Friday, January 18, 2013

The Firey Pits of Hell. AKA: The Dry Cleaner

If, at the end of my life, all that I believe to be Right and True, turns out to be false; and I am destined to spend an eternity in the firey pits of hell; I have no doubt this will be the sign hanging above the burning gates...

And when I enter my perilous permanence, you know what I'm going to hear? Not the groaning of suffering souls, not even the wails of the condemned.  No, I am going to spend eternity listening to the sound of the obnoxious doorbell that sounds any time someone steps over threshold of my local dry cleaning.  The incessant, "diiiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg-doooooooooonnnnnnnnggggg!" Forever.  And ever.

So it is possible  I'm being a bit dramatic here.  But only slightly, barely, just a smidgen.  Yes, that's how much I hate all things dry cleaning.  

If you follow my blog at all you know a bit about my dry cleaning disdain.  You've read about it here.  But my hatred for dry cleaning extends beyond the looks of pity and judgement I receive from the sweet lady who is ringing me up while she subtly packs a copy of Tiger Moms in my laundry bag.  From Step 1 to Step Done- there is nothing that redeems the task of dry cleaning.  

Let me walk you through it.  First, this is our dry cleaning basket, located in our closet...

No, this isn't after several weeks of build up.
Hubs, just came home from the dry cleaner today.  About 5 hours ago, in fact.

My husband works in an office.  That means one dress shirt/day X 5 days/week.  In addition to that, when we go to church or doing anything somewhat grown-up-y on the weekend, he's not going to wear a t-shirt. So no matter how "on the ball" we are about dry cleaning, there is a minimum of 6 shirts tossed in this basket each week.

And let me make something clear: we are pretty much not "on the ball" when it comes to dry cleaning.  We don't have a very precise schedule.  Eventually he runs really really low on shirts or the basket isn't quite enough and button-down dress shirts slither their way onto the floor of the closet. 

And so, it becomes time to head to hell, I mean the dry cleaner.  Step 1 is to find the dubious VIP laundry bag that is labeled with exactly how my husband likes his shirts dry cleaned (light starch, on hangers) so we can just drop off and go.  Let me say, the bag is never where it should be.  It's not even where it shouldn't be.  It's nowhere.  Ever.  Then suddenly it's somewhere.  Random.  Stupid bag! It's like Crouching Tiger Hidden Laundry Bag.

You think you're so funny, grasshopper.  But I find you every time!

Then it's time to select which shirts will be needed and preferred in the next few weeks and carefully place each one in the bag stuff the bag like a Thanksgiving turkey.  In the end, the bag weighs approximately 63 pounds.  OK, that's another exaggeration.  But the thing weighs at least 4-5 pounds.  Now I work out consistently and I'm no wimp; but that thing is a bitch to maneuver.  The drawstring never stays closed so shirts are escaping and I'm pretty sure the shoulder strap is made of burlap with shards of glass sewn in.  Or not.  Whatever, it's not comfortable to carry.  

But carry it I do.  Out of the room, down the stairs and into the living room... Where it stays for anywhere from 1-2 days because 9 times out of 10 I don't remember to bring it with me when I leave for the day.  

Somewhere around 10 p.m. of day 2 I decide to be proactive and drag that sack of shirts out to my car so I will not forget it in the house for another day.  So now it's in the car... where it stays for another day or so because I just can't seem to remember to drop it off or there is no convenient time to drop it off or I am not going in that direction while accomplishing any of my To Do Lists.  *Please note the dry cleaner is only 3 miles from my house- but it is 3 miles in the opposite direction of 98% of all my destinations*

But again, I finally get my act together, drive in the opposite direction of where I need to be on any given day, park in the fire zone with the car running (don't even say it), run in, smile at my Tiger Mom friend, dump the bag on the desk with an apologetic smile and dash back out to the car to head south to where I really need to be going.  

You'd think I'd be done with the hard part now, right? I could finally put a big, fat line through Go To Dry Cleaner or the day's To Do List.  But nooooooo! I'm not done.  Not done at all.  Because what's left are the worst parts of all... picking it up, getting it in the house, putting it away and dealing with all the dry cleaning excrement.  Yes, excrement.  Let me explain.  

