There’s just something about getting to the bottom of the laundry basket and seeing that the last two socks actually match that makes you think,
By George, I’ve got my s#!+ together!’
When I was younger I dreaded doing the laundry. Oh how I loathed having to match up the seams of my jeans before placing them on a hanger, and lord forbid having to fold a fitted sheet (which I still have no clue how to do). Now, I take great care and pride in sorting my clothes into neat little piles and separating my shirts in my drawers based on which occasions I’d be wearing them.
Every week I walk through my apartment ducking around vines of bra straps, pant legs, and pantyhose. My place becomes a jungle of slightly damp clothing, all in an effort to preserve the quality of my wardrobe staples.
It was after midnight and I found myself hunched over my kitchen sink hand washing my bras one by one. Why? Because I’d just gotten home from being away for almost two weeks and I needed clean undergarments in the morning. Sure, I could have tossed them in the washing machine and dried them on high in the morning– I’m sure, I’d have had time before I left the next morning, but it just wouldn’t be right.
I was exhausted. The smell of lavender scented Gain had me in a trance. It took everything in me to hang my jeans and pantyhose at optimal air drying distance from one another, but I made it happen.
Why was I going through all of the trouble? The laundry room was just across the hall. I had just gone to the bank for my usual two rolls of quarters, and I even had matching lavender dryer sheets. Why not just toss them in the dryer and head to bed?
Support. That’s why not.
My neon colored holsters with convertible straps offer all of the comfort and support my young ladies ever need. My jet black medium support control tops with the reinforced toe keep the thundering of my thighs to a dull tremble. My dark wash, medium waist, skinny leg give structure and lift to the ‘southern charm’ I now carry behind me (thanks Mom). How dare I even consider tossing my most supportive articles into the dryer as if they were some old high school Stress Fest tie-dye t-shirts? It just wouldn’t be right.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve been blessed with a life full of new adventures and experiences. I am meeting new people and seeing new places and doing new things; and life is happening. I’m living! I’m experiencing! I’m learning! I’m doing!
And I’m tired.
But amid my laundry daze I am reminded that as exhausted as I sometimes feel, and as late as it may seem, it is imperative that I cherish those who provide me structure and support.
As easy as it would be to care for and treat my closest friends and family as I do everyone else, I have to remember that they aren’t the same. If I want to maintain the quality of my relationships, I must take the time to care for them and nurture them. I can’t allow my relationships to become misshapen enough to lose their support, or allow small snags to become irreparable runs and holes, or allow the beauty of my friendships to shrink and fade, because it’s easier to lump them in with how I treat acquaintances. I find the excuse, ‘That’s how I am with everyone,’ quite irksome, when it’s told to me; I often wish to reply, ‘But, I’m not everyone.’ And I remind myself of that quite often.
I must remember the bras that I was too ‘tired’ (read: lazy) to take good care of and just washed with my old Youth Services soccer t-shirts and dried with my bath mats and running shoes (yes, sadly, I was once that lazy), that are now shoved in the back of the drawer, only to be worn after finally convincing myself that even the slight distortion of my under wire would be far more bearable than letting my young ladies hang free.
Because as nice as it is to be free and hang loose, there will never be a time when I couldn’t use a little (or not so little) support.