So, I really, really hate doing laundry and avoid it as long as possible. "As long as possible" is typically about two and a half weeks, but it varies depending on factors including weather, traumas/moments of clumsiness resulting in stains, and how much I go running. (Socks are my limiting reagent. The months that I swam exclusively were some of the happiest of my life, because I could easily go at least three weeks without doing laundry if I really used my closet to its full potential.)
Anyway, part of the problem with hating to do laundry and doing it, at most, two days a month, is that you really want to make those washes count. I don't only hate the effort involved in laundry; I'm cheap, I'm always almost out of quarters, and I have some vague liberal guilt about wasting water. So when I do laundry, I like to do all my laundry (which, by that point, is pretty much all my clothing) in one load of colors and one load of whites. If I'm really feeling lucky (reckless?), I try to fit a couple towels and a set of sheets into the mix.
By the way, at no point did I say I think this is a good idea. It's not laundry best practice, if you will. But aside from one black teeshirt that once came out kind of lint-y, it has not come back to haunt me in any way. Until last Wednesday, at least.
Wednesday morning, I got up early to go for a run. Already, I was sort of unhappy, because it was early, and also because I knew that laundry day was going to be around the corner pretty soon. It was raining lightly, which I had been expecting and which I thought might be nice running weather.
By the time I got downstairs, it was raining a bit more heavily. Okay. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. I had planned ahead and not worn a white shirt, so it's not like there was going to be a wet teeshirt contest moment in the spring break sense of the words.
By the time I got to the river, I could hear rumbling. Trucks? Sure, the road there is pretty busy. I thought I saw a flash, but I easily reasoned that away as a misfiring bulb in the lights on the Harvard practice fields.
By the time I got to the bend in the road... holy shit. Remember how I said some rain wasn't the end of the world? Yeah. At this point, it actually was the end of the world. I was pretty sure this was it. I didn't want to run over the bridge, for fear of being the tallest thing around and, consequently, getting my ass smote, so I tried an underpass and ran a quarter mile on the wrong trail. This was not going as planned. In my pocket, I had keys, a CharlieCard, and my insurance card, which I realized would come in handy when I finally got hit by lightning-- someone could toss me onto a bus headed toward a hospital.
At some point, I made it back to the trail I had intended to follow, where there were things like light posts and guys at least six feet tall, all of which I figured could deflect the wrath of God from me. But then I realized that the people passing were staring at me, and not in a good way. Dude, come on. Yes, I looked like I had fallen in the river, but so did everyone else.
It was then that I glanced down at the front of my shirt.
It was covered in a white, foamy substance.
Does my shirt have rabies? Maybe this really is the end of the world.
Or, maybe, if you really, really overload a washing machine-- I mean, massively overload it, to a point that even you admit isn't a good idea--no matter how hard it tries, it won't be able to remove all the detergent from your clothes. This surprise fabric content can then make its presence known at inopportune times.
I think the lesson is that I need to adjust either my laundry habits or my running habits. It occurs to me, however, that perhaps this shirt is now self-washing, which would reduce my laundry pile by one shirt.