Sunday, June 19, 2016

Laundry, thy name is Entropy!

Author's Note: This was originally published in 2011, pulled when I got nervous during a job search, and has now been put out there again when I went through my stuff and decided to get over myself. Nothing, however, regarding the entropic nature of laundry has changed in that time.

The second law of thermodynamics is stated thusly: "In a closed system, entropy will always increase."

That is to say, every moment of the universe's existence, it becomes more disorganized. Entropy is the measure of how things fall apart. Dust collects, stains form, colors fade. What was once organized matter - a new dress, a freshly painted iron railing, a main sequence G-type star - eventually becomes stained, ripped, rusty, crumbly, or even a white dwarf.

Laundry, to me, is the perfect example of this. Every couple of weeks, I have organized my laundry so that every item is appropriately hung up, ironed, folded, or stored. By the next time I change clothes, entropy has begun. Dirty clothes pile up. Fresh shirts are wrinkled. My favorite blouse has a brand new mocha stain on it. One leg of my good black pants has come unhemmed. I can't find half of the new panties I bought.

I made huge strides when I bought myself a "closet organizing system" by Rubbermaid. I even managed to install it myself. AND I was not injured in the process. I now have more than twice the hanging rod space as before, plus shelves, plus it looks a whole lot better. Yet even I know this cannot last.

There are currently more dirty towels than clean ones in my bathroom, and that's even considering just how generous I am with the label "clean". My comforter - and which insane person decided white was the perfect color for a comforter? - is now soaking in the washing machine, trying to get out the honey I spilled on it when I tried to take a spoonful for my coughing in the middle of the night. I applied stain remover. I added color-safe bleach, because even though it is white, the label said not to use chlorine bleach. I put it on the soak and agitate cycle.

Even so, more dirty laundry waits. The sheets are snagged by the cat's sharp claws. The world waits with things to drip on the front of my blouse.

Entropy always wins.

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