know if that was technically two.
“Clothes should never go on the floor,” I had tried to impress on her when we started living together. She said that sort of thinking is why I was single.
“So what, do you plan to stop and get undressed and carefully arrange your laundry after finding Mr. Right?”
“If he was Mr. Right, he’d understand the importance of proper laundry sorting.”
“If he was Mr. Right, you wouldn’t care if the laundry was sorted,” Christine had offered as a sort of weak counter. “Besides, where would his clothes go?”
“Into the right hamper,” I had said, slowly getting more and more exasperated.
“Oh, I see. So, you would gently take him into your room, then say: ‘Here’s where your darks go. Make sure to turn your jeans inside out.”
“Why is he wearing jeans to date night?”
“I don’t know! Maybe this isn’t your first time together.”
“Then he’d already know about the hamper system,” I told her. It isn’t that hard; I had tried to explain it to one of my boyfriends. Christine had offered him a solution:
“You should take her back to your place,” She had said. He did; but after dinner I saw that he just threw his clothes all over the floor by his shower. That’s how they get wet and ruins the designs on t-shirts, I tried to tell him. He said I wasn’t his mother, and I said if I was, he’d know better.
I felt bad about that, but the point stood. There’s a system to laundry, and by God, you should follow it. If a man can’t take the time to order his dirty clothes, what other bad habits might he have? Maybe he doesn’t pre-rinse his dishes! That same boyfriend would dry out cups he only drank water from; “it’s only water!” He’d say, like germs were a foreign concept to him.
“If you’re kissing him, why do you care if his germs are on his glasses? Do you make him rinse with Listerine before you make out?”
Christine has some very weird ideas about my ideas of romance. But, I started to consider it. You can’t be too careful when it comes to germs. But, that was just silly. After all, clean teeth and nice smelling breath were part of my list. I had yet to decide what level of laundry aptitude to put on it, but Christine suggested that I start taking things off my list instead of adding to it.
“My dad knows how to do laundry,” I said.
“Well, he’s taken,” Christine said. And that was just gross and the last we talked about laundry. Except when she needed help remembering what to do to what. I think that’s why she didn’t have a lot of things that needed to be hand washed; she couldn’t be bothered with it. I didn’t like it either, but it was a thing that had to be done. Like taxes. Hand washing laundry is the tax for wearing pretty, nice things.
“Yeah, well, I only have to pay taxes once a year,” Christine said. I tried to explain to her about sales tax and the payroll tax, but she wouldn’t listen. Honestly, that girl was impossible sometimes.
As I tiptoed into the living room, I glanced to make sure she was still sleeping. I lifted the remote from beside her head and turned the light off. I read somewhere the flickering light interrupted REM. Or maybe I made that up. Either way, I didn’t want Christine to not have a good night’s sleep. I walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator; then I heard from behind me:
Then I screamed.
“What’s wrong,” Peter asked, honestly confused about this. He was, at least, fully dressed.
“We had a rule!”
“Wait, dresses don’t count as pants?”
“This is a slip, not a dress.”
“It looks like a dress; is this like how a skirt is a kind of dress?” He asked.
“No! It doesn’t count as pants. Now, turn around! Stop talking! Christine!”
“That covers more than a bathing suit; can I not talk to you if you’re wearing a bathing suit?” He was still sitting at the table on his laptop in the warm glow of the refrigerator when I stormed out of the kitchen. “I’m just trying to figure out the rules!”