A Laundry Disaster

Happy Fall! It is officially no longer summer. I am a little sad the change in season has arrived so soon. I had so many plans for this summer. I was going to do so much with my time since I decided not to take summer classes. Unfortunately, I only accomplished about 50% of what I had planned to do. Better luck next year… that is, if I decide not to take full-time classes throughout the summer. Anyways, back to fall. The week has been chilly and rainy. It’s dark when I leave for work, making it a little harder to get up when all I want to do is stay in bed. However, in the spirit embracing the change of season and cooler weather, I did break out my Always Cold Club beanie today. Why not? So, I sit here in a little coffee shop, drinking my Dirty Vanilla Chai, to tell you about Monday. This time, it actually happened on a Monday.

Last week I wrote a post about motivation, something I have been lacking lately. The way I see it, when I struggle with something I need to make it a reality by stating it in one form or another. Then, I try to find a new approach in hopes of finding a solution. So I wrote about it. I contemplated my struggles, how to overcome them, and wrote out my three main steps that keep me motivated. After I posted I felt really good about goals I set for myself. I was ready to take on the week…until my Monday arrived. I know it sounds silly, because Monday is the start of my week, so that means I felt really good about my week from Sunday night to Monday? Yup. It is usually how my life works. I laugh a little to myself about it now, but at that moment it was full of disappointment and frustration.

My goals for the past week were to get rest, push through the work week, complete my school work for the next two weeks, go to the gym and try my hardest to cut back on the sugar. All this extra work was due to a weekend trip to Louisville, Kentucky I had planned for months. My guy and I were going to go to the Louder than Life festival on Sunday. We had a big weekend planned. We were going to stay with M, my long-time best friend lives in Louisville. Until I got a notification Monday morning that changed my whole week. M sent me a text notifying me that the Bourbon & Beyond festival, the festival that was planned for the weekend before, canceled their Sunday show due to the rain and hazardous park conditions. At this point, as far as we knew, there was no change to the Louder than Life schedule. The forecast predicted rain until Wednesday, but nothing for the weekend. I was hopeful that the festival would still happen. After all, we won’t melt in the rain.

I went about my day as normal. The list of “To-Dos” when I got home from work was longer than normal since I was pushing myself to accomplish more this week. I had one more load of laundry left to wash left over from Sunday, a few more school lectures to listen to, as well as a quiz and a lab to complete. I was exhausted. So I started the laundry load of lights, specifically my guy’s teenage son’s laundry, and went about my studies. Normally, I wouldn’t specify who’s laundry I was doing, because I do the household’s laundry, but this is pertinent information for the story.

It’s 8pm and I get a text notification. *Ping!* It was M, sending me a picture of the Louder than Life Facebook post. The post stated something about, “due to the condition of the park grounds and the weather” the festival was cancelled. I was heartbroken. This was the weekend I was planning to let loose from all the stress and give myself a mini vacation from life. I was disappointed and sad, but life goes on. On the bright side, even though the festival was canceled and we were no longer driving to Louisville, I was still taking next Monday off of work. If anything I would have a little extra time to study for my finals and take a day for some R&R [Rest & Relaxation]. So, I had to push through the week and make it until Friday. At least that is what I told myself.

As if the disappointment from a canceled festival wasn’t enough, the load of laundry had finished and my guy decided to help me out by taking the lights from the washer and put them into the dryer. Well, let’s just say they were no longer the lights, but instead… the pinks. Yup! Load of laundry was now pink.

“Babe, something was in the wash that turned his stuff pink.”

WHAT?! I shot up and ran the wash. My mind was racing, racking my brain wondering was something in his laundry basket? Nothing was in the basket, I separated his laundry when I did his jeans and his darks the previous night.

Was something left his pants? No…it couldn’t be. I check both of their pants pockets before I toss any of their clothing items into the washing machine. I’ve washed wallets, money, and tissues one too many times before that I have learned my lesson. But something must have been missed. Maybe it was ink from a red pen, a highlighter?

My guy started feeling around on the pants, and finds a pocket I missed. Apparently, I didn’t check every pocket in his tan cargo shorts. The tan shorts I had added in with the boy’s lights. Ugh, I loathe the amount of pockets cargo shorts have. And there it was, a bag of smoke bombs. Red smoke bombs. It wasn’t ink, it was red dye… on everything!

All of his light colored band t-shirts, his cargo shorts, and his white undershirts were now pink. One of the band shirts that used to be grey, and of course ended up being the only shirt the boy cared about was, now, ruined. The shirt my guy bought his son at their first concert together; Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I felt terrible, I mean I had a truly gut-wrenching feeling about this catastrophic mistake.

GodSpeed You! Black Emperor

I spent the rest of the night trying to look up remedies on how to fix this disaster. I researched article after article and, in the end, vinegar was the remedy we decided to try. It was what we had in the house at this point in the night. Soaking the clothes in vinegar and hot water, since the dye hadn’t set in yet, was supposed to work. We ran the clothes through the wash once more, overnight. I was kicking myself for not being more thorough, but all I could do was wait. Wait and pray to the laundry gods that the pink would come out.

Tuesday morning I got up to check the laundry. So… the pink was out of most of the shirts. But unfortunately, some shirts were unsalvageable; they were purely yellow. The important grey band shirt? Well, the pink color was gone except for the armpit areas. This was due to, what I could only imagine, the sweat and deodorant oil build up grabbed onto the dye and turned the color of a yellowish brown. At this point, I felt like I just couldn’t win. Still feeling terrible, I hung the shirts up hoping the yellow residue would not set into the fabric by the time I returned from work. I had planned on grabbing some OxiClean and Shout on my way home that day and attempted, for a second time, to save the shirt.

I was bound and determined to fix this. I used the stain removers as directed. I tested the OxiClean on one of the other yellow shirts. I let it sit for the appropriate amount of time and rinsed it off. Well, the yellow removed from everywhere except the armpits.

Next, I tried Shout. Used it as directed. It lightened the test shirt enough for me to try it on the grey band shirt. I followed directions and tossed the shirts into the wash with the warmest setting they can handle. I prayed one more time to the laundry gods that this solution would work.

Time passed, and I pulled them out of the wash. I could still see a small amount of residue on the sleeves. Feeling defeated, I hung the shirt up to dry. I can only scrub and wash it so many times. At this point the stains had to have set into the fabric. The only thing left to do is search for replacement shirts and just buy him new ones. I know it won’t be the same, but at least I was attempting to make up for this laundry disaster. My Guy says not to worry about it, that he will find his kid new shirts, but I can’t help but feel horrible.

There is no real happy ending to this story. After all, I live in a perpetual Monday. All I can do is learn a lesson from each challenge I face. So my lesson learned from this story is, triple check the pockets of a 14 year-old boy’s pants before you do his laundry, because you most likely missed something.

If you have stain removal remedies for any future laundry catastrophes, leave a comment below.

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