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An open letter to the pile of laundry I will one day finally fold

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Dear Laundry Pile,

There’s a great joke by the late comedian Mitch Hedberg. “No matter how good I get at tennis, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. Those things are relentless,” he said.

Well, you, laundry pile, are relentless.

You’re all crumpled up on the floor, gathering wrinkles, as dust bunnies float by like tumbleweeds while my wife and I neglect you. We’re out living life, feeding our boys, bathing our boys, playing with our boys, raising our boys. Sorry for failing to get you where you need to be, namely closets and dresser drawers. It’s a good thing we don’t run carpools with this kind of tardiness and inefficiency.

As you may know, we divide and conquer chores in the house. My wife cooks and I clean. Doing the laundry is easy – just grab a bunch of clothing, throw it in the washing machine and then toss it into the dryer about an hour later. Heck, even carrying it from the dryer to our room where I fold it (or intend to fold it) is simple. But that’s where things get tricky.

I like the idea of setting aside time to fold you, hang you up and shove you into drawers. But, truthfully, I’m tired. I commute. I work. And when that part of the day is done, it’s on to my second job: parenting. There is no time to set aside. Heck, there’s no time, period. We have to drive to practices, help complete homework assignments and mediate the inevitable disagreements that come up between the kids. And don’t get me started on the conversations my wife and I have each night: “Can you take our older one to soccer tomorrow?” “We need to work more on reading with our younger one.” “Let’s start planning that vacation we keep talking about.” It goes on. And on. And on some more.

You, however, just sit there on the floor, while we move around more than the water in the washing machine on its spin cycle.

And once the end of the day rolls around, I’m not so keen on using whatever down time I have to tend to you, so go ahead and continue to silently mock me while I crawl into bed for 30 minutes to decompress in front of the TV before I catch some much-needed, but not nearly enough, Zs.


I see you’ve grown, too. When people make the requisite “Look at how big they’ve gotten” comment when they see our sons, I’m tempted to say, “You should see our unfolded laundry.” At some point, you’ve graduated from “a pile” and morphed into “a mountain.” You’ve elevated so high, I’m surprised our dog doesn’t need an oxygen mask when he climbs and settles on top of you, some canine version of scaling Kilimanjaro.

I know it’s gotten bad because the kids don’t even go into their own rooms to dress anymore. They just saunter into our room and sift through you to find what they like before going on with their day.

So, keep taunting me. Snicker away knowing I’ll never find the sock to complete the pair. Laugh to yourself while I procrastinate folding the boys’ shirts, which somehow still look dirty even after being cleaned. Roll your eyes when I walk through you on the way out of the room.

Perhaps I will take a day off, just to get you off my floor. The tragedy lies in knowing there’s another pile – err, mountain -- in the offing and we will have to go through the cycle all over again. You are relentless, after all.

Now, if you‘ll excuse me, I have to go have a long overdue chat with those dishes in the sink ...

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