I wore a dress the other day. On a week day. That's how I knew. It was time to do some laundry. (actually, I tend to wear dresses a lot in the summer around here- and yes it is still summer around here- but I thought it was a pretty good way to start, so I went with it.)
I threw a load of the girls' clothes into the washing machine, waited the customary 41 minutes for the cycle to run its course, and at the chiming of the bell, I promptly (because I have nothing to do but stand by the laundry room door and wait for a load of laundry to cycle through) entered the laundry room to put those damp clothes into the dryer- with a smile on my face, my hair swept into a glorious up-do and in heels (to go with my dress).
While I was so doing I heard the periodic clanking of something tumbling from the clothes as I moved them from one machine to the other. I immediately stopped the process to determine what treasure I might find this day. And there it was- a sparkly white rock, rustled from some deep pocket where it had been peacefully resting until it met with my cobalt blue master of a washing machine and was shaken loose. I placed it on top of the appliance and continued transferring the remaining clothes. Again, I heard the familiar clank of a sparkly white stone.
This scenario would be played out 5 additional times before I was able to complete the removal of the wet clothes and help them find their place in my dryer.
I turned on the power to the dryer, selected the appropriate cycle for tiny colored clothing, and pressed the start button. As if on cue, the familiar clank, clank, clanking of foreign objects could be heard. How many more can there be? I paused the dryer and opened the door and began the rummaging process to extract the offending clankers. I found 3 more rocks, closed the door, and resumed the tumbling of the clothes by pushing the start button again. I listened. Nothing but the thump of damp clothes as they tumbled against the drum. So I turned to leave. No sooner had I done that then a tiny timid clank reached my ears.
I pushed pause once again, kicked off my heels, opened the door, and searched for that little pebble. Finally, I found it in all its sparkling white glory, pushed the door closed and activated the cycle once again- confident(ish) that all pebbles were accounted for. They weren't. Once again I could hear a rock free-falling in my dryer as it spun round and round.
I left the room. Not willing to deal with that rock because do you know how painstaking a process it is to find a small rock in a pile of damp clothes? You have to totally commit. "Let it have its thrill ride," said I. I was not about to mess with it any longer and satisfied that I would let it believe it had really pulled one over on me. Even as I walked away, though, I had visions of an exploding dryer, but I just couldn't spend any more time searching fruitlessly for the item. I will find it when I go to fold the clothes and it will receive its punishment at that time.
In all I rescued 10 rocks of various sizes and shapes from my one load of laundry- and who knows how many stowaways escaped detection. (I really need to start checking pockets since my daughters are really into collecting- anything.)
Since this laundry experience I have been troubled and I am struggling with coming to terms with a certain discovery. And, how do I teach my children to shun this concept? Out of all the rocks in our yard- pink, grey, black, brown, spotted and striped- my girls chose ONLY white ones. I think they are racist.
*and guess what? there is a blog called "rocks in my dryer"- i think it's in honor of my experience. check it out sometime... but don't go there expecting it to tell you how to deal with actual rocks in your dryer- i think it's metaphorical :)