Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SGW: Hints from Planet You're Outta Your Damn Mind

Today's Special Guest Writer is Emma, whom some of you may remember from our now-infamous T-Box Taste Test.  Emma, thank you for making us feel better about our abilities in the domestic arts.  You're awesome, funny, gorgeous and have the figure of a poll dancer! So conversely, you make us feel a little dejected about the size of our asses but whatever... That's another post.
xo, Lydia and Kate

I suspect many are, like me, in a constant state of war with the Laundry Fairy and losing badly. If I was into sports or military history I could insert an example of how outmatched I am and how long the losing streak has lasted - but I'm not, so I won't. It is considered a win in my house if from one Saturday to the next the boys' soccer uniforms are run through the wash and bonus points (in the form of chocolate or wine) are awarded (to me, obviously not the boys) if the uniforms are actually in their dresser drawers. There have been more than one Saturday when they have had to dress out of the hamper. If you think about it, this is not soo bad - they will be outdoors (spring air as air freshener) and running around (adding to the diffusion effect) so the stink should not be too obvious - or at least that is what I tell myself and the kids.

So knowing I operate at this level of functionality you will understand why I think aliens write into Hints from Heloise. Rough segue I know, but stay with me. Does anyone else read this column and is just gobsmacked? These can't be real humans actually residing on this planet. An example to prove my alien theory:
  • "To prevent the cuffs on the bottom of trousers from getting crimped up, I hold them in place by putting two large paper clips on them. I put two in the front and two in the back. I stretch seams gently before placing the garments in the dryer, and this helps reduce puckering."
  • "I shake items and untwist them before placing in the dryer. This not only reduces wrinkling, but it allows the items to dry a bit faster, and this saves energy."
  • And Heloise's reply: "Good hints, indeed, ... and a few favorites from Heloise Central: Toss pajamas in the dryer for a minute or two, and they'll get toasty-warm. Mark items that need special attention with a safety pin, to know which should be dried at a lower temperature or not at all."
Really, there is no room in my head for the concept that people actually have enough time and organization and concern to pull this off. It's like the Laundry Fairy has some type of dust these women inhaled. I wonder if there is an antidote? And then Heloise goes one better and offers the following tip:

  • Clean the lint filter. If the filter looks dirty — or once a year — scrub it with warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent. Then, unplug the dryer and vacuum around the base and inside the lint chute, duct, and vent opening.
I am happy if the crunchiness under the dining room table is vaccumed once a week and she is suggesting I vaccuum my dryer. Is she insane? Heloise also suggests I keep a prethreaded needle in the laundry room - but doesn't specifically explain why. I am sure she thought it was obvious and didn't need to be stated. But left to my own devices, I've decided it is for poking the Laundry Fairy in case he comes by with the dust. Now I suspect she is the Head Alien so I googled her and found this on Wikipedia. "Heloise (born Kiah Michelle Cruse on April 15, 1951 in Waco, Texas, current name Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans)." Now if this is true,
  1. She needs more space than the Census form allows; [Editor's Note: I hear ya sister. - Kate]
  2. There has to be some really good stories behind these name changes;
  3. She has more than one person in her head; or, 
  4. Possibly the Waco portion explains everything.
So in the interest of my health I have given up reading Heloise. It makes my head hurt. Literally, I either bang it on the table or slap my forehead after reading the "gems" and then mentally it hurts as I try to imagine a life where these tips are utilized. I just can't do it. If you have time to paperclip your pant hems and tackle puckering - that is time that would be much better utilized reading in my world.

And yes my world is a bit stinky and crunchy and powered by chocolate and wine. Peace out!

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  1. I don't get why you need a pre-threaded needle in your laundry room, either. Do you think that the thread is some sort of special anti-fairy device? It seems to me that a plain ol' needle would work just fine.

    Stupid Randy.

  2. JoLynda LawrenceMay 26, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    Poll dancer? Like one that dances on a voting booth? :) I'd prefer to look like a pole dancer. :) Love you ladies.

  3. Oh, thank god, thank god! I thought I was alone and everyone else used Heloise but me!! If the clothes make it to the dryer w/o that nasty, dusky smell and don't have to be washed again, I call it a win! Thanks, ladies!

  4. Helouise clearly doesn't have kids at home... and if she ever did, she probably went Mommie Dearest on them. "No! Cold! Pajamas!"

  5. Actually, cleaning around/in the dryer vent is VERY important... about 15% of household fires start there when lint gets blocked up in the vent and its apparently very flammable.
    But WTF has time to 'toast' their jammies? I'm happy to get INTO my jammies before collapsing at the end of the day.

  6. "I am happy if the crunchiness under the dining room table is vaccumed once a week and she is suggesting I vaccuum my dryer. Is she insane?"

    Just made me spit my coffee (and brush off the crumbs from my feet). Love this--although I must disagree with you--I'm thinking that I should start reading Heloise every Sunday morning for the humor!!

