Attention Women: Laundry Piling Up?

NOB HILL--I don't like to comment on the state of womanhood.  I generally leave that to the Albuquerque Journal.  And they certainly did that last weekend.  Their "monthly magazine for women," SAGE, was letting it all hang out last Sunday with a full page spread on how to do laundry.


One might think that if a person is smart enough to even read their "monthly magazine for women" they would be a little beyond requiring written instructions in this area...but I guess that is not the case.  Someone saw a need.

Personally I was grateful.  Not that I haven't been doing laundry since I was a young boy, but times have changed since my mother's ringer washer grabbed my hand and flattened my fingers.  Here are a few snippets from the Laundry piling up? article on page 4 in case you missed it.

    •    "When hamper is full (it is) your signal that it is time to do the laundry."  Alternately, if you had the sense to use last month's dirty top sheet as the rug in your room and it is now hidden beneath this month's accumulation of dirty clothes, it is also time to do the laundry.  Just gather the corners together into a big sack and drag it down the hall.

    •    "While loads are in the machine you have a chance to do other small tasks."  Right.  You don't want to catch yourself rolling a bomber and watching the clothes tumble in the water for 40 minutes.

    •    "Hang delicates to dry."  See...this is where it gets complicated for men.  Our delicates just aren't that delicate.  In fact most men's underwear can be thoroughly scrubbed in a sandy bottomed stream without hurting anything except native wildlife.  That's because our delicates have names like Underarmour.

    •    "Put new load in washer.  Wash."  Aaah...advanced theory.  Two-part instructions.  I just hope whoever needs this tip written down doesn't vote.

    •    "Fold the items...use a table or the bed to stack similar items sorted by person."  I guess the Journal assumes the woman is doing the laundry for everybody.  This is not an assumption that I would care to make.  But having already assumed that women actually need this article, the Journal continues to push the gender "hot water" button.

    •    "Return hamper to its home."  I don't think I ever had a hamper until I got married.  What did I do with my dirty clothes?  I guess I just used the washing machine...and when it got full I turned it on.

The author of the piece offers a concluding thought which really might be helpful, depending on the situation.  "Completing the full (laundry) cycle is faster than hunting for your pants all over the house."  Yes, and time could be of the essence.  At least you know where your pants are.  Wet and soapy though they might be, it still beats running down the street naked.

Views: 121

Comment by Adelita on May 3, 2011 at 9:00am
This is why I love Johnny Mango!  Thanks for a great start to my day!
Comment by Laura on May 3, 2011 at 9:03am
Thanks for the laugh, Johnny Mango. I also found the handy "heels vs. flats" article equally helpful. Now I can properly accessorize before running down the street clad either in wet and soapy pants OR my birthday suit. What could go wrong?!
Comment by once banned twice shy on May 3, 2011 at 9:31am

That's okay.  I once saw a post right here on the Fix on how to hang clothes up on a clothesline to dry.  It was not, however, directed solely at women.  

I certainly hope they didn't put too many hours into this week's Sage--because it surely looks like they threw it together in an hour.  Maybe less.

Comment by chantal on May 3, 2011 at 9:35am

"Our delicates just aren't that delicate.  In fact most men's underwear can be thoroughly rinsed in a sandy bottomed stream without hurting anything except native wildlife.  That's because our delicates have names like Underarmour."

My life is now complete.

Comment by Benny the Icepick on May 3, 2011 at 9:42am

Great work, Johnny, though I think this article was actually meant to go in "No More Mommy," the Journal's monthly guide for college freshman.  There was a blank space between the articles "How to cook Ramen" and "Microwaving popcorn without setting off the dorm fire alarm: a how-to guide."


I'm pretty sure the SAGE article that was MEANT to go there had tips on breaking the glass ceiling, closing the wage gap, confronting sexism, and empowering women internationally.  Because I can't imagine the Journal pandering to entrenched social norms demeaning to women.

Comment by Miriam on May 3, 2011 at 11:01am

Johnny, thank you for the  thorough deconstruction of my column and for pointing out the absurdity of adults not knowing how to manage their own laundry. I agree. It is just a bonus that I could make you laugh in the process.

However, I do find that some folks struggle with finding the time to do the laundry, and usually it is because they have blown the task all out of proportion. They hold onto a story that the laundry must be sorted into 17 categories and 34 products must be kept on hand to get the dirt out, and that it will take them 4 hours to fold and put it away.

In other words, perfectionism complicates the system, so it takes too long and doesn't get done. The column is meant as an alternative demonstration as to just how simple and Streamlined the process can be.


I'd like to share one more tip. If you use a duvet cover there is no need for a top sheet when doing laundry or making the bed everyday.


Have a delightful day! and may you arrive safely at your destination.

Comment by jes on May 3, 2011 at 11:22am
I'm laughing so hard I can't even type a comment. lollll
Comment by Kelly on May 3, 2011 at 11:24am
Love it, Johnny! Believe it or not, I've met lots of people of both genders who don't know how to do laundry. Mostly because their parents never taught them (or in my case, demanded that I do my own as soon as I was tall enough to reach the top of the washer). It's amazing the kinds of life skills people DON'T get taught these days.
Comment by Julie Heinrich on May 3, 2011 at 11:46am

Here's another tip:  start them young.  My 4 and 8 year old boys have learned to fold their own clothes.

Comment by Benny the Icepick on May 3, 2011 at 11:56am

But Miriam, there are so many products out there for all sorts of functions and all different types of clothes.  If I don't separate my laundry into 17 categories, how am I ever going to get through this veritable arsenal of toxic chemicals I've spent gobs of money on?


Do you have any idea how much it costs for a bottle of hypoallergenic lavender-scented fabric pre-softener for delicate red-but-not-burghundy sleeveless zippered textiles made from fabrics that start with the letter E and have between three and fourteen buttons?


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