Source: Sherman Publications

Don't Rush Me
Of socks and men and boys
Life lessons in the laundry room

by Don Rush

October 23, 2013

While sitting on my the green sofa in my living room I thought of a few things.

One. I have actually used this sofa since about 1970, when Grandma Rush moved from her home in Detroit to an apartment in Westland. I inherited it after she died a few years ago.

Two. I came to a startling revelation about myself: I do not like plain, single-colored socks, though I buy only black pairs and white pairs. Nope. I don’t like ‘em, but I buy ‘em. (And, how those two thoughts are connected is anybody’s guess.)

It’s nothing personal against plain-colored socks. Their monochromatic tendencies are fine for other folks. Just not me. I don’t believe they’re boring or dull. No, no, no -- nothing so complicated. It’s just singled-colored socks are harder to match when doing the laundry than say, argyle socks.


What was that you’re saying? It sounded like, “Hold the phone, Mr. Rush. We don’t care about what color any sock is, it’s the quality of their character that counts. What we’re worried about is the statement, ‘doing the laundry.’”

Yes it is true, dear reader, as a member of the tribe homo renaissantious (for those whom Latin is all Greek to them: homo renaissantious means Renaissance Man and has nothing to do with sexuality -- I think, I don’t speak, read or understand Latin either.) I do the laundry.

And, I must say it is easy to match socks that have whacky colors and patterns or ones with distinguishing marks. Give me something that is marketed with a Nike swoosh or emblazoned with the Fightin’ Irish leprechaun over, classic through the ages, black socks (or white socks, or yellow socks, or red socks). More than one time I have mismatched socks, socks that looked good late the night before, but when worn out in public the next morning are embarrassing. Dark blue and dark brown are both black when you match socks in the evening, by dim lamplight, while trying to watch the television.

Doing the laundry is not a bad thing. I know not to mix in colored clothes with whites that I am bleaching and therefore only bleach colored things when they accidentally get thrown in the washer. While I am not a segregationist, I have learned -- through experience-- it is best to do laundry that has been separated by color. So, I pile up the whites in one section of the laundry room, blacks and dark blues in another area, reds in another and “earth colors” like light greens, browns and tans in still another pile.

I’m getting it down to a science. And, have enlisted the lads Shamus and Sean in the battle against dirty clothes since they were 5 and 3, respectively. They get to pour in the powered detergent (I have found the cheapest, non-perfumed stuff works the best for me) and help put away folded clothes. I used to throw the wet clothes at them and they put the wet ones in the dryer.

It was a eye-hand coordination building exercise. Some dads throw baseballs, others throw footballs, I just happen to throw wet clothes at my boys when we play catch -- sue me.

My idea was to brainwash them into believing doing chores can be fun. Let me say, that experiment, 10 years later was a bust. Chores are still chores, and they suck.

I had visions they would make up their own games while scooping up dog poop in the yard or cleaning out the cat litter box and then those things won’t be icky things. I guess I looked at doing the laundry as a life lesson (what that lesson was ‘sposed to be, I don’t know, but I’m sure there’s one in there). Hopefully by getting them involved in the laundry at such a young age, when they go to college they’ll do their own laundry and not bring it home like their old man did many years ago.

Sorry, ‘bout that, Ma.

And, before you take away my Living In The John Wayne Way membership badge know this: my laundry room is manly and kicked up a notch, as Emeril Lagasse would say. It has spider webs on the ceiling and 47 empty detergent bottles around the overflowing waste can. It was plumbed for not one, but two washers and two dryers, though only one pair remains (and those I bought in 1992 and have kept them working as membership in the aforementioned club requires).

So, how did I get on this subject? Oh yes, green couch. Socks. I remember.

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