Years ago when the Native and I were back in the States for Christmas we saw this washing and dryer set that were being sold for a family home. It came up to our necks in height. It boasted that it could wash up to 18 pairs of jeans. And I say it again to my British readers out there, 18.PAIRS.OF.JEANS. Let me put that into perspective for my American readers, when I load our washing machine here I honestly feel that I am taking a risk if I put in more than two pair.
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, America is a country of modern conveniences. I find myself thinking about this more since I have become a mom because the British household, while undeniably comfortable, often doesn’t carry the same level of modern convenience that I was afforded when I lived in the U.S, and I have to wonder is it easier to get those parental jobs done in America than it is here.
While some Brits do have dishwashers, I would say at least an equal number have a different kind of dishwasher. It has ten fingers that, multiple times a day, are getting sweated up in a pair of bright yellow marigolds. I would LOVE to have a dishwasher, but even if we bought one we’d have no where to put it, because of lack of space.
And then there’s the laundry. Oh the laundry, always waiting for me, staring at me, telling me to do more because the thing is, while we do have washing machines, many British households don’t have tumble dryers. That’s right; we hang out clothes out to dry on sunny days and drape them over airers on the remaining 355 days of the year. I find this mind-boggling since a “hot” summer (we’re talking 80F) has now become a thing of nostalgia, maybe even folklore on a present day school playground. This, coupled with the fact that people start to think apocalyptic thoughts about global warming if we get through a week without rain, makes me wonder why tumble dryers aren’t everywhere. But they are expensive to run. They take up space that people don’t have. They are just something that we can do without.
And without the wonderful hot blast of air that presses those wrinkles out of wet clothes, once our clothes are hung, they usually need to be ironed, too. My pile of ironing is supernatural in that it is infinite. I get through one and another is waiting. It’s just the way it is.
I understand within all of this moaning and groaning about how ‘easy’ those Americans have it with all of their bright, shiny, glorious appliances (sigh), while my American working mom friends get only 6-8 weeks of maternity leave (if any), I am now enjoying my 9 months at home with The Duchess. So while living here means that the practical inconveniences might be a bit of a nuisance sometimes, I’d choose those 9 months of cuddles at home any day, even if they are over a massive pile of wet laundry.