With dismal news about the state of our nation’s marriages constantly bombarding us from all angles, it relieved me to read an article in Time magazine that had a positive outlook on marriage. The article attempted to disprove marriage related rumors, such as one I’ve heard (and probably spouted as “fact”) several times, which is that more than 50% of current marriages will end in divorce. The article stated that this is only true for people older than 65.
It took me a while to wrap my brain around these stats, and then I realized that “over 65” includes people in their hundreds. How many couples make it to age 100 and then decide that it just isn’t going to work out? How many people over 65 have been counted more than once because they both forgot they were divorced and went to get another divorce? When two 110-year-olds get divorced, who gets to keep all the expired can goods in their pantry?
If divorce is what two people decide is necessary, it probably is the right thing to do. There are some things that cannot be worked out between two people, even with lots of time and effort. However, laundry is not one of them.
The Laundry Correlations
I have noticed over the past two years of marriage that however many hundreds of times I do laundry, I still manage to ruin something every time. Whether it be by leaving a pen in my pocket or not realizing my wife’s cashmere sweater was hidden, bundled within a pair of jeans, I always make the difficult discovery while I’m folding the laundry (which I still don’t know how to do correctly). I learned the hard way not to ask my wife why she even throws her “hand wash only” or “dry clean only” clothes in the laundry hamper (Doesn’t “laundry” mean “to be laundered?”)
Since graduating college, I have developed a new system of doing laundry. I used to cram everything I owned into the washer, then switch it to the dryer when it was done (preferably before it started to smell like an old sponge.) I’d run the dryer a few times to make sure everything dried for the most part, then I’d put it in a basket in my room until I needed it. Nowadays, to make sure I don’t screw up, I have to thoroughly inspect every item for pocket contents, washing instructions, detergent instructions, drying instructions, fabric softener regulations, and post-drying instructions. One load takes me 20 minutes to put into the washer, while in college my whole wardrobe took 3 minutes tops, and I’d make a hot pocket in the middle of it.
I have noticed a correlation between the cost of the shirt and the amount of work it takes to clean. Every item in my wardrobe can be washed all at once, in cold or hot water, with any detergent (or suave shampoo for all I care.) I’ve never spent more than 10$ on anything in my wardrobe thanks to GoodWill and Target clearance. My wife’s wardrobe includes a mixture of clothes that say “turn inside out before washing,” “remove from washer immediately, light iron on low heat”,”dry clean only,” and “hand wash only.” Why are clothes the only amenity that we spend more for less convenience? It is the equivalent of paying an extra few thousand dollars for a car so that it won’t start in cold weather.
On top of these complicated instructions, every clothing brand in my wife’s wardrobe has selected a different location for the tag that contains the cleaning instructions. By the second wash, these tags have rolled up into the seam, hiding from me so that I’ll get frustrated and just throw the clothing into the washer, only to find out that I just ruined the last pink long-sleeve v-neck that JCrew will ever make. I can tell these clothes are softer than mine, and fit better than mine, and look better than mine, and match other clothes, but I would lose sleep if at any moment the slightest change in temperature or weather could ruin my entire wardrobe.
I believe I have ruined a couple of my wife’s shirts, and for that, I am sorry. The good news is that she cannot ever say anything to me again about being careless when doing laundry. This is because a few months ago, she dumped what she thought was a basket of my laundry into the washer without looking at it, and ended up sending my melodica among other non-laundry items through the wash. For those of you who cannot appreciate this, here is a picture of my melodica:
To ensure that my wife and I continue our wedded bliss well over 100 years, I needed a Good Idea that would potentially save lots of unneccessary bickering about this laundry enigma (and because telling my wife that the only other people who hand wash their clothes live in huts next to rivers didn’t smooth things out like I thought it would).
Tumble Dry Low
My Good Idea was to create a brand of clothing based on current popular trends, while incorporating the cleaning instructions into the design of each item. For example, everyone recognizes the Ralph Lauren Polo logo and associates it with high quality clothing. Every logo or brand is arbitrarily selected, and therefore my idea could very well solve the laundry problem. Here are my designs:
1. Basic Collared Shirt
2. Graphic Tee
3. Baby Outfit
5. A Good Idea I had for GAP underwear
All in all, I am very happy with my Tumble Dry Low line. In the future, I plan on making a “Dry Clean Only” line so people can show off that they not only bought an expensive shirt, but they have to spend more money every time they wear it. Someday when I’m rich from one of my Good Ideas taking off, I’m not going to have to worry about doing laundry at all. This is not because I’ll only wear my clothes once then throw them away, or because I’ll pay someone to do my laundry, but because I’m rich and I don’t care if I smell bad.