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My Dirty Little Secret

Copyright Linda Sharp

They say that confession is good for the soul, so here goes.  I am having an affair.  It has been an ongoing thing for the past ten years. When it started, it was maybe once or twice a week, depending on my needs and time available.  As the years progressed though, our encounters have increased in frequency, to where it is almost a daily thing, sometimes up to five rounds a day.

I'm a good, decent person, but this affair now borders on the obsessive.  It is a cycle I cannot break.   Hot, cold, hot, cold and just when I think I can stop, I am pulled back by a primal urge I am helpless to rinse from my soul.   I believe my husband may suspect something, but his silence almost echoes approval.  And so, I greet each day with the knowledge that the affair shall continue, must continue, until the day my family learns my dirty little secret and . . . how to use the washing machine themselves.

If there is one chore that takes more than its fair share of my time, it has to be laundry.  With three children and a husband, I find myself staring down the stinky end of a clothes hamper daily.  You notice I do not include myself in the clothing count.  As a mother, I tend to rewear my apparel a lot.  If it has weathered the previous day with only a smudge of peanut butter and a couple splashes of hot chocolate, there's a pretty good chance I'll don it the next day.  I do however draw the line at clothing I happen to be wearing when my children have a cold.  What is it about a mom that turns her into a walking Kleenex?  There have been winters I look like a runway model for Oscar de la Booger.

The quantities are as astounding as they are frustrating.  When you multiply each day by three children and two adults, it adds up quickly.  However, children tend to have a strange notion of what constitutes dirty.  If they have rummaged through their drawers in search of a certain something, everything that has been thrown on the floor is now soiled.  If it falls off a hanger in their closet?  Filth.  Pure, unadulterated filth.  And if they have been instructed to don something they would rather not?  "Mooo-ooom, I can't wear it!  It's in the dirty clothes basket!  Sorry!"   Funny, if something they really like is dirt encrusted and under a pile of stanky underwear, they will dig it out and act like it is fresh from the Martinizers!

I have long suspected my husband thinks his dirty clothes are capable of movement.  Regardless of where the hamper is placed, his dirty items are always found on top of it, in front of it, or hanging from a doorknob.  Perhaps his mother once said something like, "Your socks are so filthy, they could walk to the machine by themselves.", and he believed her.  Why not?  The next time he looked they were gone and had reappeared magically clean and Downy Fresh in his drawer.  I have news for him.  David Copperfield does not walk in the house while he is at work and wave some magic wand that obliterates skidmarks and ring around the collar.  Believe me, there is nothing magical about having to turn a pair of balled up work socks right side out.  I would rather stick my hand in a septic tank.

The workload has increased since moving into our new house for we are the proud owners of a laundry chute!  The children think it is great fun to toss their daily pile down the dark hole in the wall.  And if the pile isn't large enough?  Let's just throw clean clothes down there too!  What fun!  In a scene straight out of "Night of The Living Laundry", I went to open the cabinet where the chutes empties and was lost under an avalanche that seemed to go on forever.  My children stood by and laughed as I attempted to shield myself from the deluge.  It was no use.  When I finally managed to surface, I smelled distinctly like my three year old's wet "accident panties" and had a Teletubbie on my head.  (Apparently when they run out of clothes, they give stuffed animals a thrill ride down the chute.  Will poor Tinky Winky ever get a break?)

My children are still too young to even reach the knobs and buttons that operate the machine and my husband's few attempts have resulted in loads that are universally pink and dramatically down sized, so I suspect my affair shall continue for many years to come.  So . . . oh, excuse me, I have to run!  I hear the rinse cycle starting . . . coming FABIOooooooo!!!!"

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