I committed the unpardonable sin tonight.
I did the laundry.
This morning, one of my teenagers informed me that he had no pants to wear. I told him where I keep a secret stash of pants (the storage room) and, thus, he didn’t not have to attend church half-clad. (I kid. The storage room is a mutated closet where I hang their dressy clothes, like the black corduroy pants I bought each of the boys to wear for our Christmas photograph.)
This evening, I scooped up the discarded black corduroy pants off the laundry room floor and pushed them into the washing machine with other dirty duds. The laundry is a little backed up because over the weekend, that happens. I venture out of the house and in my absence the laundry copulates and gives birth to more dirty laundry.
About twenty minutes later, would-be-half-clad boy comes out (wearing pajama pants) and says, “Mom, did you wash my pants?” and I say, “I think they’re in the washer. Why?” and he informs me that his wallet was in the pocket.
“Bummer,” I said with characteristic care. “What was in it?” I’ve washed it a half dozen times before.
“Money!” he said
“Money can be washed. Anything else?”
“My YMCA card and two cards from Game Crazy.”
“Everything will be fine.”
And he exits.
Moments later, “MOM! MY iPOD IS IN MY POCKET!”
I slide my feet back into my slippers, scurry to the laundry room and see that the machine has twenty-five minutes remaining in its cycle. It is a front-loading machine. I cannot open it mid-cycle or the water will rush out like a waterfall. So, I say, “Well, too bad. Maybe it’s not in there.” He is widely famous of his absentmindedness and often misplaces things. For all I know, the iPod is upstairs on the bathroom counter or in the living room under a couch. Why panic until the cycle ends?
Then the world collapses from the massive outrage of one 14-year old boy.
He simply could not believe that I had the nerve–THE NERVE!–to wash his iPod. I said, “Shane, I do not check pockets. All I did was my job. I do laundry.”
He said, ‘WELL! THANKS A LOT, MOM! THANKS A LOT!” He said some other things he doesn’t have the sense to regret.
Of course, I advised him that the responsibility for pocket-emptying is his. He raged on and on and I let him, only pointing my bony finger in his face to inform him that if he didn’t like the way I did laundry, he could do his own laundry. In fact, I may have said, “FINE! THEN FROM THIS SECOND ON, YOU WILL DO YOUR OWN LAUNDRY. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!” He disappeared into his room, only to reappear a bit later.
He expressed incredulity that I never said I was sorry and I said, “SORRY!?! FOR DOING THE LAUNDRY? FOR WASHING DIRTY CLOTHES LEFT ON THE LAUNDRY ROOM FLOOR?”
I did finally interrupt his dramatic presentation of adolescent angst to let him in on the fact that I purchased replacement insurance for his iPod for such an occasion as this.
And I did a Google search with these terms: “washing machine iPod help.” There is some anecdotal evidence that an iPod may survive a ride through the washing machine.
However, I am fairly certain I will not survive the life cycle of the common household teenager.