Changing laundry from the washing machine to the dryer (It’s a machine, I know!!!!!!!*), I saw a towel on the floor between the two machines. It was originally intended for the load of red shades earlier today, but the load was too large for comfort, so I pulled out the towel. I left it on the floor, because a towel load needed to be done today or tomorrow anyway, so why bother bringing it back upstairs just to bring it back down only hours later? But that isn’t the point.
The point is (sort of) that I saw the towel sitting there, and I had an almost-urge to pick it up and put it in the dryer with the laundry I was transferring. Not that I wanted to put it in with the clean laundry, but that, usually, whenever something is on the floor there, it is because it has fallen in the transfer between the two machines. So, I simultaneously wanted not to touch the towel, to put it in the dryer, and to move it to the dirty towels upstairs (since I wasn’t doing the final two loads tonight, but doing them tomorrow). And, for a good moment, I was worried that I would pursue the final of the three, and accidentally fulfill the second in my tiredness and in the middle of routine muscle movements, and then wish for the first.
I managed to let go of having to deal with the towel now, and I left it on the floor, for fear of the second result.
As I thought about that possible second result, I was practically distraught at how it would ruin the fact that I had already put the load of clothes on to wash. By putting one single towel in the dryer, I thought, an entire load of laundry would be considered dirty. Now, why doesn’t that work the other way around? Why does one piece of clean laundry not make a load of dirty laundry clean, when mixed together? The dirty still win out. And how come a whole load of clean laundry can’t overpower the one dirty article? The clean just can’t overcome.
And then – now, this is the point of this all – I wondered about what is life is like this, if anything. Almost immediately, I thought about gender pronouns (and particularly in Spanish and French, because I learned those first). It’s just like guys and girls. A group full of guys, the dirty clothes, is (let’s use French) ils. Add one girl, the clean clothing, and it stays ils. A group full of girls is elles. Add one boy, and it becomes ils.
So, no matter what, if there are any boys, it is ils, dirty. The only way to keep it elles is to have only girls – no boys allowed.
And how odd that the boys are the dirty laundry and the girls are the clean… so like life, and I hadn’t even intended it to be so.**
Anyway, isn’t all of that fun?! Towels to grammar to life comparisons – I do lead an extraordinarily interesting life, huh? 😛
*Japan doesn’t exactly do dryers. People are expected to hang clothes outside, because every has a stay-at-home wife, you see… not. Everyone used to have a stay-at-home wife, but the lifestyle hasn’t changed. It just takes days and days to do laundry as a solo-liver, because weather can decide to soak your clean clothes while you’re off at work, or hide the sun from them, or be too humid for them to dry at all until they start to smell of mildew… I just hung mine all indoors, because I’d heard too many stories from my brother’s issues. Plus, supposedly people steal women’s underwear from the drying clothes in Japan. I didn’t need to deal with any of that nonsense. So, I set my air conditioner to a daytime setting to keep the apartment mildew-free, which also helped dry my clothes!
** I once wrote a poem about how boys are dirty. I didn’t exactly believe any of it, but I knew that people thought boys were dirty and smelly, and I rolled with the idea.