Keeping Our Dirty Laundry to Ourselves

“…AND they do their laundry separately.  Isn’t that weird?” my mother-in-law clucked, gossiping about another couple, presumably on the rocks if their laundering habits were any indication, to Mr. Candy.

“Well, Candy and I each do our own laundry,” Mr. Candy informed his mother.

Then she GASPED in horror and lamented our inevitable divorce due to Irreconcilable Refusal to Wash My Husband’s Dirty Trouser Socks.  At least that’s how I envision it went down.  Mr. Candy, being a guy and all, doesn’t remember how his mother responded to his shocking admission.  He was probably distracted by something important.  Like a Corona commercial.

Taking a step back, though, I see things from my mother-in-law’s perspective (lord help me) and realize just how independently Mr. Candy and I do live our lives.  Which could be construed as odd.  Except for the occasional pair of boxer briefs* or undershirt, Mr. Candy and I do our own laundry.  Except for the nights we order in or go out (the latter being an increasing rarity), we generally cook, er… nuke… our own meals.  Because we live so far away from our families and want to maximize our time with them when we visit, we even used to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas apart — flying to the East Coast together, then staying with our respective parents.

I know, I know.  You are GASPING in horror and lamenting our inevitable divorce.  Only… it worked for us.  I don’t think I’m being naive by saying we share one of the best marriages around.  (Yes!  Even better than Spencer and Heidi’s.)  A little smug, maybe.  But not naive.  And obviously not needy.  The holidays spent apart were not ideal, I’ll admit, but we made sure we indulged in plenty of quality Candy-and-Mr. Candy time the rest of the year.

However, note that I said worked for us. Past tense.

Miss Skye has thrown a monkey wrench — and a sippy cup, and a puzzle piece, and anything else she can get her little hands on — into our nice routine.  Spending time away from her was not an option for either of us, so we now split our time between the two families when we’re on the East Coast for Christmas.  You’d think that would be a lovely change of pace, getting to spend the holiday as a family unit, but shuttling back and forth between two different states is, for lack of a more delicate description, a freakin’ chaotic mess.  (I mean that in the most loving way, Mom.)

All I can say is, thank goodness for spiked egg nog.

Our separate cooking habits also present a challenge now that we have a hungry little mouth to feed.  Once Skye requires something more substantial than Cheerios and macaroni (What?!  Don’t all 14-month-olds live on that diet?), I may actually have to, um, pick up a spatula.  Right after I google “what does a spatula look like?”

“How are we going to cook for Skye when she gets older?” my husband asked me just the other day.

As always, by “we,” he really meant “YOU.”  Because by the time Mr. Candy usually gets home from work, our child would be so hungry she’d be gnawing on her Curious George doll.  And everybody knows you’re not supposed to introduce monkey meat until a child is at least three years old.

“You can’t feed her your Lean Cuisine meals,” he teased.

“Of course not,” I responded indignantly.  “She is too young for diet foods.  I’ll microwave Hungry-Man meals for her!”

None of this will be an issue, of course, once Skye finally starts earning her keep around here and does all of our laundry and cooking for us.  I mean, that’s why we choose to have kids in the first place, right?  To do all of our chores, plump our pillows and fetch us beers…?  RIGHT?!

*So you needn’t lose any more sleep wondering, Is Mr. Candy a boxers or briefs man?

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • We do our own laundry too lol. Well I guess I should say my husband washes the clothes he wears. I still wash towels, bedding, blankets and baby stuff. Doesn’t make much difference not washing his stuff but I’ll take what I can get in the terms of husband “help”.

  • We don’t do our own laundry, but we fold our own clothes. And I do all of the house stuff (towels, sheets, etc) and all of the baby/kid clothes. And we run into the same nightmare when it comes to holidays — with our families in three different states (CO, PA, NC) and all of them expecting us to visit them. Not to mention, we now have to pay for our son’s seat on the airplane, so it ain’t cheap! I’m getting stressed out just thinking about it. And once again wondering why, if we’re the only ones in the extended family with children, WE are the ones expected to do all of the traveling??

  • Yeah, I usually wash the baby and house stuff, too. And Mr. Candy folds them after I “subtly” leave them in a pile outside the laundry room.

    I hear you about the traveling, Cowgirl. We have done our best to encourage close family to come out here for select holidays, but with limited success.

  • That’s what my sister and her husband do when they travel back to the homeland: my sister and the kids stay with us while the bro-in-law heads home to stay with his parents. This was ideal, since our house is larger and CLEANER. 😉

  • We nipped the whining about coming home for the holidays too. Last year my son was 5 months at Christmas and everyone almost had a fight on where we stayed and where we were for the morning.

    THIS year we told all those whiners to drive their butts 7 hrs and come visit us for once. So far my brother and his family have said yes. Apparently if roles reverse its just not worth the time. To avoid the possible guilt of not driving through upstate NY with a now 16month old for this years Christmas I will spend it merrily drunk on MY OWN COUCH!

    I love the holidays!

  • Many years ago we chose to stay home for the holidays! One of the major problems was shipping all of the gifts back home. It was a major pain in the butt. And, my mother-in-law doesn’t “share” well at all. She would keep track of the time that we spend with her and the time that we spent with my side of the family. She would get her nose out of joint (and make it miserable for everybody) if we spent more time with my family. So we just said if they wanted to see us they could come out to us! Made it much easier in the long run.