Perhaps the greatest joy of atheism is the reclamation of Sunday. No more waking up at 7:30am to get all scrubbed and dressed for church. No more playing nicey-nice with Beautiful People despite a hangover that would have killed a Thompson’s gazelle. No more pretending you give a crap about the Invisible Sky Wizard so your neighbors won’t think less of you. When you’re an atheist, Sunday is all yours.
On Sundays, I sleep in until I can’t stand the sheer pleasure of oversleeping any more. Then I get up, make a lovely breakfast and walk around the Manor to drink in the splendor and beauty of my little world. This is also a time to catch up with friends on the phone and teach my cat to be fearful of the bald eagles that nest high above in the Douglas firs. (Bad bird! Big bad bird!)
It’s also time to do laundry. I do it every week to keep the chore manageable. Here at the Manor, we have laundry machines scattered all about so I’m not betrothed to the crappy machines I have in my flat. I know where the best washers and best dryers are. I know how long they run and which ones are territorially controlled by jealous others. My system is precise and coordinated. My laundry rocks.
Is laundry unimportant? I don’t think so. For starters, there is the psycho-social aspect. Are you a laundry loather whose house is littered with an unending chain of laundry in various states of readiness? Do guests come over and move dirty sweaters off the couch, hiding their disgust in order to avoid insulting you? Or are you (like me) a laundry loather who wants the damn things done and put away in as quick and efficient a manner as possible?
See what I did there? We all loathe laundry. Not one human has ever unsheathed a sword and declared to the Gods that laundry will be done, that laundry is the chosen path, that laundry makes this fearful life worth living. Even though laundry requires 1/100th the effort it did 80 years ago, we still hate it.
There is no upside to laundry. Even the happy, fuzzy joy of smothering your face in a freshly dried, Bounce-enhanced sweater cannot overcome the drudgery of loading up the machine, transferring to the dryer, folding properly and putting it all away.
Outside North America, most folks hang-dry their clothes. These people have decided that the energy savings trumps the convenience. When I was a child, clothes dryers had not quite penetrated every crevice of American society. We lived in one of those crevices. My mother would hang our clothes on a line in the backyard. If it was raining, they hung on a rack in the basement (which is fitting punishment for daring to be laundry in the first place). Our laundry was always dry and comfortable. I would relive this era of simpler times and efficiencies, but I live in a historical mansion. It’s hard to impress posh party guests when there’s a middle-aged guy with a serious hangover clipping his skid-marked undies on a clothesline that extends between the pineapple fountain and the statue of St. Francis. “Oh, excuse me, folks. I’m just doin’ the laundry. Can you hold this clothespin? Thanks. Wow. You got a purty daughter…”
No, no, no. This is a civilized place full of civilized people. I use the machine. For now.
But what about the future? Will I always be able to afford such luxuries? Stay tuned as we delve into the elephant in America’s laundry room: the coming energy crunch.
TTFN, SYL and GTFBW.