Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pink Underwear and Yellow Dishtowels

What do pink underwear and yellow dishtowels have in common? A washing machine....that is what they have in common.

Yesterday just before Carmela, our housekeeper left, she called me to the lavanderia to tell me she had made a mistake. She washed some new golden-colored handtowels with some dishtowels and colored napkins. Now every thing had a golden glow. Dishtowels....who cares but some of my best napkins from two different sets are now discolored. She was so nervous and so upset that I told her it was okay. First of all she has worked for us for five years and she is honest and dependable. I can only think of one or two things in that five years that have been broken. And who among us has not had a washing machine disaster?

I remember, not once but probably several times that the boys underwear got washed with something red. Drab underwear was okay with them but not pink underwear. So back the underwear would go into the washing machine with a LOT of clorox. Probably shortened the life of the underwear but it would end up almost white again.

The worst washing disaster was the year that we returned from a vacation and all of the dirty clothes were dumped into the laundry room. It was Sunday, Monday was back to work so all 20....well 20 might be a bit of an exaggeration but not by much....loads of wash needed to get done pronto. I starting throwing stuff in the washing machine. I didn't check the pockets of the jeans. Big mistake. Someone had pockets full of crayolas. They melted in the dryer coloring everything with streaks of waxy red, aqua, green and who knows what other colors. And of course this load of clothes included some new shirts. It wasn't like we could throw them out and go buy more. I worked for hours and hours getting most of the crayola out.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. So what else could I say to Carmela? If there was ever a good soul who means no harm, it is Carmela. I'll just tell guests that I like to mix napkin colors.

12 comments:

Steve Cotton said...

Mixed colors. A great solution. About two years ago, I noticed that my sets of matching napkins and place mats were not matching as well as they once had. I was ready to go buy new sets, but I came up with a solution similar to yours. Instead of having my table look like a regimented Vanderbilt dinner, I create individual place settings for each guest from my mismatched pieces of china and linens. I try to avoid jarring color clashes. But when it is done, I find it far more inviting to my guests. I have actually had guests choose to move to different places to better match their own personality. The Rorschach of dining, perhaps.

Calypso said...

Cloth napkins of any color - oh my! Anita tears paper towel sheets in half for napkins at our house - guests or no guests LOL

juan

Billie said...

Steve, I love mix and match. When I started collecting Uriarte Pottery, I decided not to buy a "set" but instead I'd buy a plate of two of whatever pattern I could find everytime we went to Mexico. Once I started with that, other mixing followed. For a while I collected old etched glass dessert plates. I learned a little bit about the patterns but my guests seemed to like the variety as well. You are right it does make the dinner table more fun.

Juan, paper towels are fine but I can't resist all of the Mexican colored napkins. I started buying them because when we came down, they were easy to carry home but now I don't know what my excuse is. Except my "green" daughter-in-law doesn't like using paper products when they can be avoided. She even used cloth diapers for the babies. So I blame my fetish for cloth napkins on her!

jennifer rose said...

You could buy something red that's guaranteed to fade, and wash that with both sets of napkins to see what happens.

My everyday sterling is mix-and-match, because I found a good deal on display pieces once at a jewelry store. And at one of my favorite restaurants in BsAs, http://www.elultimobeso.com.ar/, nothing on the table matches.

wayne said...

Why not just blame it on Ned? LOL!

Anonymous said...

I love getting "new" colors. And, after 22 years of marriage we still get surprises, especially with new placemats and napkins. The worst thing I've done is wash Guy's sailing hat from the Virgin Islands; when the dirt and sweat washed away it nearly fell apart. Mom always said "when you throw it all together, it eventually doesn't matter."

Jonna said...

Those beautiful colorful cotton napkins and table cloths were one of the first things I started buying when we were coming down all the time to go diving. Easy to carry and I loved the colors. I used them too, it changed how we ate up there in marvy Marin. Sadly, they faded with washer abuse and when we had the giant garage sale I sold the remainder thinking I would have oodles of them here. Plus, there was the coal to Newcastle thing. I haven't replaced them yet, but maybe once I have a table for them...

pitchertaker said...

Tell me how you got the pink underware again.....:-)

P'taker

Billie said...

Oh, pitchertaker, it is so easy to get pink underwear. Just toss in something red that hasn't been washed about 10 times and .....there you go.....pink underwear. I'm very experienced in making pink underwear.

Babs said...

Hey - for once I snapped to it when I brought a RED shirt back from Chiapas. I washed it by hand, put it on a hanger and hung it on the shower head to dry in the shower......believe it or not, I now have a mottled red rubber shower mat. No amount of Clorox has taken the spots out! I just grin when I look at it........at least everything white didn't turn pink, cause I've done that too - many times.......

jennifer rose said...

To set the color, wash the item first in a 50% solution of vinegar. Works every time, at least for me.

John W said...

It's red that runs the most, I think. Many years ago my roommate hit upon a male-oriented solution to doing laundry. He bought enough jockey shorts and tee shirts to last for three months. Then he tok the whole load of dirty clothes to a laundromat with a carpet-sized washing machine. Unfortunately, he accidentally included a never-before-washed red sweatshirt. Three months' worth of pink underwear...