Last month, my dear husband spoke to me about a habit he wanted me to change.
It was not a bad habit, you understand. But Sid felt that if I changed this one habit, it could significantly trim our budget.
His request was simple — I remove clothes from the washer and NOT put them in the dryer.
He wanted me to hang them on the new clothesline he had constructed. Not a new idea and simple in theory, at least. But I . . . . . . . . . .well, I tend to do many daily tasks by rote, without thinking. Knowing it would take awhile for me to REMEMBER that we had a clothesline, I asked for Sid’s patience and some reminders to help me make the transition.
Well, I washed clothes two days later, and I . . . . . you guessed it . . . . .tossed them straight in to the dryer and pushed the ON button.
Persistence being one of my virtues (or maybe I was just desperate for dry clothes), I pushed the ON button again.
I sighed. Then I remembered the clothesline. Wow — I thought — great timing. It is a good thing Sid put up that clothesline before the dryer went ka-put. Another mildly uncomfortable thought crossed my mind also, but I brushed it away.
Then I hauled my wet laundry down the stairs and outside, all the while thinking I’d rather be taking a nap to the soothing noise of my dryer, and feeling just a might grumpy. But while I hung my nice clean clothes in the warm sunshine, I found myself feeling content. Reaching down for a clean shirt, shaking it out and pinning it to the line had a peaceful rhythm. And each piece of clothing has a memory or picture attached to it —– Rachel wearing her pajamas outside and getting red clay all over the seat of her jammies when she slid down the bank. Sidney’s pants, with black grease on them because he helped Sid fix or grease something. Lincoln’s hand-me-down pants from a neighbor who had cut the ends with ragged edges for a scarecrow costume, but Lincoln wears them daily as if they’re the latest fashion. Prairie’s little dress, that used to be Rachel’s dress, that Bree made the Easter she was 2 years old.
When Sid came home later, I proudly pointed out my clothesline full of clothes. It was tempting to let him think that I was wonderfully responsible and had remembered on my own, but I admitted to him that I had tried the dryer first, but something was wrong with it.
He smiled. “I disabled it.”
“You didn’t trust me!” I tried hard to look outraged, knowing the whole time that he couldn’t trust me not to take the whole summer to consistently hang clothes.
“No, no, it’s not that. You asked me to help you remember. And I did.”
Drat it. The man is brilliant. He found a way to work around me.
If only all less-than-desirable habits were so easily and instantly changed.