This Does Not Spark Joy

, , , , | Related | January 30, 2019

(I am nearly a thousand miles away from home for grad school. In the past, every time I’ve been gone my mom has very sweetly “helped out” around my room. The only trouble is, my room is never untidy to begin with, and in addition to putting things in places I can’t find them, without fail, she washes my clothes and sheets in a detergent I’m allergic to. While home on winter break, I sort through my whole closet, setting aside a stack of clothes to donate and putting away everything I want to keep. I don’t have a chance to make it to the thrift store before I leave, so I place the donations in a paper clothing bag inside my closet. We have this conversation before I leave.)

Me: “Okay, I washed my sheets today, so you won’t need to touch those. And all of my clothes are clean and folded, so you can ignore those, too.”

Mom: “Oh, that’s okay; I don’t mind washing your things.”

Me: “Yes, but you don’t need to. Everything is clean and ready for me next time I’m home so please, please don’t touch anything in there.”

Mom: “Okay, honey. If you say so.”

(Nearly three weeks go by. A new series focused on cleaning house has launched online. I get this text after a long weekend.)

Mom: “You’ll never believe it! Your dad and I watched [Show] this weekend. As soon as it was done, he jumped right up and started going through his closet. We have two whole bags to donate!”

Me: “That’s great! What does he think of how she folds shirts? I know he’s been doing it the same way since he was in the Navy.”

Mom: “He didn’t change how he folded his shirts, but pants take up half the space the way she does it! I was so excited, I did your room next!”

Me: “Uh, what?”

Mom: “Yeah! All those clothes you had shoved in a bag fit in your drawers now. I wasn’t sure what was clean, so I washed it all.”

Me: “Mom, I told you everything was clean; why did you do laundry? And the bag of clothing was to donate; I had already sorted through it all but I didn’t make to the thrift store before I left.”

Mom: “Oh, that’s okay. I like doing laundry.”

Me: “I know, but now I have to sort through everything again and rewash it because I can’t use your detergent.”

Mom: “That’s okay. We can do it together! I wasn’t sure about your sheets, either, so I did those, too. You won’t have to do a thing when you get home!”

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