Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dirty Laundry By: Karen Pilarski





Dirty laundry.

Smelly, stained wrinkly remnants of the day. Piles of worn out clothing that become a mile high if laziness takes over.

Crusty gobs of dried peanut butter on a sleeve, sauce splattered on a white dress. Snags in pantyhose, holes in sheets. Charred pants from an incident near a fire pit.

If only the soiled garments were soaked and treated before the spills bled into the material. There wouldn't be a permanent reminder of the idiocy.

It is unfortunate I have dealt with other people's dirty laundry.

Not by choice.

Growing up in Bay View, I spent many hours in the laundromat by the library. This was before the new hipster and modern look took over the community.

This was back in the day when the town was a bit trashy. There was a greasy George Webs down the street.

Next to the laundromat was a running joke for me. Every other month there was a new business in that space. The most memorable was the costume store.

Inside the sudsy space was a mess. Graffiti on the folding tables, the repugnant urine smell coming from the toddler in diaper.

Bored to tears watching old grannies with their yellow tinted bras and single people making small talk.

I wondered if the regulars at the laundromat gawked at our piles as much as we did to theirs.

Eventually I lived in apartments were there was limited access to the washing room. Yet one time I accidentally dropped a pair of frilly panties.

The next time I went downstairs my sexy underwear was hung from a wire next to the door. For the whole world (or 20 residents) to view.  It is comparable to putting underwear up a flagpole. Very summer camp of the culprit.

I try to mind my own business but sometimes someone's bright eye sore colored attire gets mixed in.

What a horror to have a bleached white sock turn an Easter peep shade of pink when proper care is not taken.

The ones who witnessed or attempted the washing becomes stoic all of a sudden.


My past is not perfect or sanitized. I don't always face the untidiness, rather I resort to shoving and pushing items into a closet for awhile. To my dismay, the junk becomes unsettled and the slightest of movement causes it all to spill out.

The clothing beyond repair should be tossed out and not placed in a drawer.

My husband has acted this way with denim jeans from the 90's. Stone washed and faded out pants abandoned in a dresser.

The jeans last fit him when he was 22 yrs old. Overly snug and tight in all the wrong places now. He won't part with them. "They might fit one day when I lose some weight" he scolds.

I remind him of the fun clothing spree he could do instead of relying on the fashion don't in our dresser.

He still has his faded high school track shirt that I wear to his delight. It is  loose on me and fits like a nightshirt.

I have no old garments I hang onto. My wedding dress I still have. I rather donate the clothes I no longer fit into. It is a mindset. The feelings of gaining pounds offer me no comfort. The now tight dresses only highlight the battle of the bulge for me. I become sullen and defeated.

The constant washing cycle spins and turns in redundancy.


Old is not always new again.

Thoughts change, people grow and outgrown ideas.

When the mess is not dealt with, it overwhelms and turns tragic. A once fresh and disinfected relationship drowns in harsh chemicals and unresolved feelings bubble with colorful dyes to the surface.


That is the strange thing about dirty laundry or worn out clothes. They are mere hoary notions that people tend to cling to like static.