I'll spare you the hilarity that is remembering to pick up the dry cleaning- simply take the "ready date" and add about 3 more days to it.  That's when I pick it up.  But let's jump ahead.  I'm at the dry cleaner, not parked in the fire lane with the car running, and most likely with my offspring trailing behind as we cross the parking lot and enter the dry cleaner- yes, to the wonderful sound of diiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnggggg-dooooooonnnnnnnggg! Over and over and over because my boys think it's funny to try and jump over the sensor so they can enter without making a sound yet can never seem to clear it, therefore causing the repetitive ringing.  Sweet Dry Cleaning lady just smiles and hands them a lollipop and begins to gather my stuff.  Let me be clear here: "My stuff" this week consisted of 33 shirts, 4 pairs of pants and the pesky dry cleaning bag that will go into hiding as soon as I get home.

33 shirts! Thirty-three! Those shirts that I worked up a sweat shoving into the stupid blue bag are now hanging side by side on metal hangers just waiting to stab me in the hand, the arm or the eye.  I hate those bastards! And if that's not bad enough, they are impossible to carry all at once without cutting off all circulation to my extremities so I have to make at a minimum, 2 trips to the car either leaving the boys in the store acting like fools in front of the wall of mirrors or bringing them with me through the parking lot where they insist on staring at their shoes rather than up where cars might actually be driving.  Then I have to deal with them in my house.  I know as the shirts are worn, I should put those stupid hangers aside to be returned on my next visit so they can be recycled.  But I can barely carry the bag when it's full, let alone 33 metal hangers trying to impale themselves on me! But I feel so guilty throwing them away.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, stupid hangers!

So the clothes along with their environmentally shameful and guilt-inducing hangers are finally in the car and we are headed home.  Next comes the 2-3 trips from the car, in the house, up the stairs and into my bedroom.  Please note this goes on while my kids are scrambling out of the car yelling, "Mom can grab my __________ (fill in the blank with anything they don't feel like carrying while failing to notice my purple fingers from these blasted hangers and the fact that I can barely walk.)"

But inside I get them- the kids and the clothes- and I'm faced with one final decision.  To unpack or not unpack. If I put the time and effort into it now, I make my life easier later.  You see my dry cleaner only bundles 3-4 shirts together beneath each child safety hazard plastic bag.  So if I am smart, I strip those breath-stealing bad boys from the shirts and throw them in the trash immediately... I really should recycle those too, huh? Crap, more guilt. 

Not to mention that each shirt- yes, each individual shirt- has a little 1-inch yellow tag on it, placed lovingly by my dry cleaning friends.  And don't even get me started on the little plastic tabby-things that hold the long sleeves crossed in front to avoid wrinkling.  So if I just take the final step and strip the bag, pull the tags and remove the plastic tabs I can avoid this...

Curse you, yellow paper tags and plastic tabby-things!!

Because let's be honest, these things are not going to end up in the trash can when they are removed daily.  No, they are going to end up on the t.v. stand, the bathroom counter, the nightstand, the floor and the bottom of my feet when I step out of the shower.  

But at this point, I don't think I have one iota of motivation to be proactive.  I don't want to strip and pull and remove unless it's for something yielding better results, if you know what I mean.  So, more often than not, I either toss the gigantic pile of clothes on the bed in annoyance or if I'm feeling particularly responsible, I'll at least hang it all up, heave a large sigh of relief and avoid looking down at this...

So, we meet again...

Dry cleaning is satan's way of torturing me on earth.
That's just my normal.


Chatón said...

Hilarious! And reminds me of how my laundry haunts me constantly! -your newest follower from Bloggy Moms! Would love it if you'd follow my blog too. You can find it at http://chatonsworldpage

lk said...

What about new men's dress shirts? Each has no less than 4,100 straigt pins in strange places, random tissue paper and cardboard everywhere, and 346 tags and stickers. For what? My hub warns them cleaned before wearing them the first time anyway.

in pursuit said...

Oh LK mishear ya! Those pins are awful! It's like being in an acupuncturist's office with all those things in my feet! And washing before the first wear? Really? These men, I tell ya!

Carrie's Just Mildly Medicated said...

SO TRUE!! Hubby is an Army Officer so when we have events its dry cleaning, pind and buttons and ridiculousness!
Carrie at Just Mildly Medicated

seasonedwithlife said...

Oh, I'm so glad my hubby retired. He used to have a shirt and tie job and the dry cleaner was just around the corner. These days the only things I have to deal with at the dry cleaners is huge blankets that don't fit into my washing machine or dryer.

Love your blog!


Debbie - Wrinkled Mommy said...

lol, wow - I would feel the same way too. That's a lot of dry cleaning! I have probably only been to the dry cleaners two or three times my entire life. But my husband wears T-shirts to work too, and my clothes are OK to wash and dry myself.

