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There’s a hook on my bathroom door that’s been occupied by a few articles that I don’t use. It’s a point of irritation for me because I probably could use that hook to hold articles that I actually do use. One thing that occupied the hook was an Anthropologie sweater that didn’t fit me anymore. I gave that to my mom when she visited. In July. Good job, me, for getting rid of something I don’t need, but now to the other things occupying the hook.

One of them was a green, chunky sweater with fringe that I might actually wear. If it didn’t have cat puke on it. I haven’t washed it because the tag says “hand wash only” and how inconvenient… Am I ever going to hand wash this huge sweater? Because if I’m not, I should get rid of it asap. Then I picture Goodwill employees being super grossed-out by the cat puke on this green sweater. They’re definitely not going to hand wash it. (Do they wash donated clothes at all? I think they’d have to… but what about all the complicated instructions? Do they have one blanket method to clean everything- including blankets?). Throwing out a usable sweater because I don’t want to wash it seems like something a Kardashian would do… Well… the Kardashians can pay people to wash things for them. The Kardashians probably only wear clothes once and so therefore don’t need anything to be washed ever. I have way less money than a Kardashian. My car crapped out right after Christmas and cost me an extra $1300, so I’m exceptionally broke right now. I decided to wash the goddamn sweater.

I figure I should look around and see if I have anything else that’s hand wash only so I can do them both at once. I throw the green sweater into the bathtub with another black Express sweater that was advertised to me as having “a touch of cashmere” and so bc of that or something it’s also hand wash only.

Oh my gawd sweaters soak up so much water. In addition to the “hand wash only” instruction, the tags also say “lay flat to dry.” Since I didn’t have any space anywhere that was ok to also get soaking wet, I left them laid as flat as possible in the drained bathtub.

The baby needed a bath the next day and so I had to move the sweaters which I think were not a bit dryer than they had been 24 hours prior. I laid a clean(ish) towel on my bed and put the smaller Express sweater there and then draped the huge green sweater over the shower door… thinking about how warped it was going to get… how I wouldn’t want to wear it… how this would all be for naught… but the baby was crying in his high chair and needed to get out and take a bath asap so I compromised. I heard a “tap tap tap tap” from the bathroom and realized the green sweater was So Wet that it was actually dripping water on the floor. I wrung it out (something I wasn’t supposed to do according to the bylaws of the sweater tag) and it was Still Dripping. I had found the solution to California’s water crisis- this sweater was generating its own unending source of moisture… So I found a random plastic bowl and set it under the fringe to collect the water and went off to bathe my son in the other bathroom.

Now, I’m aware that there are contraptions made specifically to help you dry your hand washed sweaters. But the whole point of me washing the sweater and keeping it instead of not washing it and throwing it away was that I’m Poor. As in- “not a lot of money to buy things.” I’m also living in an apartment with way too much stuff so I absolutely do not want to pay for something else I will just have to store when not in use. And I also can’t get a hotel room for drying my sweaters- which is something that crossed my mind… I have no floor space that is not immediately being used or will be used shortly bc a toddler runs around everywhere.

Before going to bed, I transferred the Express sweater and now-very-wet-towel it was lying on to hang over the shower curtain rack… noting that the bed was damp but at least it was only on my side so the husband wouldn’t have to deal with it. Meanwhile, the husband groans from the bathroom with the green sweater, telling me that the bowl I chose to use had a crack in it. To which I replied WHY DO WE HAVE TO KEEP A BOWL WITH A CRACK IN IT? He said he had thought about throwing it out, but had found himself using it to hold things that didn’t leak like chips when company came over. The right answer would be “because we’re not Kardashians.” No way the Kardashians have bowls with cracks. They probably also never reuse dishwear and don’t have to make decisions about whether to keep slightly broken things.

But almost everyone is not a Kardashian. Do normal adults just have washing machines with delicate settings and sweater dryers and enough room in their living spaces to actually dry sweaters? What do the rest of us do? Wear dirty sweaters… or throw out dirty sweaters… or just never buy sweaters…

P.S. This reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg line- “This shirt is dry-clean only. So it’s dirty.” I tried to find a clip of him actually saying this on YouTube but all I could find was a clip with terrible audio- and this one below that has a joke about dry cleaners- not dry clean only shirts. But it’s still really funny so I’m going to post it anyway: