When does it ever end? I have a decent amount of clothes, but I’m no clothes horse by any means. I wear the same jeans all the time and I only have a few pair of shorts. I don’t have an inordinate amount of underwear or an excessive number of socks. I dress up for work and slip into pajamas when I get home, because real clothes are for the outside world only!

Given my regimen, I don’t wear that many different things in a given week, but this god damn laundry shit never stops! When I come home from work and change into my comfies, it’s there staring me down, demanding that I tame the pile. I swear I just emptied the basket into the machine, folded everything and put it all away. And yet, there it is, spilling over the edges of the hamper once again. It is an inescapable part of being an adult. Hold on, I have to put the colors in the wash.

Why does the laundry soap only leave marks on my black pants? I should be happy that it’s not leaving soapy residue on everything, but the black pants every time? I get to spot check and rinse them after each wash and it makes me wonder why I bother putting them in the machine at all. It’s like the washing machine knows that the black pants are in the mix and saves just a little bit of soap to spray on them (and only them) in as many places as possible right at the end of the cycle.

The washing machine also knows when I have a new shirt. My clothes will be coming out beautifully clean for weeks on end and I’ll start thinking it’s OK to let my guard down. I figure everything seems hunky dory now, so I go and get myself a new shirt. That’s when the machine strikes back!

The clothes that I’ve washed a million times before, suddenly decide to leave a mark on my new digs without explanation. My brand new shirt looks like someone got murdered in it even though nothing else in the wash was red. Now, tell me how the fuck does that work? Hold on, the colors are done washing; time to throw them in the dryer and get the whites in.

Remember to add bleach to the whites. I’ve been told it keeps whites looking white, but it doesn’t seem to work very well, to me. It is, on the other hand, surprisingly good at destroying the rest of my clothes. I don’t understand how this stuff works. Bleach will eat a hole through a black T-shirt, but a white T-shirt can take bleach time and time again without harm. Then there is “color-safe bleach,” which I’ve seen on TV but am afraid to use because if it really worked so well, why would we still use the regular kind? Hold on, the colors are dry and the whites are ready to go in next.

The terrible part of laundry is that washing is only one-third of the fun you are in for. The dryer is a whole other beast. The real problem with the dryer is the work it creates for you after it’s finished with its job. Things can get tangled up in there and bake wrinkles into your gear that have to be ironed out later. I try to avoid the problem by shaking everything out nicely before placing each article of clothing gently into the dryer one at a time. It’s exhausting and it doesn’t always work, but at least it helps cut back on some of the ironing, which is the worst chore of the laundry process and should be avoided like the plague.

Even if you make it through the dry cycle, everything can still be ruined if you don’t pull your clothes out when the timer goes off. Leave things in the dryer for too long and you’ll have a clean pile of dirty-looking clothes. So, you can have fun with all that god awful ironing or, when the buzzer goes off, you can get your ass out there and start folding! Crap … I forgot to put the towels in earlier. I’ll be right back!

The laundry consumes our lives. It traps us at home for hours on end, making us literal slaves to the machine. It is an unstoppable beast that arises as soon as it is vanquished. Laundry is like a snake eating its own tail or a perpetual motion machine of chores for you to do after your real job. Now the towels are done, but I forgot about the sheets. It truly never ends.