Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yoooohoooooo, Jack! You Forgot Something!

Dear Jack Frost,
Please be advised that remnants of your laundry were left hanging on my clothesline. If it weren't for the fact that I might need that clothespin if I hang out all the wash on a single day, then I'd let you slide on this. Unfortunately, I have D.W.C.S. (Don't Waste Clothespins Syndrome) and cannot abide spurious use of clothespins.
Dear Ang,
Please forgive Jack's lack of oversight. Details tend to get lost in the freeze-everything-you-can-before-the-sun-comes-up shuffle. You do like the colors on this leaf, though, don't you? I mean, it was all sparkling and crystalline and flashy and blingy in a "kissed by Jack" kind of way, wasn't it?? Not that Jack requires your approval or anything.
Now, be a good girl, and explain to Jack this D.W.C.S. in more detail. I, uh, Jack must know more!
Jack Brrrrr Frost
Dear Jack,
It all started when I was a kid. My sister and I often had to hang clothes on the line when our mother was doing laundry. I'd hang out a basket. She'd hang out a basket. Sometimes, we'd both work on the same basket. Anyway, all four lines would be filled by the end of the day. There would be no room to spare, so you had to work in a meticulous manner. Okay, so not much I do could be described as "meticulous." Fine. You had to pay attention to detail, though, or you'd run out of room on the line before you finished! Oh, and clothespins! You had to creatively engineer the hanging of the last few batches of clothes, otherwise you'd run out of clothespins before you finished!
White clothes are the most clothespin intensive, by the way. Socks, socks, and more socks will deplete the clothespin stash quicker than you can say "Frost my ankles, and freeze my knees!" You have to make sure no sock hangs alone. In fact, if you can squeeze three socks under one pin, you're on the right track. Underwear is a similar story. Besides the fact that no one wants to flash their drawers like so many flags on the line, there is also the fact that drawers tend to be almost as plentiful as socks. Panties, schmanties, you better hang those babies up two to a single clothespin! Those tighty-whities might need more airspace if they're very large, but you get a feel for these things after a while.
T-shirts are a whole story unto themselves, Jack. If you hang them by the corners at the tail, you can connect a bunch in a row by overlapping the corners slightly so that a single clothespin catches corners of two shirts at a time. This means less than two clothespins per t-shirt! However, this has its drawbacks, as the tails of the shirt tend to stretch and cause mega-weird clothespin-ghost tracks when you take the shirt off the line. Same thing will happen if you overlap them at the shoulder seams, too, except the stretch is not as bad if the shoulder seams happen to be reinforced. It took much experimenting as a child, as well as a goodly amount of experimenting as an adult, to figure out the least noticeable spot for clothespin-ghost tracks is under the arms. It goes without saying, too, that you must continue to overlap these parts of a t-shirts in order to cut down on the required number of clothespins!
Jeans and pants require judicious use of pins, too, you know. Don't waste two clothespins to a single leg of lightweight khakis because you're going to need those pins for all the jeans. Denim is kind of heavy when it's wet, in case you didn't know. (Jeans zippers are also kind of hard to zip and unzip when wet, too, but that's another story about Opryland and high school senior trips that we can save for another time... well, just know you shouldn't ride the log flume *before* you go to the bathroom... otherwise, you might find yourself borrowing enough money from a loanshark classmate to buy yourself an extra-long t-shirt...)
Sheets, towels, and blankets take up the most space on a clothesline, but they are the easiest to manage, with one caveat. Do not drag them across the yard while someone might be watching. That's all I can say about that.
So, Jack, I guess you can see now that D.W.C.S. is often rooted deeply in the brain, or at least, it is ingrained at an early age. Not that it really matters in the grand scheme of backyard activities, but now you know!
P.S. I am sorry you tripped on all the weeds in the garden. I find it best to balance the D.W.C.S. with a healthy dose of willful neglect in other areas :)


Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

What a great exchange of ideas you just shared (via your talks with Jack)... I remember hanging laundry too, and used some of the same techniques. Mom had a huge shoulder bad looking bag full of the clothes pins... I don't remember exactly when in my childhood Mom got an electric dryer... but she would in the Summer hang the sheets on the line anyway... because they smelled so good that way. I'm sad to admit I have never hung clothes on a line as an adult... oh what a lazy American I am.

rosebud101 said...

I remember hanging clothes on the clothes line as a kid. However, the best thing that ever happened to me was the purchase of a washer and drier! I can't go back to the clothesline no matter what. I do remember sheets frozen on the line because I forgot to bring them in! Oh, well. They were fun to look at as they stood at attention!

angelinabeadalina said...

Well, I confess to using the dryer if it's even remotely chilly outside because I remember having freezing fingers and trying to take clothes off the line. I do like hanging clothes and sheets out on the line when it's warm, though! I'm not so sure clotheslines are frowned upon in some places that aren't out in the boonies like us, so it doesn't make you a lazy American, Elaine :) Mallory, I definitely know the look of frozen sheets and frozen jeans!

Sharon Driscoll said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahaha...Ang, you not only crack me - you make me think! I have frozen things myself and I love a good clothes pin! You ought to ask everyone what otehr uses they have for clothespins. I have two right off the bat.

I used to use them on my fingers to pul them back so I wouldn't get nail polish on the sides of my fingers.

On potato chip bags before there was a chip clip!

Your turn - tag!

angelinabeadalina said...

lol, Sharon, my mom has clothespins inside practically any box in the cabinet that has a plastic bag liner-- cereal, crackers, you name it. I have to say "ooowie" to the clothespins holding fingers out of the way, though, just because I remember when the hinges on those suckers were a lot stronger and good give ya a good pinch!