Suzy Homemaker, I am not. Thinking about what to make for dinner ranks among Chinese water torture and watching Yo Gabba Gabba on repeat. And no, making a menu isn’t helpful. That’s just torture times 7 days a week. I can tell you which shoes have been at Nordstrom the longest and are, therefore, about to go on sale, but I have no idea what double coupon day is at the grocery store. My mother-in-law has this uncanny ability to remember little useful facts and recipes, so at any given time she’s probably got some tidbit of information to help with whatever you’re doing – cleaning a stainless steel sink or reupholstering a sofa. That filing drawer in my mind just doesn’t work. (Or it’s being used for the above-mentioned info about shoes.)
The desire to care for my family and make our house a place where anyone can feel at home is alive and well. The details just don’t come naturally to me. So imagine my surprise when I was asked twice in a week how my laundry smells so good. My housekeeper, Magy, and my mother-in-law both asked about what detergent I’m using. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but I was mentally sewing the “Laundry” badge onto my imaginary Girl Scout sash. (You know it was imaginary. I was sewing.) I faked humility while internally fist-bumping them both as I explained that it’s just Gain detergent, but because the washer and dryer in my new house are high efficiency, it’s that type of detergent. We all agreed that must be the explanation. Something about the detergent smells especially good and lingers longer than the norm. (Of course, we all also agreed mentally that I’m a laundry genius, although this was not openly discussed.)
My parents visited recently, and my mom was in the utility room with me while I sorted clothes. (Sorting with a 4-year-old girl is pretty straight-forward. There’s pink and there’s everything else.) Of course, I wasted no time sharing the story of my rise to laundry fame. Something you should know – my mom is Betty-freaking-Crocker. If Betty Crocker sews. If Betty can’t sew, then my mom’s got her beat, too. So as I tell the story, she reaches over to look at my coveted bottle of detergent, and I could immediately tell something was awry. She looked at the front, then looked at the back. Then she looked at me.
(That’s never good.)
“This is fabric softener.”
I’ll give you a minute to come to the conclusion we all did. Not only is my Laundry badge being ripped from the imaginary Girl Scout sash, but NONE OF OUR CLOTHES ARE CLEAN because they haven’t actually been washed with soap.
But they are delightfully soft.