Experiencing Azerbaijan

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Location: Kansas, United States

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Emerging Theories on Laundry

I have to return to the dirty towel line of thought though because towels are at the center of my Emerging Theories on Laundry: a dry towel feels less dirty than a wet towel; the remaining soap in not quite rinsed clothing repels dirt; the small spot of chicken grease will not be noticed; I think I can wear this shirt again; the socks are, after all, a long way from my nose. I admit that my attitudes toward cleanliness, along with my attitudes towards other habits of my American life, have taken a beating here. Is cleanliness relevant in this troubled world? We can take it as given that I am, was, a clean person. Doing laundry was my favorite chore at home. I loved my organized laundry room, and I loved the time I spent in peaceful solitude reading care labels, sorting, determining color fastness, and above all, the neat, precise folding—I was more a Clothing Control Officer. And I was quite fanatical concerning kitchen towels. I had a lot of rules relating to the segregated use or multi-use of kitchen towels; I don’t want to list them…“her poor children” you would think, and you would be right.

Present circumstances have forced a change. The same three pink, blue and white towels hang in the kitchen day after day, week after week, because towels are tough to wash by hand, really very tedious, and if you don’t get them clean, what is the point? They are already somewhat dirty and why scrub the knuckles raw, if in the end, all you have is a not quite clean towel. That is a dilemma for nervous people, and to survive, I have swung the other way, and that shift in thinking is responsible for Emerging Theories on Laundry…I am, I suppose, much like a ‘think tank’ at Proctor and Gamble—only less productive and more realistic—with the result that my kitchen is enshrined with spotty towels, my tea cup reeks of lavender and my face smells slightly of cabbage.


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