One of the first things I remember noticing when we moved to Oz is that nearly everyone hangs their laundry out to dry on clotheslines. I'm embarrassed now to say that this was very strange to me. Where I grew up, and every other place I've lived, you used a dryer unless you just didn't have one. (But everyone I knew did.) Most Aussies own a dryer, but it is almost never used, unless weather prevents hanging clothes out.
I've had several discussions with friends here about this, and the general consensus is that hanging clothes out is just, well. better. The clothes feel better, they say, it's better for the environment, it's cheaper. "Say what?", I basically replied (but with much more cultural sensitivity). Something that requires more work is better? Why, this American girl is not accustomed to such reasonings of the brain! So we bought ourselves a dryer, yes we did, and commenced using it with pride.
Well, recently, we have begun using our clothesline more and more. It started out so innocently--hanging swimsuits and towels to dry after getting out of the pool. Doesn't it always start innocently? A little here, a little there, then they've got you. Wait--I'm talking about laundry. Okay. Then we progressed to towels and sheets; our dryer takes ages to do these. And now...well, now I find myself hanging stuff out on hot days. And...I like doing it.
Now, easy there, Trigger. I'm still using my dryer. It's my God-given right! However, the other day as I was hanging some things out on a particularly hot day, it was downright pleasant. The damp clothes were cool against my cheeks as I brushed past them, the breeze made them sway on the line. And right there I kid you not, I felt downright virtuous. A golden sense of my own goodness just shot right through my soul. Like, What a wife and mother I am! Taking care of my family and infusing their clothes with sunshine!
Then I realized I was being totally stupid. On our block, behind every other house and on the next street and the next, are clotheslines with clothes hung out on them. Who am I kidding? What--I'm VIRTUOUS for doing what freakin' everyone else does? Sha! I guess it's just that part of me want to be a bit of this:
I KNOW. But at least I admit it! Of course, being a little that may conflict with my desire to be a little this:
And a rockin', female, preaching hybrid of this and this:
Okay, now, that last bit is a little weird. But don't you ever grapple with wanting to be several aspects of different things? Ah, modern womanhood, I suppose.(But I know you dudes do it, too!)
Regardless, you can see why I need to keep my dryer, depending on the day. I doubt Aretha would hang out her lacy unmentionables!