Laundry and a pile of life

Zane Womeldorph
Zane Womeldorph

Recently, I folded laundry for the first time in at least four months.

I have lately been living out my preferred method of apparel organization, which is to pile all my clean clothes in a giant four foot stack that grows out of a single laundry basket while all my dirty and half-dirty clothing spreads across the floor like a disgusting, smelly beast.


This will not surprise my mother, who has been battling my slovenly proclivities since I was seven. We used to have weekly clean-room contests in my household, the winner accompanying my dad on a special ice cream outing.

I never won, and not for lack of a sufficiently enticing incentive. I happen to love ice cream, but I just sucked at keeping my room in any state other than a chaotic mess.

As a kid you always figure certain things will fall into place once adulthood hits you. You’ll just go to college and get a good job and have a clean room by way of destiny and magic.

If I am lucky, the first two things will soon have become a reality, but only after much struggle and a series of narrowly conquered minor disasters. The third thing will never happen. A person’s nature is difficult to change.

For college kids, the half-dirty distinction is essential. I prefer to look on the bright side and think of it as half-clean instead. As long as a garment passes the all-important smell check and hasn’t recently been used as a bed by my dog, then it is fine to wear. Shirts can be worn at least three times before they need to be washed, as long as you wear deodorant. Jeans can be worn indefinitely.

My clothes carpet fits well with the rest of our house.

We are not an organized bunch, as plainly exemplified by the forest of beer bottles and trash that exists on our kitchen table or the eternal stacks of dishes that seem to coalesce out of nothing in our sink. We clean occasionally, usually when someone gets so fed up that they rage-clean and while cursing out the rest of the house.

We also clean right before we have a party, which really makes no sense because twelve hours later the place is right back to where it was pre-festivities.

I kind of like living like this, for now at least. Graduation is less than a month and a half away, and with it will come a brutal smack from the hand of life.

Responsibility, postponed for so long, will soon become a reality with loan payments, bills and a career.


I’ll probably have to cut my hair. I’ll have to clean my room, hang up clothes and use the drawers in my dresser for once in my life, because for some reason a room like mine seems excusable for a 23-year-old college student but unacceptable for a 23-year-old, degree-wielding graduate.

Until then I will continue to gleefully wallow in my own filth. Enjoy the ride while you can folks, because it will be over before you know it.

Zane Womeldorph promises he is wearing clean clothes today. Send him an electronic letter at