My Life as a Home Economic Consultant

I quite enjoy hanging laundry out on our clothesline. There is something kind of basic, earthy about it. The sun warming my skin, the sea breeze brushing through the leaves. I’ve recently discovered that turning my son’s socks right side out is quite a lot easier wet than dry. There must be more mass to them or something that allows one to flick the sock fewer times before the ball turns back into a tube.

I’ve also come up with new strategies to increase my laundry folding efficiency. For example, one could choose to use a single line to hang all the socks, the next line for underwear and so on. This is a poor strategy I’ve found, because my clothes drying apparatus is composed of 6 parallel lines, nearly five metres long. Through many laundry loads I have discovered that the most time consuming part of folding socks is finding their mates. This involves a lengthy search process and if a sock’s mate is five metres away it requires a fair bit of walking. Not that my waistline couldn’t use a bit more exercise, but that’s beside the point. When one has 22 years of education one comes up with strategies to justify one’s existence. I am no longer the ‘house husband,’ I am now a home economic ‘consultant.’ It says so right here on my business card.  My son was unimpressed when I gave it to him. Especially when he realised that it would take him three months to save enough allowance to ask for help organising his closet.

I suppose I could simply take down all the socks, place them in the basket together and then attempt to pair them. This sort of sock orgy seems very disorganised though and perhaps even unhygienic. The mixing of black and white socks like that, who knows what could happen?  No, I’ve decided that the most efficient strategy is to hang each member of the family’s socks on a single line. This prevents the possible five metre long spread between pairs and increases efficiency as one still only needs to search along a single line. It also allows one to concentrate on growing one pile of sock pairs at a time. I imagine that this sort of strategic planning is normally passed down from generation to generation, not being taught in school. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a clothesline growing up so I was unable to take in that element of the baby boomers’ corporate knowledge. Clotheslines were for the poor folk whose trailers hadn’t yet been picked up by a tornado. Instead, we had a clothes dryer, which gave rise to sock orgies on speed, leading to all sorts of inappropriate pair bonding through the magic of static electricity.  Many a sock woke to find itself alone, stuffed down a pant leg, hanging in the closet. Those heady days of yore!  I have a clothes dryer as well, but now that comparing one’s carbon footprint is more commonplace than penis length we don’t use it very often. Which is why I now find myself forging new laundry folding strategies in my mid-forties.