Upfront Disclaimer: I have no complaints about doing laundry in general. Dave and I have a pretty egalitarian marriage, in which I completely do not feel that I do all the chores, or more than 50% of the chores. So I am having a hard time with this blog post because I want it to be about how annoying it is that laundry detergent commercials are targeted to women, and how annoyed I was that all the information about the laundering of baseball pants was directed at me. But in real life I do the laundry. And Dave wasn’t even at the baseball meeting where they talked about the pants.
So what is going on with me? I am writing a blog post about how I feel about writing a blog post about laundry. Meta-MetaMegan.
Let’s start at the beginning. I have always been annoyed at the way laundry, and cleaning products in general are marketed towards women. Like waaaay back when I could first articulate a thought it was, “Why does the TV woman have to do all the laundry and cleaning?” I was going to explain the whole thing – but come on. Who doesn’t think those commercials with the one dimensional mom whose emotional life ranges from mock-exasperation-at-her-family-of-stain-generating-knuckleheads to pure-joy-at-the-removal-of-a-stain? Plus, it’s already been done, and better than I could do.
So here we are. I married a great chore-doing husband, my life is perfect, I only watch TV on netflix and the DVR so I don’t even see commercials anymore. In fact, when I tried to find an image for this post, all I could find were scary pictures of some man with oxyclean. And yet. And yet…
When Luke was ordering his baseball uniform, I was giving a very long, very intense lesson on the laundering of the white baseball pants. My eyes glazed over, I went to another place in my mind where I am someone other than “baseball mom in charge of laundry” and I contemplated responding with, “Um yeah. Thanks. Laundry isn’t really my “thing” if you know what I mean. I have a very challenging job, I read, I sometimes write.” And, “Why are you telling all this to me?” (Reminder:Dave wasn’t there.) Instead, I mumbled “Oxyclean? Got it. Your wife drip dries the jersey? Good to know.” Then I proceeded to joke about the laundering of baseball pants for a month, and laughed and laughed about it. And by that I mean, I became obsessed with whether or not I would win at getting the pants as white as possible.
At some point during all this, Luke tried on his entire uniform several times and was unable to stop smiling the entire time he wore it. Dave mentioned that maybe the pressure to maintain the baseball pants came not from other moms, but from the kids. Laundry obsession went up to 11.
Game time came this past weekend and I made Luke hand me his pants as soon as we walked into the house. I rinsed in the sink, then made a paste of oxyclean and put it on the stain. Then I started making dinner (more women’s work! Disclaimer – I love cooking, and Dave does more than I do, and he does the grocery shopping.) Then I googled “white baseball pants” and read a million things about what to do to get the stains out: rust cleaner, carpet cleaner, dish soap, zout, oxyclean, some purple thing, bleach, etc.” For every blog comment about what worked, there was one that said, “that didn’t work at all for me.” And every once in a while someone would say, “The kids want their pants to look dirty!” Big relaxed sigh. Then Luke popped his head in to see if I had any luck getting the stains out. Wash, rinse, repeat! I decided to forget everything I read online and just go with what I had been told in baseball pants meeting. Oxyclean. I may have thrown in some Palmolive for good measure. I may have started to hallucinate from the fumes. I may have reached some sort of inner peace, but that is only because I try to turn chores that I don’t want to do into opportunities for meditation. I read a lot of magazines, and according to Oprah and Real Simple, I need to be meditating, and I like to multi-task.
The only instruction I didn’t follow was to soak the pants overnight in oxyclean. And that is because our bathtub doesn’t hold water for that long because the drain won’t stay closed, and all the other sinks are required for hand washing or cooking, and I can’t figure out how to soak something in the front load washer.
Long story short, the pants are perfect. Me on the other hand? I am a mess, but I win at white baseball pants. This week at least.