Friday, December 30, 2011

Paradigm Shift


Today's topic of discussion is as mundane as it gets:  Laundry.

Although laundry is, without a doubt, the most cumbersome and monotonous of household chores, it occupies a significant amount of time and therefore deserves its very own essay.  'Sides... it allows for several opportunities to use paradigm in a sentence.

During the olden days, and even today in some parts of the world, the laundry paradigm was a social event.  All of the lady-folk from all of the villages would gather at the river to drag fabric along rocks.  I presume they laughed, and complained, and solved a few problems, and criticized Sally when she wasn't there because of her helicopter-like parenting.  I suppose in the olden days, and in some circumstances today, laundry might have been something to look forward to: an event; a gathering; a civic cattle-call; even a relief.

Take Mikey's laundry paradigm for example.  Mikey's my dad and has made laundry a "thing" for the last 33 years.  That many years ago, Mikey found himself a new bachelor in a house without a washer and dryer.  He decided to visit the local laundry mat so as to accommodate his laundry needs.  I presume the laundry mat ritual was a temporary arrangement.  He discovered, however, that his weekly laundry mat be-in was something of a joy.

I've been to this laundry mat be-in with Mikey a few times.  Besides the need for quarters and the task of packing-it-up, the laundry mat is an extremely efficient use of time.*  Mikey would sort by color and throw each load into a washer.  While the wash was whirling – for somewhere around 40 minutes – he'd read a magazine, or watch some sports, or organize stuff.  He would relax.  When the 40 minutes were up, he'd move each of those loads into a dryer.  While drying, he'd go back to magazine-reading, sports-watching, and stuff-organizing.  He would relax some more.  When the dryers stopped, usually one at a time, he'd fold and hang.

The whole process was two hours, tops.

Compare 'n contrast Mikey's paradigm to my laundry process and you'll see a whole lot of wasted time.  It's not two hours, tops.  It can be a whole day.  A whole day without the relaxation of magazine-reading, or sport-watching, or acute-organizing.  And when that day is over, the laundry baskets are half full again.

A few weeks ago, just before shifting my laundry paradigm, I'd have what we women call Laundry Day.  One day each weak, from before sun-up to well after sun-down, and maybe into the next day, I'd wash.  The machines would run all day.  All day.  The reason for the all day thing is so we can "get it all done," and so that the rest of the week could be free of laundry.  The trouble, though, is there's no such thing as getting laundry "all done," and  the rest of the week was never free of laundry.

You're seeing why I needed that paradigm shift, right?  Right!  'Cept I didn't go all the way over to the laundry mat paradigm.  My new laundry paradigm is – get this – one, maybe two loads, every day, in the morning.  I throw in a batch before I run, I return from the run and throw it in the dryer.  Maybe rinse 'n repeat while doing breakfast and piano practice.  Laundry is over 'n done by 9:00am.

It's totally changed my world.  Hence the need for all those sentences with a paradigm in 'em.

Speaking of a world totally gone changed, you should see me play Apocalypse Please on my new piano.  It's horribly awesome!



9 comments:

Jenn said...

I wrote a little essay (used here, 'essay' means 'rant') the other day about my vacuum cleaner. We might both need a lil' help. Happy new year to you and all your pairs a dimes.

Makell said...

Laundry day at our house is now turning into laundry week because the folded clothes are so high that nobody wants to put them away...so they sit and sit and eventually get taken into rooms where sometimes I find them still folded and never worn back to be cleaned again the following week. Aargh! I was just thinking something had to change because once a week was not cutting it anymore. I like your plan:)
By the way- I'm hoping for a snow day so I can blow off laundry day all together to head up the canyons....I still haven't been! Ridiculous!

Aubrey said...

I remember those trips vividly, I can still smell the place....and see the vending machines. :-) I have always done a couple loads a day. I hope it makes like smoother for you.

radracer said...

A while back, we picked up a washing machine that had a time delay feature. Said feature allows stuff to sit in the washer dry for some period of time, and then the washer starts without some human there to press a button.

Said feature allowed us humans to wake up to freshly washed things ready to be chucked in the dryer. Totally revolutionized the laundry day. Cut the number of loads that messed with Saturday playtime in half.

Best of luck to you with the new laundry schedule. It works for us.

radracer said...

And did I see two small words of large importance that resembled "NEW PIANO?"

Aren't those two words deserving of a post all their own?

Jessica said...

I think something happened to your starred paragraph! Did it enter another paradigm?

rabidrunner said...

Jessica, said started paragraph was removed because I panicked. So I guess you can say I've entered the paradigm of panic.

rabidrunner said...

Starred paragraph, not started. Geez. Time for bed.

rabidrunner said...

Oh, and Rad, a post is coming herewith... just as soon as we work out a few "kinks."