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

Very funny. I love your post. I'm like Debbie, gone to dry cleaners maybe 3 time in my lifetime. Thank God! Just the idea haunts me.

I'm your newest follower.


in pursuit said...

Chaton- I think laundry haunts every mom! It's like the child that won't let go of your leg!

in pursuit said...

Carrie- You have a good point there. The ironing and perfect creases must be insane. BUT! Who doesn't love a man in uniform;)
Hope you're well Just Mildly Medicated (a fantastic blog everyone should go check out and the link is on the right side of my page;)

in pursuit said...

Thanks for stopping by! I have to laugh because I called my mom today (my parents are both retired) and she answered while huffing and puffing. I asked what she was doing and she said she was taking her comforter to the dry cleaner! ha! I guess I will never be rid of the dry cleaner, huh?
Hope to see you back here again!

in pursuit said...

Debbie- t shirts to work? I won't tell Hubs this info as he might cry. He has friends that get to do the same. And since we live in Sunny San Diego, they even get to wear flip-flops. If only... A boy can dream;)
Thanks for stopping by!

in pursuit said...

Angie- Thanks for dropping by! I totally have dry cleaner-envy. Is that a thing? It is now! Thanks for following as well. I will be sure to visit your site as well!

Jennifer DeRouen said...

Cracking up! I also hate dry cleaning, and I am the worst at remembering to pick it up. I almost had my wedding dress lost forever cause I kept forgetting to pick it up, you think it would be important and a priority! lol I did finally pick it up, about 3 months later! lol

in pursuit said...

Bwahaha! Your wedding dress?! That is hysterical! I left mine in my parents' garage. The day we moved in to our first home my parents rolled up with a care package. It included my wedding dress. Guess they weren't finding its presence sentimental- just asking up space! You totally made me laugh!

Natalie said...

This was hysterical. Thank you for the laugh! Clicked over from your comment on SCL.

in pursuit said...

Hey Natalie! Thanks for dropping by! I love SCL! Sometimes I wonder if other readers over there think they landed on the wrong site when you click over from there;) HeeHee! Would love to have you drop by any time. I try to provide laughs in this crazy world this side of Heaven:)

Terri Vanech said...

This is too much! Our dry cleaning has dwindled significantly since I stopped wearing suits to work. Thank goodness!

in pursuit said...

I am so jealous, Terri!! I spend a good portion of my day in workout clothes so shouldn't I get out of this chore!? Haha! Thanks for the comment and for dropping by!

Meredith said...

Ha! This is hysterical. I am officially on board with giving my dry cleaning the evil eye and am snorting over "Crouching Tiger Hidden Laundry Bag". It definitely HAS to be actively trying to work against you...

Jessica Allen said...

So funny! I so don't envy you and the dry cleaners! My hubby works from home a lot so he wears t-shirts most days. I can handle that! :)
Found you via Bloggy Moms! New follower!!

in pursuit said...

Jessica- Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you here again. You're another one whose husband gets to wear t-shirts! I think that I should file a complaint at my husband's law firm. They paid for law school, right? Havent' we invested enough money into this thing?

Well I hope you are enjoying Bloggy Moms as much as I am. I have found some amazing blogs to follow and great writers to inspire me as well as improve my own writing skills.
Thanks again for dropping in and becoming a follower!

in pursuit said...

I saw something on Facebook today about giving your laundry "the finger." I am not ashamed to admit I've done that before. I've even pulled the Monica and Ross double fists pounding together at it as well. Please note as I type this there are two, yes two, baskets full of clean clothes just waiting to be folded about 8 fee from my chair! Yeah, I just double-fisted and middle fingered it! Take that, clean clothes!
Thanks for stopping by;)

Penny Roach said...

Bahahahahaha!! This was just too funny. My husband has these polo shirts he has to wear (he works outside) and he's lucky they make it from the dryer to a hanger. I used to wear business suits when I worked in Corporate Finance and thankfully, those days are looooong pants and T-shirts for me baby!! Come to think of it, I did have a basket of "nice" clothes that I probably wore to church or the occasional event (oh who am I kidding? we haven't been anywhere in forever!) and I'm pretty sure they were dry clean only. In fact, I'm pretty sure I haven't seen that basket in the back of our closet since we moved here almost 3 years ago. Doh!!

Congrats on being featured tomorrow. You truly deserve it!!

Penny at Green Moms and Kids

Vonya said...

We are at the dry cleaners on a weekly basis as well-maybe three shirts and two pants for my hubby, and occasionally, an item for me. I don't mind the dry cleaner, because that means I don't have to wash and iron! The dry cleaner is my best friend;)

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