Thursday, January 16, 2014

First comes love. Then comes laundry.

The part that I hate about marriage is laundry. It sounds dramatic. And I know, just wait until you have kids. But I hate married laundry. Particularly because that laundry does not just belong to me, but it belongs to him too.

I was a runner in college often rising early each morning and putting five miles under my belt before getting ready and heading to class. Running means sweat. I'd peel off my clothes, throw them in the hamper, and go about my day with no worry for their smell. Those running clothes would sit in my laundry basket for two weeks (at best) before I made a trip home for a weekend visit and a date with the washing machine. Those clothes -with sweat from miles in their fibers- never once smelled.

Mr. Thomas, on the other hand, works up as much of a stink as he does new muscle each and every day. That stink hangs around in his workout clothes and, thus, our laundry basket. I cannot (and do not) let our laundry sit for less than a week. And yet, the smell of that receptacle.

I hate married laundry. I hate it. And, I want to tell Mr. T, "do it yourself". I want to have a his and a hers basket because my shit don't stink.

But, that's not marriage folks.

Marriage is this weird intertwining of all things personal. Marriage is intimacy and what I thought would be the largest part of intimate -sex- seems to be just a small slice of the proverbial marital pie. Because there's laundry and bathroom drawers and closet space and shoe buckets that blend so quickly from mine to ours. It's those spots where his and mine are indistinguishable. It's blending that occurs unconsciously which begs for special attention.

Because laundry can stink. And so can marriage. Without a little effort and some preventative measure, without deliberate thought and good intention, the stink builds. Because marriage is laundry. Most parts rewarding, but sometimes stinky. Most parts pretty and fashionable, but sometimes not. Most parts complementary and fun, but sometimes feeling like "we've got nothing to wear" despite evidence to the contrary.

So, I will do laundry. His and mine: ours. Stinky, smelly, stained - I will do laundry.

45 comments:

  1. Brittany RasmussenJanuary 16, 2014 at 5:28 AM

    You are SO RIGHT here. It is more intimate than I ever imagined, even taking s-e-x out of the picture!!! It blows my mind daily as a newlywed. PS: I hate laundry too.

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  2. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJanuary 16, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    Yes! I feel ya, Amber. And just when you think you learn how to do your "laundry" perfectly, you got the right detergent, the schedule down, and so on, you get married and all of a sudden your favorite sweater shrinks to a size too small and you can't tell which socks are your or his.

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  3. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing your own laundry! It's true about the blending of "mine to ours," but I won't let my husband touch my laundry. The last time he tried, he washed an ink pen with my white towels. So we just do ours separately. It's not worth accidentally ruining all my clothes! But the bathroom drawers … oh I hate sharing bathroom drawers!

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  4. Hahaha. Is it weird that my husband and I each do our own laundry? We just never combined it, so that's how it stayed!

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  5. i was blessed with a husband who does our laundry on his lunch break from working at home. just one more way he has embraced everything that comes with marriage, even through his particular ways. you have some good analogies lady.

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  6. We split the chores.. I do laundry and he does the dishes. I HATE dishes!

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  7. we still do separate laundry. We live on the 5th floor of an apartment building and our laundry is on the first floor- so of course we wait way too long, and I can't normally carry it all!! Things might change when we have a house, but we'll see. The amount of white tshirts that boy goes through...I can't even handle it.

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  8. So random but my husband hates when I do his laundry because he doesn't like how I fold (I can't really blame him) & I don't like when he does mine because he dries aka shrinks everything! I do love the analogy of marriage and dirty laundry-- it's definitely true :)

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  9. I hate laundry and it's just me lol don't even wanna know what it will be like if I ever get married lol

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  10. I really like this post! It's cute and positive but has a really great point, marriage and laundry do have a lot of similarities!

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  11. Ok. To me, this post is not about laundry. It's about the idea that when we marry we are no longer responsible for just ourselves. We no longer have to just worry about our problems, our "stink": we take on the problems, the baggage the "stink" of our partner too. You literally combine your laundry with another person's and that can get messy, it can get smelly, it can cause you to do laundry more days than you would normally do.

    I love this post, your views on marriage and your sweet stinky self.

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  12. I hate laundry too. And honestly, I kinda suck and my husband deserves an award because he does it 90% of the time!

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  13. oh I love this, Amber. the idea of moving from mine to ours is kind of a scary yet wonderful feeling. even if it means stinky laundry :)

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  14. we both do laundry but i fold my stuff and he folds his stuff. he once asked me if i could start ironing his stuff because his mom irons everything - even his underwear - and i legit said: if you want that done, go to your mama's house. ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  15. I love this analogy of marriage being like laundry. I like to think of it like this: we all have our stink and combined with the stink of our spouse we might be tempted to throw it all away. But then there's Jesus who is this endless supply of detergent that cleans up our stinky messes...to get all stinky again, and the cycle repeats. :)

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  16. Oh thank youuuu! There are so many emotions in the shirt... But, emotions that are well worth working through for the reward that you get in return! (At least in my humble opinion)

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  17. Oh sho shtinky. And yet it's still sweet. And, I guess it extends to friendships and family and all that jazz outside of marriage too, doesn't it?


