Blue is her favorite color and so naturally she likes bachelor buttons, one of the few blue flowers easy to find and grow.
When she surprised herself and married a different kind of bachelor, she wanted to launder his clothes, all of them. Frequently. But he said, “That doesn’t need to be washed yet” and “Didn’t you just wash my towel?” and similar things. And she would stalk off, muttering about the soapy water in the wringer washer not getting very dirty. Sometimes she would even stalk back and whine.
By and by she realized he did take extremely good care of his clothes. He would ask her to tighten loose shirt buttons before they fell off. If something might stain his work clothes he would suggest soaking them or put them to soak himself.
At times clothes seemed to wear out all over at once, not unlike the deacon’s one hoss shay. And he would say, “I think we can let that shirt (or pants) go, now” instead of “Can you mend this?” and since she didn’t enjoy sewing, she was glad.
She came to appreciate the system he had created to keep track of not-perfectly-clean shirts. (Perhaps every man should do his own laundry for five or ten years.) If he had worn a clean shirt, he would put it back on the hanger with the second button instead of the top button closed. Sometime later (much later, she thought) he would put it in the laundry basket when it failed to look or smell clean enough after being worn again.
One day she realized that she was using a similar system herself such as when she wore a dress to town for an hour. And she would use little boy and baby outfits twice if they were lightly worn.
She thought about how marriage changes man and wife, often in different areas than they dreamed. Often they balance each other. In the beginning, she thought she could convince him to prefer wearing freshly washed clothes. But what he liked better was not being nagged. Now he rarely questions how frequently she launders towels and wash cloths. She rarely seethes about not having more clothing to launder from his tidy closet and chest of drawers, partly because he puts clothes in the laundry basket sooner than he used to.
She is glad her used-to-be bachelor is no longer eligible to wear the namesake blue flowers in a buttonhole as men once did, to let ladies know they were single. She even anticipates more of his good qualities pervading her life.
What other laundry shortcuts am I missing? How have you embraced change instead of bracing yourself against it?