Sunday, October 11, 2009

Three Rants.

There are some things in life that completely escape me; things that escape the world of logic, reason, and even self-respect. Some of these things set me off like a bottle rocket - I am an Aries, after all, it's a part of my protocol. A few of these things (exactly three, to be precise ... things are always better in threes...) have cropped up in the past few days. The first of these has to do with laundry.

I have been doing my own laundry since I was about 10. It's just one of those chores I've always done - like dishes. I love doing the dishes. I am guaranteed to feel accomplished, clean and productive. Laundry is much the same way. In fact, I would argue that laundry goes so far as to instill a huge sense of self-respect. Seriously. It's one of those tasks that says, "I'm an adult! I can clean my own clothes, present myself in a matter befitting my level of responsibility; and all it takes is soap and fabric softener!"

Well ... maybe only fabric softener if you're feeling super fancy, but I digress.

Today is Sunday; my day off. On Sundays, I go to the Lenox Laundromat to achieve that all self-respecting of self-respecting duties. I talk with the Laundromat attendant about inane, yet interesting things like sports and the weather. We're on a first name basis, she and I. Today, the subject was the Angel's/Red Sox game (YAY ANGELS!). Also involved in this conversation, was an older gentleman who was concerned with the Giant's/Raider's Football game (He was a Giant's Fan). I was breezing through the last issue of TIME Magazine, reading about a group in London who sifts through the mud of the Thames looking for artifacts (I think they called themselves the Mud Larks) ... the leader of this group has been named The Mud God (interesting, no?!) ... and in from the street come two college students. And within the first couple of minutes, it was painfully obvious that neither of them knew how to do their laundry. One of them walked up to my Laundry attendant friend, a garment in hand, and said, "Uhm, excuse me, but how do I wash this?" My laundry attendant friend looked at the tag on the back of the garment, and said, "Well, it says Dry Clean Only, so you shouldn't wash it."

The other student came up to me and asked if it was safe to wash all colors in cold water. In fact, the way the question was posed to me was like this:

"Is it true that if you wash clothes in cold water, the colors won't run?" As though washing clothes had some great mythological property to it ... full of magical, mysterious rumors that only well-schooled practitioners of laundry are privy to. I essentially told him that yes, that was true, unless there was a brand-new garment involved, or colors with a lot of dye ... like red.

This all seems rather innocuous, so what, if anything, is my rant about?

Two young adults. In college. Completely ignorant of how to do laundry. Now, I realize that I learned to do laundry at a particularly young age, and that my experience is most likely an anomaly. I can understand not learning until high school. I can even understand not learning until college ... kind of. Some mothers take great love in doing their family's laundry ... I didn't have one of those mothers, and so therefore, I learned on my own. I can *imagine* the naivety in such a circumstance; however, I would hope that at a certain age ... say, legal adulthood ... the young adult in question would need to learn what this whole, mysterious laundry thing is about ... more specifically, how to do it, the simple process involved, and/or the wherewithal to research such private, well-guarded information. There is a point in which the young adult needs to stop the chain of helplessness. There is a point in which the young adult needs to figure things out for themselves. There is a point in which EVERYONE needs to take their head out of their chosen body part, climb down from their privileged parapet, and learn first hand the satisfaction that comes from the researching and consequential completion of laundry. Read the label, buy the soap, put the quarters into the machine. This is not a complicated skill like building a camp fire or latching twigs together. This is LAUNDRY, for frak's sake! The machine does 90% of the work FOR you!

Yet another reason why the internet is a beautiful thing:

And now I move on to rant #2: Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

For WHAT?! WHAT in the hell did he *do* to win the Nobel Peace Prize?! According to the AP, it's for his change of approach and policy in the Middle East. Really?! For a change in a policy?! Jimmy Carter got Israel and Egypt to talk and play nice, he gave the Panama Canal back to Panama, he helps the impoverished and hungry ... STILL ... and the man is in his 90's. Gandhi starved himself for Peace. And Obama changed policy. Has he changed DOMA or Don't Ask, Don't Tell*? The Health Care debate is still in tragic stalemate, AND I read (in the aforementioned TIME Magazine) that his promise of closing Gitmo probably won't happen by the Jan. 22nd deadline. I know he's working on it, and I know his plate is abnormally huge. But I again argue: He hasn't *DONE* anything.

Another problem I have with this, is that had Hillary been elected, and had she changed policy in the Middle East (as she most likely would have done), there would be no Nobel Peace Prize. Nor should there be. But the inequity is quite acute.

*Apparently Mr. Obama issued a statement this weekend, that he's planning on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. For those who might not know, DADT is an executive order that was put forth by Bill Clinton. As an executive order, Mr. Obama could have repealed it as soon as he took office, saving dozens of officers their loss in pay, benefits, rank, retirement, and the embarrassment of trial. I know I'm just being picky, but I don't think stories like this should exist:

Lt Colonel Victor Fehrenbach - Gay Discharge - 05-19-09 - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

And finally, Rant #3 ... The Heathen East.
There are three things I will never get used to out here. No helpful locks on gas pumps (you have to hold the handle the WHOLE time you're pumping gas, which gets COLD in Fall/Winter!), no wax seat covers in the Women's restrooms (which is either highly sanitary, or highly wasteful, depending on your point of view), and the complete and utter lack of recycling. While the former two issues are more of a mild annoyance, the last point is completely inconceivable.

My housemates and I had accrued quite the collection of cans and glass/plastic bottles, and left them sitting by the trashcan for the last three weeks. I went grocery shopping last night, and decided that I had had enough of the recycling treasure pile we were continuing to build ... so I thought I'd be a good housemate, and take the recyclables to the recycling center by the Stop & Shop. I put the bottles and cans in the machine, and all but 4 were denied. The store, apparently, only takes certain brands. So the rest of the recycling? Yep. Had to be tossed. And I can't even begin to tell you how completely reprehensible, evil, and dirty I felt doing this. I literally had NO alternative ... there's no recycling option by way of trashcans for the houses of Lenox. There's not a central area (that I've found) to take recyclables. I'm at a loss, and I HATE it.

And for such a wonderful, progressive, liberal state, Massachusetts sure fails the ecology grade. One of my housemates said that in Boston, you can't walk down the street without finding a recycling bin, which says to me that it's a flaw in state law.

I actually thought of an intelligence trade, today, involving California's far superior recycling program, and Massachusett's far superior social and civil rights laws.

I volunteer myself for mediation.
This blog was brought to you by:
Downy Fabric Softener
Tide Color Safe, Dye Free Detergent
Sauteed summer squash and zucchini
Teriyaki Ginger Chicken Sausage
The Anaheim Angels
Rachel Maddow


jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I'm doing laundry right now.
Oh, and we have state wide recycling in PA. We may not have a budget, but we have recycling.

Radical Bradacal said...

and don't you feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and self-respect?!

Hooray for PA! Budget, schmudget. Recycling is what all the cool states are doing...California doesn't have a budget either, but is the world-leader in recycling processes.

Phoenix said...

That would piss me off too to not live in an area where recycling was available. All the usefulness that I would feel from doing my laundry would seep out if I had to keep trashing cans and bottles.