Episode 1 of my web series “Laundry Day” came out this week, which features an argument over folding laundry. So, I want to clear something up before rumors start flying around the internet, in the zip-zippy way that they do. Although the web series was inspired by #CrainStreet Tweets – tweet moments from visiting my parents – I did also take moments from my own life. And it’s time to air some dirty laundry.
When I met my wife, one of her first helpful observations centered on my tendency to project my voice a bit far beyond the back of the room. I think the way she put it was: “stop yelling!” In fact, what I considered “talking” turned out to be an instant headache for her. Or, maybe it was just the nonsense coming out of my mouth.
It turns out my childhood home was quite loud on a regular basis. I only noticed it once I lived on my own for a while and then returned home to discover my parents screaming across the house about towels. To be fair, the television was always running, like our own Olympic flame of background noise. Then, you throw in a family where all members are equally strong-willed, and you find yourself in a constant state of LOUD. Finally, if you add in a dash of frustration or disagreement, then you step into a contest of matching and besting each other in volume just to make sure you can be “heard”.
So, when I go home to visit, I will often witness a moment of frustration like the following #CrainStreet tweets:
I can criticize them all I want, but I’ve carried the yelling tradition to my own relationship. Luckily, my wife stuck with me through some awful fights. Some ridiculously awful fights.
Laundry is the perfect example. I would say my wife suffers from a “casual” folding technique, which is why they don’t always fit in the drawers. I, on the other hand, prefer to fold shirts and pants into a neat square, such that it stacks and fits easily. We experienced many tense moments around the laundry, but if I’m honest, it’s usually due to my control issues. It drives me insane to see clothes in a pile when they could be in a stack, or in a duo-decagon when it could be a simple square. Or, even a rectangle for chrissakes would be an improvement!
So, even though this week’s episode “Laundry Day” comes from my own relationship, and not directly inspired by a tweet about my parents, I do blame them indirectly for all my flaws. Isn’t that how therapy works?
On the plus side, working through my control issues with my very patient wife has made me more reasonable, less ‘yelly’, and overall, more open to accepting everyone as they are. Even if, god forbid, they shrug at the site of wrinkled pajamas.