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!


7 Responses to “Secondhand in a Snap”

  1. Leslie said

    What? No photo? I’m sure it looks lovely, but I’d like to see for myself. Sorry for Hub; happy for you… Seriously, what could have happened? Maybe the gods were in a lather about something or other.

  2. Stacey said

    A job for the Arth’n’ Smith Detective Agency!!!!

    P.S. Saw a documentary on “freegans” this weekend, very very interesting.

  3. No photo yet! Seriously. I don’t know what happened. A detective case, indeed.

    Freeganism is intriguing, yes. A great article on the movement came out in the NYT last summer. Here’s one of the nail-on-the-head quotes:

    Environmentalism, Mr. Torres [a sociology professor in NY] said, “is becoming this issue of, consume the right set of green goods and you’re green,” regardless of how much in the way of natural resources those goods require to manufacture and distribute.

    Check it out.

  4. Matt Kreiling said

    Great blog. It took me a while to get around to it.

    Tell the man with the too small sweater hello.

    I miss you two.

  5. buddhabelly30 said

    very cute. i’ve given myself a pair of pants via this manner recently. presto — new(ish) olive green pants.

  6. Matty: Glad you like the bloggie. I told the Man hello, too.

    buddhabelly: Happy to know I’m not the only one being slightly nefarious with laundry!

  7. […] solved, thanks to Re-Nest reader (and smart re-user) Jennifer, who transformed the sleeve of a shrunken wool sweater into a felted wine bottle […]

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