How not to do laundry

Photo by Vince Naso 1971
by Vince Naso 1971
It was 1971, and I was 21 when I met a lovely man many years my senior, named Vince Naso. I think he was about 36 at that time. We hit it off right away and we were literally inseparable. Not long after, much to the chagrin of my conservative parents, we bought a house together and proceeded to set up house and home. I had been raised in the Philippines with household staff and ridiculously unaware of anything as mundane as putting things away etc. It was never asked of me to do one stitch of household work or any of the cooking. In fact, it never dawned on me to even consider it. Simply oblivious.

When we moved in together, I pretty much winged it.  I always was fairly precocious, if not experienced, but here is one incident that backfired on me.
One day he asked if I did laundry. Thinking, Hell everyone in America does laundry, they have washing machines. I mean how hard can it be? I was pretty smug.
In the Philippines, we had laundry people, and my mom did all my laundry in her machine when we moved to the States. I had actually never technically done laundry myself, but heck, how hard could it be.
Vince Naso taken by me
by Diana Limjoco 1972
I got all his, tees, shirts, business pants, and suit tops, his suits, sweaters, jeans, underwear, white socks, and shoved them into the washing machine. Plus some of my own things. It was full. So next, the soap. The box of laundry soap said one scoop, but I thought heck, this is a big load and this is America, so the more the merrier. I must have poured in half the box. Then for the temperature, I figured as hot as possible to kill any germs. It made sense to me.
Between the laundry room and the kitchen was a swinging door, and when I went to get a cup of coffee a little later, I noticed it was slowly opening and I saw foam all around the edges!! Oh my God! I opened the door and a wall of stiff foam enveloped me. Thank goodness there was a door to the outside and somehow I managed to sweep get all the foam out of the hallway, and my, my, weren't the walls clean now too. That took quite a while and the clothes were still inside the machine.
Well, that didn't go as planned. The clothes have to go into the dryer now. The best is yet to come for me. I opened the electric dryer and began removing the items. White specks were on everything and a bit of foam. That's odd, but what do I know, the dryer probably gets that all out while spinning.
It's when I started taking everything out of the washing machine that I realize something was very wrong. All the sweaters were the size of my fist. The designer suits were all akimbo, The silk shirts were all pink and much smaller than they were as well. Basically, everything cotton, silk, wool, cashmere was ruined. My heart began to pound wildly. I AM DISGRACED! 
But wait, there is HOPE, I would call mom, Helen Limjoco since she knows EVERYTHING. When she answered I asked her, "Hey, how do you make sweaters go back to the size they were before you washed them?"
A very pregnant pause. "What do you mean go back to the regular size?", she says.

"You don't mean to say you washed them in the machine in hot water?"
Now dead, heart-pounding silence on my end, while a sickening feeling was rising in my gut. I freak out in my head. OMG. "You mean to tell me they won't go back to the size they were?"

"Ummmmmm nope! I can't believe you did that."
This from the woman who got me spoiled in the first place.

GOD HELP ME, I'm dead.

"What about getting the pink out of the whites?"

"What do you mean get the pink out of the whites?"

Needless to say, she gave me a lecture on How NOT to do laundry. I felt like a total idiot and failure. 
When I got off the phone I thought I would still give a go at getting those damnable cashmere sweaters back to their original size, but no amount of pulling, stretching, or yanking would work,
I had to face Vince when he got home and he was actually quite the sport about it, although, I felt like a total moron all the more.
The good thing that came out of this is that he never let me touch his laundry EVER again and I was spared that chore for all the years we were together. But I never did that again.

PS: Vince passed away many years ago, I am sure he can laugh about this more now while he sings with the angels.


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