Secondhand in a Snap
February 27, 2008
The household division of labor at my home dictates that I am in charge of laundry. (Or, rather, the controlling, Caesarean part of me dictates that I am in charge of the laundry.) This, of course, is to Mr. Living Small’s benefit; he never has to wash his own clothes, and he knows they are in the good, precise, anal-retentive hands of a master laundress.
That is, until this weekend.
For unforeseen reasons, his beautifully cut, disheveled-yet-distinguished hipster-look tan merino sweater shrank. I’m telling you: I washed it in cold water, just like always. I pressed it flat to dry, just like always. I set the drying rack at a reasonable distance from the furnace output, just like always. And yet, fair merino shrank to the point that, when my husband pulled it on for the first time post-wash, he looked something like a organ grinder’s monkey and/or a member of The Ramones (but not in a cool, I-don’t-care way; more like a hey-does-this-tan-sweater-count-as-punk? kind of way).
“I think my sweater shrank,” he said to me.
“Nah. It’s always been like that,” I said (lie).
He donned another jumper and off he went; I meanwhile stewed about how this could have happened. To me, no less. To me!
At first, I suspected the washer. Could it have foiled me by throwing in a capful of hot water whilst on the über-delicate hand wash setting? No, no. Not my new LG. Next, I considered the furnace. Could its hot air have unwittingly shriveled the fibers? No way. I air-dry all my hand-washables over the warm draft, and nothing, nothing! has ever scrunched up.
It couldn’t have been my fault, could it? I picked up the sweater and examined it. Yes, definitely too small for my long-torsoed hubby. Too short, too itsy in the shoulders. But.
Smaller. Small enough. For me.
I tried it on. Ooh! No primate, no Joey Ramone. Just kinda prep-school, rugby-style, boys’-cut sweater. So cool. With a red skirt and cowboy boots? Oh yeah.
Zero waste, zero consumption. Just a misguided laving, maybe. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still not admitting defeat. But I am wearing the sweater.
MORAL: If you have a friend who is bigger than you, but whose clothes you kind of like, offer to do his or her laundry. Then, shrink the pieces to fit, apologize, and presto: new duds!