Drying in the Rain

My clothesline is empty today, again. If its raining or threatening to rain or even if the sun isn’t out, then I don’t hang out clothes to dry and use the dryer.  This seems logical to me but I am alone in this here.

Not only do Irish women feel guilty using the dryer, some still don’t even have a dryer.  The act of getting laundry dry is a big production here that drives me bonkers because it epitomizes the martyrdom of Irish mammys.   The laundry is the woman’s responsibility which is probably no different in the US but the refusal to use the dryer must have manly origins if it’s about finances.  Irish people are convinced the dryer costs an absolute fortune to run; I have no idea how much extra it adds to our electricity bill and I really don’t care.

Laundry is a topic for small talk that makes me want to  scream and run away. It takes a big effort not to shudder when someone says “It’s a great  drying day today” or “I haven’t been able to get laundry dry for a week” or even better “I hope Mike brings the washing in, looks like rain.”  Inevitably the husband in question will not bring the laundry in and it will hang there sopping wet.

Drying a load of laundry involves:

  • hanging it all out on the clothesline.
  • Picking it up and re-hanging it when it blows off in the wind
  • Bringing in damp laundry and hanging it on radiators or folding and putting in the hot press (the warm closet where the boiler lives)
  • Bringing in sopping wet laundry and starting over when the sun comes out
  • Bringing wet clothes back out to the line
  • Sometimes rewashing them!
  • A lot of running out to get still wet clothes when it starts to rain
  • Damp clothes are allowed to go in the dryer once they have been hung out for some bit
  • Hanging damp clothes on a clothes horse in some awkward place in everyone’s way where it usually gets knocked over or half the clothes fall off.

End result of all the above activity:

Crunchy, wrinkled clothes that smell of wet dog!

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