Thursday, April 13, 2006

Secret Laundry

I thought one of the hardest things to adjust to with having Matt home would be getting back into the habit of picking up after two, but in all actuality, it's been quite easy and I've rather full-heartedly thrown myself into the role of Domestic Goddess. I can't cook - well, I can in the lowest sense of the word, but he who eats the food I make is a brave, brave soul. I make a mean meatloaf which is a pure anomaly because everything else I make is God awful (I even burn boxed meals like Hamburger Helper). Thankfully Matt is an awesome cook - he makes the most fantastically moist chicken that melts in the mouth - so to keep things in equilibrium, I do the dishes, clean, do the laundry, etc. I'm a little bit of a nut in that I just LOVE doing laundry. What I lack in cooking, I make up in washing and ironing clothes - whites so white, perfectly ironed creases in Matt's Dockers, and no stain stands a chance against me. I'm telling you - I'm nuts.

For the 2 years we were together before Matt deployed, we'd miraculously managed to share a full mattress, but after sleeping alone on that bed for 14 months and then trying to squeeze both of us back onto it...well, it just wasn't going to work. God knows I love the man more than anything, but he is a bed hog, a pillow stealer, and has the world's sharpest elbows. How he managed to sleep on those tiny little army beds for over a year is a mystery to me; he sure had no problem getting reacquainted with sprawling out, elbowing, and just straight rolling over me. We needed a queen (hence the new bed featured in the post below), but that wasn't enough. We had blue walls that I had developed immense disdain for that I never imagined would occur when I had the brilliant idea to paint the damn things blue, so we had to completely redo the bedroom (yes, I admit I'm slightly high maintenance and somewhat of a spoiled brat).

I digress....Because of the painting, we had to spend a couple nights in our guest bedroom and because of the new bed, we suddenly had an extra mattress, so I was inundated with sheets to wash in the laundry and because I'm a little bit crazy, I decided to throw towels into the mix too, and on top of that, Matt was doing yard work, so every day he had stinky work clothes to add to the pile. I reveled in my mountain of laundry, but since I was also hell bent on spending every available second holding Matt's hand so he wouldn't magically disappear into thin air, I got really behind, so for the past week or so, I've been doing laundry every single night, trying to get caught up but continually being pushed back again by my fiance and his stinky work clothes.

A couple nights ago, Matt commented on my nightly laundry, which seemed a little insane on top of my incessant need to get the dishes cleaned the second we were done eating dinner. He said I needed to sit down and relax. He appreciates always having clean clothes and an immaculate house, but it wasn't the end of the world if I let things pile up a little. It's like a Virgo's personal hell. He basically forbade me from doing laundry Wednesday night, so I thought I'd be a little sneaky and secretly wash the laundry unbeknownst to him (I know, absolutely batty). He leaves for work every morning around 5:30 and that's painfully early for me so normally I don't get up with him, but he couldn't get his truck started yesterday so I had to get up and help him. After he left instead of crawling back into bed like I usually would, yup, you guessed it, I threw a load of laundry in the wash. I figured I could get it washed and in the dryer before I left so by the time I got home from work I could fold it and Matt would be none the wiser (he just started this fabulous new job, but he works about 13 hour days, leaving before I do and getting home after I do, which is a bit of a drain on both of us, but that's another post for another day).

When I got home, I turned the dryer on for just another 20 minutes or so to release any wrinkles that had developed from the clothes sitting in a bunch in the dryer all day and got them folded and put away just as Matt called my cell phone to let me know he was on his way home. Success!! And as a result of my secret laundry, I am totally caught up from the mountain that had formed.

Matt got home and we exchanged our usual how-was-your-day small talk, hugs, and kisses that we always do before he jumps in the shower and changes into his sweats to start making dinner. I curled up on our fantastic new couch to watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" while Matt showered and when he came back into the living room, sweat pant and t-shirt clad, he was pointing an accusing finger at me and giving me a scolding look. Uh oh. I was racking my brain for things I might have forgotten to do that day - after all, what you don't do is always more important than what you do.

"You did laundry, didn't you?"

All I could do was bust up laughing. I cannot keep things from Matt, yet I had been so sure that I could get away with secretly doing a load of laundry that morning so he wouldn't have to gripe that night that I never relax. He knew because I'd washed his sweatpants and when he went to put them on they were still warm from the dryer. I missed Matt immensely while he was gone, but I also missed us, our goofy interactions with one another, our silly unconditional love for each other. Matt is my best friend - unable to be substituted by even the best of my girlfriends - and I don't think it was until last night when I was busted for secretly doing the laundry that I remembered how unequivocally happy I am with Matt and how much I missed that feeling. In fact, I'd gotten so adept at "forgetting" certain aspects of our relationship to make the deployment less painful, I don't think I'd even fully realized it had been missing.

This morning before he left, Matt wrote me a note that he loves me so much and he'll see me tonight after work and rolled it up and put it in my key ring so I would find it when I went for my car keys. It really is the little things that matter the most; I must admit I'd outlandishly romantacized Matt's homecoming into impossible scenarios - something that, according to the FRG booklets we received in the mail, is totally normal and typically causes some level of discontentment - but I'm finally starting to get it. I don't need the retribution for the 14-months we "lost" that I've been waiting for and expecting. I'm just happy to have him home, safe, out of Afghanistan. I'm just happy to be whole again, and that's all the retribution I need.


Blogger Karen said...

I'd rather wash public toilets with my bare hands than do laundry. That's our one trade off. Brian can't cook to save his life, so I cook and clean and he does the laundry.


After Brian returned home, we were sleeping in a queen size bed. We had an addition to the family since he'd left, and there just wasn't enough room for the 3 of us when Cam didn't sleep through the night. Upon moving back to NH, we broke down and bought a king. SO totally worth it. It's like sleeping on a tiny slice of heaven!

4/13/2006 1:34 PM

Blogger Courtney said...

That post had me cracking up. Danny knows me all too well too. I can't keep anything from him. And yes I am very excited about him coming home. He actually called me and told me he is coming home tomorrow instead!!!! I can't wait.

4/13/2006 2:00 PM


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