  7. I got lost in Heloise's tips at the words "cuffs" and "trousers." What are those? In my house it's jeans and you consider yourself lucky if they actually have hems that haven't been ripped out by being stepped on (or even better, that we actually bought all ripped up from the store because I'm not sure they come any other way these days). I think your alien theory has serious merit.

  8. you mean it is not a comedy column??? huh. ya learn something new everyday

  9. ok, ok...yeah, most of that is just unreasonable, but I'm kind of floored and pondering the shaking out stuff and unraveling huge wads of wet clothes before shoving in the dryer in the interest of faster dry times and lower energy bills.


    and believe me, I'm in the ultimate hamster wheel of laundry.

    I cloth diaper.

  10. Hail to the chocolate and wine. Mommyland rants make me feel normal, crunchies under the table and all!

    Oh, and I think the threaded needle is for loose or fallen-off buttons, but how do you know what color thread to use?

  11. Haha, I can totally sympathize. I have gotten some good tips from Heloise but I tend to visualize her readers as older ladies whose children are long out of the house, and who spend their days puttering around their home cleaning, while wearing perfectly pressed outfits from Chico.

  12. Seriously, at my house the laundry is washed and then thrown in a basket in the corner of my bedroom where I may get around to folding it once a month. When the pile is so big it becomes a hazard for the 3 y/o climbing it, I might consider folding it. There is no way I am using paper clips or anything else that requires more than the 5 seconds it takes to throw it in the basket.

  13. The pajamas int eh dryere thing reminded me of the Seinfeld where Kramer cooked his pants in the pizza oven of the calzone place and made George's office smell like calzone and Steinbrenner sat there looking for the calzones while George cowered under the desk where he had been napping.

    I've forgotten my point but now I want a calzone. And a nap.

  14. I am FAR from a laundry guru. In fact, when I had JUST graduated high school and was on my own, I bought new clothes instead of doing laundry. Yes, I hate it that much. BUT, now that I'm over that hump and money has much more meaning to me, preserving the clothes that I do have means everything! Considering I've sown the crotchal area of my favorite sweat pants over 6 times and even added a patch (I know, disturbing. But they ARE my favorite) I would guess the pretreaded needle is for buttons or quick spot sew before you throw something in the wash.

  15. One would think that Aunt Mary would be beyond laundry woes, being in that lovely stage of life where all the little ones are now capable of washing, drying and dealing with their own piles of laundry. Unfortunately, Chico's doesn't make clothes in Aunt Mary's size and she has better things to do with her time than worry about Uncle Richard's pants cuffs.

    One thought came to her, is it possible less is more? If she had fewer towels, for example would she be less overwhelmed washing and folding them, or do they just go into the system more often? Should she get ruthless and throw some old stuff out? (not Uncle Richard).

    Ladies, turn your back on the piles, grab the kiddies and head for the park. Go play in the sand box and maybe throw a frisbee. The laundry fairy will survive being ignored and you will make wonderful memories.

  16. My MIL swears by Heloise, even clips the hints and brings them over to my house, like I have time to read them, much less use them. Of course, this is a woman who writes the date on EVERY SINGLE ITEM when she gets home from the store. Not just food, which I can at least understand. This woman puts the date purchased on ziplock bags and napkins. That's right- my MIL is an alien.

  17. My mother-in-law suggested that I pin pairs of socks together before throwing them in the washer. Perhaps she is an alien? I will have her contact Heloise with that awesome hint.

  18. The only hint I have ever found useful is putting all of my daughters socks into one of those laundry bags so they don't get lost. (Where do they go? I put a pair in and only get one out..?) That has helped on the sock budget - that and she has now taken to wearing mismatched sock on purpose... As long as there are a few clean clothes to wear everyone in my house seems to be happy. Heloise can suck it!

    Kat -
    Have you submitted any MIL stories to the blog? I'd bet you've got a few doozies.

  19. I am the worst at laundry! Washing and drying the clothes, I can do... folding and putting away... not so much! But I've determined that as long as I keep them out of the rooms that people actually see, I'm ok with it.

    And my 9 year old has taken to wearing mismatched socks on purpose as well, what is with that? Drives me batty to see, but saves me having to match her socks.

  20. Again, I want to party with you gals. And please bring Emma.

    Literally, last week my husband looked at me straight-faced and said, "what's so hard about getting the laundry done." I've never had violent thoughts toward him until that moment. Furthermore, I have never heard of Eloise and now I know I'll run the other way if I ever hear of her again.

    Thanks for the big LOL ladies. Y'all are the best!

  21. thanks for making my laundry problems seem "normal"! Luv what you both have to say - thanks for the laughs!!

  22. Pre-threaded needle in laundry room? Hmmm...What color thread do we use? White ?
    What if we need black, or red or green ? Should we have hundreds of pre-threaded needles in various colors ? Geez... this gives me a headache ..




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