Dirty Laundry

I’m starting this post pre-dinner whilst I waste a little time trolling about the Internets, and one of my favorite wastes of time is Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist.  He’s got such a wide variety of fashion subjects that I can forgive him when he loads up with the obscure fashionistas and runway models.  (Actually, I think his runway coverage ~especially of the men’s shows ~ is pretty good.)  But today he has this little post — no picture — wondering whatever happened to the “position” of Laundress?  You know, that almost mythical fairy of a professional (like Mary Poppins and that butler from the film, Arthur) who would wash, iron, fold and mend your clothing so you would look so crisp and fabulous when you went out into the world.  And you wouldn’t need to throw away your clothes — like so many Americans do(?).  And what a business opportunity taking care of others’ clothes could be!

Some of us have been lucky enough to have had a laundress.  In many cases she was usually unpaid (usually under-appreciated), and sometimes called Mom.  If she was as real an OG as some of the moms I’ve met over the years, she would have taught you how to maintain your own clothes for yourself (rather than just become the second generation laundress for a passel of ungrateful children) so you could think about loftier goals than the elimination of that scourge, ring-around-the-collar. Laundry is just one of those chores that come with adulthood.  You don’t have to make it your life’s work, but it is a part of civilized life.  So if you want to help boost this sagging economy by either becoming a “laundress” or employing one, by all means, please do. I’ll let Mr. Schuman know where to find you.


3 thoughts on “Dirty Laundry

  1. My eldest sister once commented that she got a real sense of satisfaction from doing laundry. I can hardly imagine a more boring chore. But, her chosen profession was the law, and as a family law attorney, it was probably a nice change of pace for her. Me, I still hate it.

  2. When I have a block of time and am in the right frame of mind, I find ironing to be a bit meditative. But I still try to avoid it as much as I can.

    In a past life I worked for a little company that tried very hard to make and market apparel that was 100% machine washable/dryable. Using both knit and woven fabrics, they designed nice things that you could wear to work and then just toss in the washer! No dry cleaning… no ironing! I cherish the pieces I still have, and was so sad when they went out of business (and put me out of a job). Maybe they were just a tad ahead of their time in terms of reaching the customer? E-commerce was still not fully embraced, but now with social media helping to tell their story, maybe they would have had a chance.

    1. Why laundRESS – is Mr. Schulman opposed to the idea of a gentleman launderer? Who among us wouldn’t love to come home to a load of freshly washed linens and a dapper young man hanging them on the line for us? {snapping back to reality] I think I don’t mind laundry so much b/c the adults in my house share laundry duties, and also b/c I remember the days when I didn’t have my own washer/dryer, and being able to run down to the basement, without scavenging for quarters, still seems like a luxury sometimes.

      I’m w/Rosie – I get kind of a sense of accomplishment from ironing , but I still tend to procrastinate before getting around to it.
      Re: Ring Around the Collar, there’s a special hot, itchy place in hell for the people who built careers around convincing women that they were somehow responsible for their husbands’ poor hygeine and dirty collars.

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