Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Laundry Religion

spin cycle

Folding laundry is THE ritual for domestic spirituality.  I’m not talking about any specific spirituality.  I’m talking about that state of rapture where you become one with your domestic task; where time melts and your body-mind is at peace.  You could even call it your “happy place.”

Many of us know this truth.  But beware brothers and sisters!  Heresy slinks surely around the corner whispering you away from the way, the truth, and the lint.  I was accosted by such foul untruth the other day when two gentlemen informed me that doing the dishes was far more fulfilling than folding laundry.  (I know this is hard to face, but the only way to kill a snake is with a snake dart).

They claimed that dishes rivaled laundry because “folding laundry is so boring,” and “when you clean dishes you are plugging in to the great cycle of nourishment.”  They loved the fact that when you do dishes you get wet.  And one false prophet even stated that he would let the dishes build up for days in order to have a sloppy Palmolive orgy.

Allow me scrape these dust bunnies into the can.  First of all, what you get when you get wet is chapped and pruny.  Second, when my sink fills up it smells like the devil and moves like a wolf spider.  Doing the dishes deals with dirty, while folding laundry deals with clean.  When you fold laundry you are doing zen oragami.  You are an artist.  How do you want to fold that t-shirt?  Department store flip or Grandma roll?  Will you fold your wife’s danties?  (no they are impossible–just put them in a pile for her to sort out).  Thank you.  Next!  I could care less about washing my garlic press with one hand, but the challenge of folding socks with a single extremity will keep me riveted for minutes at a time.

So stand firm in the way fellow-folders!!  Give me an iPod and a fluffy pile and may the dishes be damned.

Why America is Great


  1. Evidently my spiritual sensibilities tend toward wabi sabi when it comes to laundry.

  2. If there is a heaven and hell laundry is definitely heaven and dishes are definitely hell. However, still not interested in attending their churches.

  3. What would be your domestic heaven?

  4. Heathen.

  5. Ahhh, this reminds me of the spiritual wisdom in Quotidian Mysteries (Kathleen Norris). Regular household chores CAN (I’m holding onto the possibility that it may happen, though I have never experienced it) be a source of spiritual training. Mostly, I just muddle through the laundry, without any hint of an awakening or communication from the divine.

  6. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to check it out. On a semi-serious note, I have actually entered into tranquil-meditative states folding the laundry–something about the repetition and organization. However, this did not happen the time that I was listening to Knights of Cydonia, by Muse. Then I felt like I was saving the world.

  7. The word domestic and heaven rarely fall into the same sentence for me. However, I do really love cooking, especially if there is someone to do the dishes afterward. (Knitting and sewing and decorating are also on the list, but not sure if they count as domestic.)

  8. Totally with you on the cooking front. What have I last created in the kitchen? Hummus. I need to spend less time doing the dishes and more time cooking. The microwave is not worthy of so much attention.