Disaster has struck. Our washing machine is broken. The repairman came to have a look: “I need to order a spare part. It could take a few days.” So we are waiting and our washing is piling up.

“I’m going to run out of socks soon,” I say, as I peel off my sweaty-wet running gear.

“Wear those ones again,” suggests my husband Andy. “They’ll dry.”

“They’ll turn stiff,” I protest. “I can’t run in stiff socks.”

“I could do some hand-washing,” he offers. “Yes, I’ll wash all the undies.”

So Andy fills the laundry sink and tips in the washing powder. Soon he is sloshing all our socks and bras and undies around in the warm water. Some time later he shouts, “I’ve washed everything. Who wants to hang it out?”

The girls and I volunteer. Andy carries the heavy basket out into the garden for us. We take the soggy washing, item by item, and peg it all to the line. Andy’s mangle hands did their best but the washing is still full of water. It drips onto the grass.

Water is dripping off us as well. It’s hot. It’s very hot.

“Perfect weather for drying washing that hasn’t been spun,” observes Imogen. “It’ll be dry before we know it.”

Yes, at least this heat-wave weather is good for something. What if the washing machine had broken down in the middle of winter?

“The clothes feel a bit slimy,” observes Charlotte. “Do you think Dad rinsed the washing powder out of them?”

"I bet they dry stiff," says Sophie.

But it's too hot to worry about that so we keep on pegging. 

The washing line is soon full. The basket is empty. So we retreat inside out of the sun, and spend the rest of the day trying to stay cool.

After dinner, when the sun has gone down, Andy goes outside to bring in the washing.

“It’s all perfectly dry,” he announces on his return. We expected that. “But it all seems to be a bit stiff.” We expected that too.

“Never mind,” I say, “at least it’s all clean.” I’m not about to complain. It’s not every husband who’d volunteer to do the washing.

This morning we again peel off our sweaty-wet running gear and toss it into a pile. Andy looks at the mountain of clothing and says, “Maybe I should do some more hand-washing.” Then he grins, “I could make everything stiff again.”

“Did you rinse the washing?” I ask.

“Well, sort of. Maybe not very well,” he admits.

I don’t want him to feel bad so I say, “I don’t mind stiff undies.” I don’t. It’s kind of funny. Andy thinks it’s funny too. We both collapse into giggles.

And then I have an idea. What if I wrote a blog post called Why I'm Wearing Stiff Undies? Oooh! That’s a great title for a story. Then I look at Andy. Would he mind? Would he think we’re laughing at him? It is good of him to do our washing. No, I can’t afford to upset him.

“You know what?” says Andy. “You should write a blog post about wearing stiff undies.”

“I should?”

He grins. “It would make a good story.”

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m standing here writing a blog post. Standing? Well, it’s a bit hard to sit down at the moment. You see…

I’m wearing stiff undies.

Imogen (with her eyes twinkling) says, "You can't tell the world about your undies, Mum!" I can't? Oh! Perhaps it's not ladylike. What do you think?

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  1. Soo funny. Thanks. I'd hate not being able to sit down because of stiff undies. Not a very ladylike post, but oh so funny.The title made me think of our laundry. It's still on the washing line, also stiff, but frozen stiff and full of sleet inside. I would not want to wear any of it.

    1. Uglemor,

      So glad you laughed despite the fact my story wasn't ladylike!

      I remember my mother hanging out washing on cold winter days. When she brought it back in, it would be as stiff as a board. I really didn't understand why she went to all the effort of pegging it out. Does washing eventually dry, even when the weather is so cold it sleets? Ma in The Little House on the Prairie used to hang her washing out even in winter. Our winters aren't nearly as cold as yours, but on some days our washing still feels damp after being outside all day.

      I don't mind wearing stiff undies that are warm and dry, but I couldn't bear to wear ones that were frozen stiff!

  2. Reminds me of camping! Sometimes there IS no washer/dryer or we pull into a campground late at night with an early AM planned. The wash bag is overflowing but, no time to do a load. So, it's to the sink I go with a bar of soap and a few necessities to be washed! That's life!
    Very funny, Sue. Very:)

    Love ya, friend

    1. Chris,

      Oh yes! A few necessities and a bar of soap... nice and simple. I'm glad you laughed!

      Love you too!

  3. I think it is hilarious! You always make me smile.

    1. Kathleen,

      My family and I often collapse into fits of laughter when we're having conversations together. I sometimes wonder if anyone will laugh when I retell these stories here on my blog. Will no one else think our jokes funny? Glad to hear you smiled!

  4. Replies
    1. Chari,

      Thank you for reading my silly story!

  5. Replies
    1. Nancy,

      It's good to share a giggle!

  6. So funny! Looking at Andy's pictures..who could ever laugh at him? It seems he would always be laughing with you. What a warm and wonderful smile he has!

    Maybe some fabric softener would help in the wash? :) Let's hope the repair man rescues you soon! Or not...more funny stories might be better: how to run in stiff undies, etc. Love you Sue!

    1. Patricia,

      I thought this was a good photo to include with the story because this is exactly what Andy looked like as we were laughing over stiff undies! I agree: he does have a wonderful smile.

      Fabric softener? Now that's a great idea. I'm hoping we won't have to wait too much longer for our machine to be repaired, but yes, every disaster is a potential story. I wouldn't have much to write about if nothing ever went wrong!

      Love you too, Patricia! xx

  7. Ladylike stories are very rarely funny, so thank you for not being ladylike! :)

    1. Miu,

      I'm glad I didn't worry about being unlady-like and posted this story. And I'm glad you stopped by to thank me! Thank YOU!

  8. I think being ladylike is a little overrated. This is way more fun! :)

    My mom hung out our clothes to dry on a regular basis when I was growing up. Sheets, undies, everything. I guess I was used to stiff undies, as I don't remember ours being stiff. But I do remember stiff sheets. I really preferred them soft from the dryer!! :)

    1. Susan,

      We only use our dryer in emergencies like when it has been raining for days and the washing is piling up. It is just too expensive to run it. Most people here dry their washing on an outside line. We get lots of sunshine so it's practical and makes sense. I suppose our sheets might be stiff from line drying but oh the smell! Sunshine makes everything smell so wonderful!

  9. Oh Sue, this is so funny! I'm up so early and trying to laugh quietly but it is hard.

    1. Anabelle,

      Thanks for laughing! Our washing machine is still not fixed, and Andy goes back to work tomorrow. Who is going to wash our undies when he's not at home? I fear I shall be wearing my second best undies after I've run out of good ones. Or I could just go and buy new ones. Perhaps I should do the washing myself? Gulp! I hope the repairman returns with the spare parts very soon!

  10. I'm glad you giggled! I reread this post when I saw your comment. Now I'm smiling too. Thanks for stopping by!


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