Lunatic in the Laundry Room


Not a match to be found!

I lost it this morning in the laundry room. Had me a good old-fashioned Southern mama come apart. You know the kind…stompin’, hollerin’, considerin’ a jug of fabric softener as a viable murder weapon. I am not in the habit of using curse words, but my venomous tone was cussin’ in itself. What set me off? It was a trifecta of triggers and a certain teenager’s unfortunate timing in choosing the precisely wrong moment to say, “Good morning, Mom.”

Let’s flash back to earlier in the week when I FINALLY got both teens to clean the disaster areas they call their rooms. Think I’m exaggerating? We had a bomb threat (true story) at the house, and the officer commented that he didn’t even think the dog could sniff out a bomb in #3’s room. The truly disturbing part was that she “tidied it up” while the police were on the way. #4’s room wasn’t much better. She had so many half-empty tumblers placed precariously on any given flat surface that her room looked like the set of the movie Signs. “Swing away, sweetie!”

I was quite proud of myself for making it through the Spring Break Room Cleaning Ordeal without wailing, whining, or gnashing of teeth (mine or theirs). I lavished my teens with positive reinforcement and a good dose of “now don’t you feel better about yourself psychology” while hope-praying that if rooms that nasty were the worst of it, we’d come through adolescence relatively unscathed. Yep, I’d say I dialed my parenting patience level up to June Cleaver.

I flew too high. Meltdown was inevitable. My Icarus-like crash and burn was, as #3 put it, “epic”. There I was, pulling clothes out of the dryer, marveling at the incredible odds of plucking NO matching socks in an entire load. Then, three things happened in fast succession. Out of the dryer came…

  • MY favorite (and mysteriously absent) brassiere, which had not been unhooked prior to shedding by sneaky teen #3.
  • A pair of jeans, completely inside out, zipped, and snapped… with the underwear “on” them. That little trick had #4 written all over it.
  • A pair of khakis I knew FOR A FACT had not been worn since they came through the laundry about three days ago when I wondered to myself if they still fit #3.

That’s when she stepped into the laundry room. I had the offending khakis in hand. “Do these even fit you?” I asked. I’m pretty sure my voice already had that gritty edge to it, but the responding shoulder shrug took me from agitated to shrew in a nanosecond. There was wailing, whining, and gnashing of teeth (mine, not hers) as the storm blew itself out almost as quickly as it started. It occurred to me that she was just tossing the pair of khakis back into the hamper for months on end, and I had just now caught on.

That realization and probably the heady scent of Clorox brought up a memory that knit my little come-apart right back together again. Dang if I hadn’t done the same devious thing to my mama with a pair of pants she bought me that I couldn’t stand. Then, I chuckled. #3 is me made over again if ever anyone could be.

Bless her heart.

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