After reading morethananelectrician’s post about his renewed focus, I had to add a story about laundry & a newly married couple’s differences with regard to such – and it was too long to fit into his comment area.
I heard this story told a few years ago by the mother-in-law that was involved. A couple I know dated for ten years while each living with their respective parents. I would have thought if you dated for that long, you would know the other person, their habits, and any conflicts you might have once you did get married. I was wrong.
Soon after the marriage, the husband’s mother had stopped by the house of the newlyweds. The wife stopped the mother before she left the house and gestured at a laundry basket full of folded clean clothing and loose socks. The wife asks, “My husband tells me you always put away his clothing after doing his laundry.”
The mother, somewhat taken aback and a bit ashamed at having coddled her son for so many years, replies, “Well, yes, I always did.”
The wife replies, “There it is. Go for it.”
There are two funny things about this story. One is that the husband’s mother did put away her son’s clothing that night. The other is the way the conflict ratcheted up to this level in the first place. Apparently the wife’s definition of “doing the laundry” didn’t include putting it away but the husband’s did. So, when she brought up her new husband’s clean clothes, folded, in a laundry basket, she thought her job was done. He thought she was going to put his stuff away like his mom always had.
He tried to cajole her into putting away his things. Then he made a fatal mistake. He criticized her method of pairing up socks and folding ones top inside the other to keep them together. He opened his bureau drawer and exclaimed in dismay at the “mess” of socks inside. Apparently, his mother’s method of pairing the two and simply folding flat once together (no inserting & folding inside) is much faster and results in a neater-looking drawer. The wife decided to not ever let herself be cajoled in putting away her husband’s clothing again – especially the socks. And the little scene with her mother-in-law occurred very shortly afterwards.
To my knowledge, the wife still washes and dries the clothing, but the husband has to finish the job by putting away his own clothing. I had heard of the toilet paper over-under controversy and the toothpaste tube squishing-in-the-middle vs. rolling-up-from-the-end fights, but I’d never heard of the which-way-to-fold-the-socks brouhaha.