Airing my daughter’s dirty laundry

By Ryan Berry

Ryan’s World

Sometimes in the position that I hold I must make critical decisions as to whether or not I should broach a certain topic or if it is better left alone. The decisions can bring about anger, heartache, and, sometimes, laughter. I’ve been threatened, harassed, cursed, verbally flogged and laughed at endlessly for some of the decisions I’ve made.

By now you’re probably thinking I’m talking about my position as editor of a newspaper. No, no, no! I’m talking about being a father. The public goes a lot easier on me than my wife and daughters.

I’ve got one of those topics this week that I must be extremely careful. How I write this will determine if my family speaks to me again and if they do, will it be loudly? One of those options would be considered a punishment – you decide.

I do a lot of the housework and one of my jobs is laundry. I don’t mind doing it because if I don’t I probably won’t have clean clothes to wear. Where I have a problem is when the family gets a little demanding about when I wash and what I wash first.

I recently helped clean my youngest daughter’s room, which included clothes lying on the floor that have probably been there for the past six months. This girl has more clothes than most department stores and it would take her at least six months to wear everything in her closet, drawers or on her floor. Notice the correlation between the six months of clothes on the floor and six months to wear everything she has. Yeah, she really needed to have her laundry cleaned.

The problem I have in the scenario is that A) I’m doing her laundry and B) she complained about which clothes I washed first.

As I’m finishing up basket number two of six baskets, she asked, “Have you washed my weekend underwear?”

As a dad, that is a question and term I really did not want to hear. I nearly cried and puked – all at the same time.

Weekend underwear! What the heck? She’s not dating anyone, but I know she has a Tinder account. I was suddenly unable to breathe or speak. I can usually process things fairly quickly, but the term “weekend underwear” made the synapses in my brain fire like a bad set of spark plugs and my engine would not turn over. Attention young ladies, or for that matter, women of any age: Never, ever tell your father, stepfather or father figure that you have weekend underwear. Call it something else, like comfortable drawers or respectable/conservative undergarments.

At this point there was no way I was going to continue to do her laundry and/or her weekend underwear.

I was hoping she had the kind of underwear kids have. The seven pairs that read Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., so they know when they last changed. It was Friday and maybe Saturday and Sunday were somewhere in the bottom of the laundry basket.

I don’t know if it’s because I turned a deathly shade of gray or if it was because I stood there momentarily looking as comfortable as Joe Biden getting off a bicycle, but my wife could see I was struggling with the concept of weekend underwear.

To her credit, because I would have done the same, she let me sweat for about a minute before she explained the difference between weekend underwear and weekday underwear.

My youngest daughter has been working at a distribution center and she walks 9-10 miles a day. Her weekday underwear helps keep her from chaffing, but her weekend underwear is more comfortable.

I did finish her laundry, but I waited until the last load on Sunday evening to wash her weekend underwear.