Archive | March, 2014

Handling Instructions

2 Mar

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As I sit in my apartment on the eve of yet another out-of-state trip, doing what seems like endless loads of laundry but is really only three, I find myself contemplating a world where people come with the same sort of handling instructions as clothes.

Think about it. How much easier would social relationships be if you could just flip over someone’s tag and see how best to keep them from unraveling? A peek at the back of their shirt, and you’d know if this person is your new BFF or your mortal enemy.

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See “machine wash cold” on a tag, and you know that you have a sturdy person. They’re made from a durable fabric in a bold color and can handle life’s spins and bounces with ease.

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The ones who require warmer waters are those whose colors may run easily or who absorb stains a bit deeper. They need a bit more attention to come out clean, but they’re often the ones that we hold the closest to ourselves.

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You see “dry clean only,” and you know you’re dealing with high quality and probably high maintenance. But you also know that if properly cared for, the fabulousness will last forever.

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If you’re anything like me, the hand wash only crowd makes you nervous. These are the most fragile of the bunch- the most prone to falling apart, and the ones we want to protect the most. We wear them like the others, but then we fret over their storage. We spray them with Febreze to avoid having to decide how to wash them, for fear of doing the wrong thing and ruining them.

But these aren’t just soft- they’re the gentlest among us. The handmade-with-love ones, the treasured ones, the ones that are worth the effort it takes to care for, and the ones that can shine the brightest.

Just like with any good wardrobe, I have a mix of all these people in my life. But as I thought about what their tags would say, I started wondering what my own would read. Could I handle a tumble dryer, or would I need to be hung up? Would I need to be separated, or could I hold onto my colors in any temperature water? I’m not fancy enough to be dry clean only, but I’m not a lost sock either.

Ultimately, I think I’m a machine wash warm & tumble dry. I’m pretty secure in who I am, and I can handle the spins of life (vertigo pun intended), but sometimes I need a little extra care. And if today’s laundry adventure was any indication, there should probably be a notation to check my pockets for forgotten items, too.

While I go Google how to remove melted chapstick from jeans, I leave you with this: what would your tag read? How are you best handled by other people?

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