This is a short story that is completely true as I remember it. It was told to me by the parties involved about 2.5 years ago. I’m writing here because I never want to forget it and I would love to share it.
Trying to be a gentleman can be a stressful situation. Every moment with a guest receives a bit more attention than it really deserves and can be distracting for conversation. Doors for instance: Does the door I’m trying to open push out or pull in? How far away are we from the door, and should I ignore what this person is saying and make a mad dash to try and open, only to find out that it opens out so then I stand partially in the door while holding it, making it a bit of a tight squeeze? Or do I just walk-through and open it, but first I have to leave the conversation to sprint ahead? Do the same rules apply at a business meeting (equal treatment) or should courtesy be extended to everybody here? Is it awkward that I squeezed through a door with my boss and chest bumped with no cause for celebration?
It can be stressful. And awkward. But there is one gentlemanly situation where it’s not either of these things: taking out the trash. With that said, onto the story.
Three years ago I had the great pleasure of meeting all of my wife’s friends and boyfriends. All of them lovely, successful people who have been friends for over 10 years. While out one night, a story of a friend that lives out of town was shared.
Their friend is a very independent woman who loves to do everything on her own, and is great at creating meaningful friendships. She moved to a big city by herself, prides herself in maintaining every part of her life, and supports herself in nearly every way.
Except when it comes to laundry.
During the story it came out that this independent woman was not a fan of laundry and would go through great lengths to not do it. Friends from her hometown would visit quite often and it was understood that, as a friend, that if you visited her you had to bring a bag of her dirty laundry back home for her mom to take care of. Then, when the next friend would come to visit they would swing by the independent woman’s parents house, pick up the trash bag of laundry, and bring it back to her. The ultimate “fluff and fold“. This woman loved her clothes. Every piece meant something to her and no laundromat was going to ruin her things.
It went on like this for months. Visitors would come, have a great time, and comeback with dirty clothes. The next trip, friends would stop by the parents house and pick-up the clean laundry on their way to visit.
The independent woman has some amazing friends. And one of those amazing friends has a very gentlemanly boyfriend…
The latest excursion to visit the laundry queen went as it usually went, except a much larger than usual load of dirties was sent back in 2 bags. No problem, put it in the car, give it to the mom and all was magically taken care of. A few weeks later a visit was planned, but there was a slight change.
The independent woman’s parents were going out of town the day before so they had to drop the laundry off with the friends that were about to visit their daughter. Awesome, the friends no longer had to make a stop in the morning and their trip just got simpler. All they had to do was to remember to bring the clean laundry on their way to the car in the morning.
With the extra time available, the friends (who are also roommates) decided to do a spring cleaning and start getting their place in shape. They even had the extra help of the gentlemanly boyfriend. Together they kicked the crap out of the place and got into shape. They went through every drawer, cupboard, and room gathering everything that wasn’t needed and ready to be trashed. Tired and wanting to be ready for the trip in the morning everybody headed to sleep.
(alarm…it’s 6 a.m…shhhhhh)
The boyfriend is up and ready for work. He’s quite as can be trying not to make a sound so that his girlfriend and her friend will get enough sleep for their trip. He makes his way through the apartment, takes out the trash, and is off to the local grocery store to pick-up something for his lunch.
(cellphone call from his girlfriend)
- Girlfriend: Hey!
- Boyfriend: Hey, good morning,
- Girlfriend: Did you mess with the bags by the door?
- Boyfriend: Yeah, I took them out when I left this morning. They’re in the dumpster.
- Girlfriend: THE COMPACTOR!!!!???
- Boyfriend: Yeah, we had all the stuff we cleaned up last night. I wanted to help out.
- Girlfriend: SHIT! Independent Woman’s clothes were in trash bags by the door!!! We hadn’t put them in the car yet…
- Boyfriend: OH NO! Doesn’t the compactor start every time you close the hatch.
The independent woman was not a happy camper.
All of her favorite clothes were gone, because you only wash the clothes you wear.
On a positive note, she is much more independent.
(because this is the song that comes to mind when I think of this story…it’s very independent)
Beyonce – “Single Ladies”