OK I admit it. Maybe men aren't the smartest. Maybe we aren't even in the top two when it comes to which sex is smarter. But at least I can be trusted to go empty the dryers at the laundromat and bring home our clothes. Maybe I can't wash clothes, maybe I can't tell "dry clean only" from "delicate wash", but I can tell which dryers are holding our clothes and can pack up clothes like a champ.
Or so I thought.
I was feeling pretty confident [Sunday] when I went to the laundromat to pick up the clothes. The marching orders were easy: unload the three dryers with our clothes and bring them home. I unloaded the first dryer like a rock star. The clothes in the first dryer were packed up all nice and neat (thrown in a bag without a second thought). Then the second dryer stopped and again I repeated my Herculean and manly effort to unload the second dryer and carefully pack up the clothes (toss in a sack like a hobo).
Then came dryer number three. It stopped spinning. I opened the door and unloaded all the items, tossing them in with the other clothes in the other two sacks where there was remaining room. And then it happened. I got the really uncomfortable feeling, the really awkward feeling, the really sad and dejected feeling, when I started realizing the clothes I had been unloading in dryer number three weren't ours at all.
They weren't ours. They weren't ours. Holy cow. Our third dryer wasn't this one at all. Our third dryer was two dryers down. Ughh!!! I looked around to see if someone was staring at me in anger for rifling through clothes that weren't even mine. No one was looking. So I did what any self-respecting man with half a brain (I think I have half) would have done, I opened up the sacks and in a panic-stricken mode, feverishly tried sorting through our clothes and picking out the stuff which wasn't ours that I had just tossed in with all our stuff.
And I started to reload that other dryer hoping I wouldn't get caught in the process. That person had little kids too. Dammnnnnnnn! Were these our little kid clothes or their little kid clothes? Was the my wife's underwear or some other woman's underwear.
And then I got caught.
A nice woman walked up to begin emptying out her family's laundry as I sat on the floor sprawled out, with a red face, with sweat pouring down, with the door open to her dryer, and her family's underwear and clothes in our bags, in my lap, and on the floor. Awkward. I apologized and tried to explain what had happened. You see I told her, I wasn't there when the clothes were dropped off, and I was just coming to pick them up, and I had done the first two and thought this was the third. She didn't want to hear it. My voice got softer, my throat took a deep gulp, and I then suggested that she search through OUR clothes to see if I had taken stuff which wasn't really ours. And so we sat there on the floor of laundromat, two strangers, as she went through our clothes and I tried to restack her clothes. The Gap Kids were ours. The Children's Place were hers. The Spanx were ours. The other lingerie was hers. The soccer socks were ours. The brown business socks were hers. It was the most uncomfortable few minutes in my entire life. The phone rang while we were swapping clothes and it was the wife... And then I had to explain to the wife how I couldn't even spot our clothes and had mistakenly packed up another family's clothes. In the end I walked out embarrassed and sad. The woman stopped me at the door one more time, not to say goodbye, but because she spotted another one of her outfits in my bag. I apologized again and told her we don't usually go to the laundromat at all. I was only there because the washing machine was being fixed. She didn't care. We agreed that basically, if I found anything else in the bag that wasn't ours at home that we should just keep it ourselves. She was done with me. I couldn't blame her.
And so I apologize to the men of the world for knocking us down a couple of more notches on the evolutionary scale. I apologize to the women of the world for proving the stereotypes true when it comes to men. I apologize to my wife and kids too... Although hey look on the bright side... We gained some new underwear and a couple of shirts.. Without paying a cent. I call that a bargain.