Ponderings with Doug – April 22, 2016


Doug De Graffenried – First United Methodist Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana


Do you have stuff in your pockets?

Before the washer is loaded, my bride sometimes extracts some folding money and maybe a coin or two from my pockets. If I have been working in the yard there is the rare nut, bolt, or screw. The majority of time my pockets are empty. The first few times I left money in them I discovered if she finds money, she keeps the money! I am neurotic about hanging keys up when I come into the house. Once inside, my cell phone and wallet come out of my pockets as well. My pockets are pretty boring.

I learned that just because my pockets are empty doesn’t mean her pockets are empty. This is important if you are considering doing the laundry.

The other day I decided to help my bride by doing her laundry. She is staying in Gibsland for most of the week and comes home on the weekend. We will have this strange living arrangement until her chemotherapy is completed in June. I am always thrilled when she comes home. I want to be a loving and helpful husband, so that she will want to come back on the weekends.

Her white basket is her method of packing for a four day stay in Gibsland. When she returns and the basket has clothes in it, those are dirty clothes, right? The clothes are at the bottom of the basket below the laptop, the clothes hangers and her shoes. One must be an archaeologist of sorts to get to the laundry.

Last weekend I grabbed all her clothes and chunked them in the washer. I still do laundry by the collegiate method. You throw all the laundry in the washer, make sure you wash in cold water; thus avoiding the time and wasted effort of sorting clothing. I did tell my bride that I was washing her clothes. She asked, “You didn’t wash my mouse did you?”

I didn’t tell her, but the washer was making more noise than is normal. I had a sinking feeling that something had slipped into the laundry when I chunked the contents of her basket in there. I just knew I had washed a mouse. When I looked in the bottom of her basket there was great rejoicing. Her mouse was in the bottom of the basket still sitting on its mouse pad.

What was making the extra sound in the washer?

It was not long until the source of the sound was revealed.

My wife doesn’t believe in the empty pocket hypothesis. She knows that her pockets are like walking into an antique store. You never know what will drop out of those pockets. She has washed, keys, tools, thumb drives, tubes of lip balm and large denominations of currency. I was not so lucky with this load of laundry. Had I used the normal method of sorting and checking pockets, I would have discovered a tube of lipstick in her jacket pocket. I will confess to you that her windbreaker jacket was in the basket I chunked it in the washer too.

This was my first experience with lipstick laundry. It was not a pleasant experience. The lipstick was on everything, and everything belonged to her exclusively. I was “dead Doug walking.” I felt sick and then I felt very afraid. There was the necessity of confession and pleading for spousal mercy.

“I did it. I didn’t check the pockets. I didn’t sort the clothes. I didn’t look I just threw them in the washer. I was trying to get husband brownie points. I failed. I’m sorry. I will buy you a new wardrobe. I didn’t wash your mouse but this is worse.” It is always good to think through your spousal confession.

You know, she laughed at me and with me. She took out her secret wife laundry chemicals and proceeded to remove the lipstick stains and rewash the clothing. I joyously report that the lipstick stains have all been washed away. I experienced love, forgiveness and grace in the laundry room.

“Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow!”

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