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Wash, rinse, spin

Matt Bramanti | Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I have a confession to make: I don’t do my laundry.

That’s not to say that I’m walking around in filthy rags. My laundry gets done, just not by me. I pay to get it done. But I don’t get it done at St. Michael’s. No, I give the University enough money as it is. I like to help out my own kin.

My brother, Tommy, is my laundry boy.

That’s right. For the last three years, I’ve paid him a decent weekly salary to wash, dry, fold and put away my clothes. And it’s pretty sweet.

A little scenario to illustrate: When I left my room yesterday, I had to dodge an enormous pile of dirty laundry in the corner. When I got back from class today, I was greeted by a closet full of nice, warm, neatly folded, fabric-softened clothing. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Now, it’s not that I’ve never had to do any work. I wasn’t coddled as a kid. I had to do my fair share of chores. I’ve scrubbed toilets and scoured bathtubs. I’ve cut lawns and mulched flowerbeds. I’ve taken out the trash more times than I care to remember – and a family of nine puts out a lot of trash.

I just don’t like doing laundry, and I never have.

And apparently, neither does Tommy. His complaints, which can usually be soothed by paying him in cash, have gotten louder and more frequent. I hear things a civilized person in the 21st century shouldn’t have to, things like, “Can’t you wear that some more before I have to wash it?”

He claims I never pay him, and the allegedly past-due amount keeps increasing at a rate that would make a New Jersey loan shark blush. And when I do pay him, he complains about how broke he is. Then he stuffs the cash into a wallet that’s literally bulging with currency.

I even gave him a 33 percent raise this year out of the kindness of my heart. And by “the kindness of my heart,” I mean he put my clothes away wet and threatened to keep doing so until he got more money. He’ll make a fine Teamster one day.

Why do I put up with this? Why don’t I just bite the bullet, grab some quarters and wash my own clothes?

A lot of you probably think I’m being a bit lazy. Some people might say that I’m a slacker, that washing, drying and folding clothes really isn’t that much of a hassle.

To those people, I would say: can I hire you? Tommy whines too much.