Reasonable and unreasonable

18 Dec

Wife has been gone 4 days doing important family-type stuff. No problem with that. Kids have been great, things have run smoothly. Did all of the laundry that was in our baskets as well as the kids’ baskets last night so that she wouldn’t have any extra to do when she got home this afternoon. Lots of stuff to hang dry because she thinks that it is too delicate to go in the dryer. I respect that.

After dinner she discovers that one of her favorite dresses is hanging with the rest of the laundry that didn’t go in the dryer. She says “I sure hope that this dress didn’t get washed because it is dry clean only and is now about 4 sizes too small.”

Where to begin…

Of course the dress got washed. That is why it was hanging there, and that is why it shrunk. It was in the laundry basket. The tag reads “Wash with like colors” so that’s what I did. There were knitted sweaters and other things on the floor beside the basket that did not get washed because they are dry clean only, or they are wool and need to go on another cycle without fabric softener so that the fibers will not be chemically weakened and lose their shape. The material tag says that it is Viscose, but it was purchased here in Europe and made somewhere in Asia, so I assume they mean Rayon. Must be HWM (High Wet Modulus) Rayon if they claim that it is washable. (Look it up. I did.)

I read labels. I used to tutor physics and in high school I got an award for being one of only two junior chemistry students at our school who in a nationwide test came out above the 90th percentile in chemistry. I understand how surfactants and enzymes and detergents and even catalysts work. My wife doesn’t understand any of this. All that she knows is that a dress that she had mentally labeled “Dry Clean Only” because she bought a small because the medium was just a tad too baggy to be flattering is now too small for her.

I understand that she is sad. I understand that she wishes that I had not washed it. I understand why she is saying that she thinks it would be better if I didn’t do her laundry anymore. What I can’t figure out is why this is my fault or what I could reasonably have been expected to do differently to prevent it from happening.

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