"Where do you want to keep your laundry detergent?" I asked my son as we helped him unpack his freshman dorm room at college.
"Oh, I won't be needing any," he answered, "I am not planning on doing laundry until I get home."
"But you are not coming home for six weeks!" I responded, in disbelief.
"That's OK. I packed 42 pairs of underwear."
"You will also be known as the guy with the closet full of underwear," I mumbled.
Forty-two pairs of underwear? Is he kidding me? Is he for real? Does he want to be known as the disgusting smelly guy on campus? Does he really intend to fly 3,000 miles cross-country with his dirty laundry? Was this his plan all along? And when did he acquire the 42 pairs of underwear?
"But honey," I said calmly, "There are other things that need to get washed aside from your underwear. You don't want to be known as the stinky guy, do you?"
My husband, quietly reacting to my upset whispered in my ear, "Leave him alone. He'll figure it out."
Figure it out? How is this possible?! I thought I had prepared my son for a life of independence and self-sufficiency, but somehow, somewhere, a grave mistake has been made. I never placed laundry on his to-do list. What kind of mother am I? His three older sisters mastered the washing machine. Is this because he is a boy? Have I spoiled him? Am I a new-age chauvinist, or did I simply forget to teach him?
I met my husband in college. One of the things I liked about him was the way he smelled. I think it was because of his daily showers and the nice scent his laundry detergent and fabric softener left on his clothes. I don't think he would ever wear dirty underwear turned inside out ... or any other dirty article of clothing for that matter. What kind of girl would be attracted to my smelly son? He will never find a nice girl. This is all my fault.
The 42 pairs of underwear did not fit into the tiny dresser in his dorm room. We placed about a third into the drawers and the remaining two-thirds into a hefty garbage bag to be stored on the floor of his tiny closet (his idea).