Tonight while the water boiled on the stove for soup I ironed a shirt for my husband. The ironing board used to be stored in the upstairs closet. But I never remembered to iron his shirts. I thought if the ironing board was close to the kitchen, I could iron a sleeve in between stir frying vegetables, pan searing chicken breasts, or boiling water.
When I studied photography in the early 80’s at the Alberta College Of Art in Calgary I often visited my high school friend Michelle. She rented the bottom of a duplex with her husband in a residential neighborhood in Calgary. They had met in grade school and married a few years after they graduated from high school. She gave me advice about how to know if I really loved someone, while we put away her canned vegetables in alphabetical order. She said,” You will know you really love him if you want to wash his socks.”
The man I was dating at the time wanted to move into my apartment over the used furniture store in Calgary. He kept talking about painting the walls dark chocolate-brown. He wanted to take off the Spiderman wallpaper I had put on the outside of the kitchen cupboards. The residents were mostly artists and some senior citizens who added character. The bathroom was across the hall. I did not want to wash his socks. I did not want to paint my walls chocolate-brown. I did not want to get rid of Spiderman. He was not committed to me, no ring on my finger, and I did not let him move in. I asked him to move on.
When I first saw met my husband I thought he looked like a man whose socks I would want to wash. We only dated for three weeks before he was stationed in California. I was still living in Japan. Our first date in the United States was when we were married. I was dating my husband. The total number of days we were in the same continent was 45. Our courtship was through daily letters, ( I still have them) and an investment in an international phone company, over the greater part of a year. I stayed with a Navy wife, while her husband was deployed, when I arrived in the United States on a fiancée visa two weeks before the wedding. I wasn’t going to live with anyone until I had a ring on the index finger of my left hand.
I wash my husbands socks. I wash them the way they land in the hamper. If I get them inside out, he gets them back inside out. How ever they land in the wash is how they come out. I dry his socks in the dryer and I put them away.
My husband just asked me what I am writing about. I told him I was writing about washing his socks. He said, ” I like it when you wash my socks.”
I wash my husband socks. I iron my husbands shirts. I don’t have to. I do it because I want to. When he goes into his closet and sees his shirts ironed, and his socks washed and dried, perhaps he will think, Ahh she loves me.
And I do.