Story #05 for Story A Day Challenge May 2016
Why Even Bother
While others search for the perfect rose, wine, diving watch, or mountain to climb, all I want, Tina complained, is the perfect bath mat.
Oh, sure, the labels say they are washable but whatever that means to those manufacturers must not be what it means to me. What I want, not that anyone is ever going to ask me, is one with a little cushion and still fits into the washing machine without me having to bend it three or four times and shove it in. Because those are in the exact same position when I open the machine after the wash. I’m not sure the top of it even got wet, much less clean.
A bath mat that I like. How hard can that be? It’s not like I want to spend all my time gallivanting all over town shopping for a bath mat. I’ve already spent more time than I wanted to on this. And what have I got? More baths mats than I care to admit, mats that seemed all right in the store but not so much at home after I tried to wash them.
Tina tried to take them outside and rinse them down with water from the hose, but that didn’t really get them clean and she thought it was a bit old-fashioned, anyway. Tina scolded the washing machine, “If I wanted to be old-fashioned, I’d take my clothes down to the river to wash them on the rocks and I wouldn’t own a washing machine, now would I?”
Or a dryer. Sometimes that’s just as bad. For Tina, laundry turned out to be more than a chore, it was a challenge. Sheets, she was always having issues with sheets.
To no one in particular, Tina appealed, “I mean, is there some kind of secret sensor in the dryer so it knows when I put in sheets? I don’t understand why I can put in the sheets and then everything else on top of them into the dryer only to have all the small items wrapped up in the middle of a sheet, still wet when the dryer finishes its cycle.”
It just thinks it’s finished. But Tina has to unwrap the sheet, take out all the towels, pillow cases, and the other sheet, put everything back in the dryer and set it again. Every time.
Tina declared war, thinking she could outsmart the dryer. She set her kitchen timer for 15 minutes before the dryer said it would finish. She stopped the dryer, took everything out, rescued the towels and such from the innards of the tangled sheet and put everything back.
That should do it, Tina decided. That should be enough for everything to dry, separately.
That didn’t work. Opening the dryer door, she found that everything had, once again, found its way into the stomach of the sheet and it came out so wadded up it was ready to put on a pole, hoist it up on her shoulder, and head off to a hobo convention near the train tracks.
Maybe the problem is the time, she thought. I’ll keep adjusting it until I find the perfect time to interrupt the drying cycle, separate the sheets, put them back in and ta-da! A few minutes later everything will come out dry and nothing hidden.
Poor Tina. That didn’t work either. No matter when she set her timer, even if she washed the sheets and pillow cases all by themselves, the end result was the same: one big glob of sheets still not dry.
Why even bother? Tina asked the universe. Why do I even bother?