    Thanks for taking my shit and stink along with the good that comes with me. :)

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  18. And it only took me 2 and a half years to realize the similarities! :)


    I guess some of us are just slower learners than others!

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  19. Jason ALWAYS complains that I don't put his socks together the right way... So, we've made a deal that he is in charge of his own. And, that works so much better for the both of us! :)

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  20. How DO they go through so many clothes?!? But really, our basket has twice as many of his as it does mine! :)

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  21. Oh the way that analogies and metaphors rule my life... Thanks for catching my drift. I mees yous.

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  22. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO STINKY? AND NEVER ENDING?!? I do love the feeling of an empty basket and a full closet though...

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  23. Oh yes! You are so wise. And it speaks volumes into my soul. VOLUMES. Thankfully there's a clean, refreshing soul that came to wash us white as snow. And you expand the analogy to new levels that make me exhilarated.

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  24. No time fo' dat fo' sho. Like, uh uh boy. Mine doesn't believe in ironing. I iron my outfit EVERY morning. I guess that makes us even?

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  25. I love this post because its not about laundry, its about blending and building a marriage and doing things for the other person even if their "clothes stink" it’s a commitment and that is what marriage is about.. and babies, lot of babies....lol

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  26. Haha YES and the dishes that get left out, and the "oh you're a nurse look at this and diagnose me"….ummmm I'd like to keep some things a mystery ;) its a learn every day kind of world!

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  27. This cracked me up and is definitely something I can relate to!

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  28. We have separate laundry baskets - but it's because my workout clothes stink, not his. But, I completely agree with you. Intimacy isn't mostly sex - it's in sharing the closet-size bathroom and picking up the shoes he's left all over the house and him washing the peanut butter knife I always leave in the sink. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. :) Sweet!! Marriage is the strangest relationship I've yet discovered--you truly see the worst of the other person and yet you keep loving them like they're the best thing since sliced bread. Although, honestly, I went from being the oldest kid in a family with 7 kids straight to being married. Doing laundry only once or twice a week for just the two of us still feels like vacation. haha!!

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  30. Wait, so are you saying that I'll have to do his laundry when I get married? I'm out!


    But really, you and your analogies are so so wise.

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  31. We're not even married yet and I hate the laundry with a passion. I'd rather clean the freaking toilet than do the laundry.. and that's just sad!


    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  32. This is so incredibly good. So true!

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  33. And next thing you know there's a house to make that laundry larger and longer… And kids… I guess the good part about it is you're always moving and learning and innovating because "the same old thing" isn't going to last!

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  34. Maybe you can make a pact in your vows where he has to do the laundry and you have to look pretty all the while?!? :)


    Thank you for being so kind. You are dear to me.

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  35. Isn't it SO weird? Like as annoying as you can be to one another life isn't so without him around… I had lived by myself for four years by the time we married and learning to live with another person again was SO CHALLENGING. Especially because our "default" ways of organizing and decorating couldn't have been more opposite one another!

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  36. Isn't it funny how you fall into a routine that covers those little quirks? He ALWAYS leaves his cup in the sink at night and I always put it away in the morning. I ALWAYS leave my bible out on our table and he drops it on our bed because he knows that's where I read it… Don't even get me started on the little bathrooms. OH. MY. SOUL.

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  37. Marriage -where mystery is impossible.


    That's what I learned REALLY fast. Especially when I got terribly sick after a trip to Mexico and he HAD to take me to the doctor where they did all kinds of crazy tests in his presence.

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  38. Babies. DUH.


    When are you moving back to CA for our friendship to blend and build in a more local way?!?

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  39. This is so true!!! And dishes...ohhhhhhhh the dishes. We eat mostly at home, but it's just the two of us. I'd never have thought the dishes would be so bad. Luckily, I have an awesome husband that doesn't mind pitching in to hand wash the stuff that can't go in the dishwasher :)

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  40. Oh my gosh YES. YES & AMEN. I swear his laundry stinks even AFTER I wash it. And why is it that there is SO MUCH MORE laundry with two people? It didn't double, it quadrupled.


    Ahh, marriage and its weird adventures.

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  41. HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. AGAIN.
    How are you so wise? And so clever? And so maritally gifted?


    Great post my friend, and a great comparison too. A reminder to love everything about marriage - the good, the bad, the ugly and the stinky.


    We are very blessed in South Africa to have domestic help, and the lovely lady that works for us does all our washing and ironing… Bless her.
    x

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  42. Love the way you describe marriage. You're right. Sometimes there are colored items, just plain o'l black and white pieces delicates that must be approached with care. At the end, we all want the same thing, clean laundry!

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  43. Oh gosh, I can't imagine doing his laundry. His and hers hampers all the way. His is just too dirty, dusty, and smelly (he's a carpenter, and he likes to sweat A. LOT. when he works out) to be combined with my pristine, beautiful, "dirty" clothes. ;)

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  44. Haha, so this made me giggle, because when we got married I just decided that I wasn't going to do our laundry together. It wasn't even a thought in my mind. He does his laundry, and I do mine. In my head, I've always thought that I'll change the system when kids come along and there's a ton of laundry to be accounted for.


    But a) this made me laugh, and b) I got your point, and I loved it.

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