Navigating a domestic battlefield

Dame Washalot is one of the many queer but adorable folks in Enid Blyton’s enchanted Faraway Tree. The name says it all– the woman LOVES to wash. She’s laundromat herself!

Perhaps the reason why I loved the series was that I hate doing the laundry and to escape the chore, in my mind at least, I pretended I was old Dame Washalot.  It worked.  But that was when I was way much younger, when the mind’s more malleable to believe in fairies and stuff.

I still abhor the chore only that these days pretending to be Dame Washalot doesn’t work anymore. When I have to do the laundry, my limbs take at least two weeks to move toward the machine and another week to actually plug the cord in. Then, I have to summon what’s left of my resolve to stop myself from putting the task off the next day. It’s the certainty of going out the door naked the next day that jolts my wooden limbs to move. Even so, I’m sluggish, like swimming through mud, and it takes me at least half a day to finish just one hamper.

The caretakers at the apartment where I stayed in the Metro had often chided me about why I had to do my laundry late on weekend evenings because that meant it’s past midnight when my washing’s finally done. Well, I couldn’t tell them I spent the entire morning and afternoon deciding which course to take, whether to bury the clothes in the backyard or swallow them all, but turning violet at the thought, I’d end up calling on the fairy godmother instead to please, oh, please work some life into the linens. But I guess fairy godmothers are not true friends when it comes to dirty laundry.

The washing done, and depending on where I’m at by then on the foul mood intensity scale, it usually takes me hours before I could be prevailed upon to hang the damn things out to dry. Sometimes I’d wake up later in the morning to find the caretakers had done that for me, but only out of concern for the newly-washed clothes.

And then the folding to do afterward. The entire experience is so unpleasant that I don’t even want to think about the next time.

But give me a pile or yet a roomful of clothes to iron and I’ll joyfully jump to the task.


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