Housespouse Dan Franch likens laundry to the wheel of life in his latest piece for wort column Taking a break.

Of all the household tasks – cooking, dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, shopping, and all else we housespouses do when we’re not lazing about all day — there is only one chore I absolutely don’t do, won’t do, never did do, never will do. That is ironing. The mounting pile of crumpled clothes in the living room confirms this.

I’m sure I tried using hot steam to remove wrinkles from fabric “once or once” in my past and quickly grew annoyed by my inability to get the iron to create crisp creases and smooth stretches of fabric. Not to mention, how to manoeuvre the shirt or pants around the ironing board. There’s probably a good reason for its phallic shape, but I could never figure it out. In the end, I tossed the heap back into the laundry basket, no less crinkly than before I began.

Ironing aside, I do love folding clothes. It’s not some latent teenage panty fetish that keeps me continually reaching into the basket to retrieve another garment. Rather, I enjoy the rhythmic process of folding and stacking, always trying to make each piece of apparel look like it could be on a store shelf. It’s weird, I know.

Adding to the quiet cadence of perfection seeking is the ever-present sense of life’s eternal clock ticking away. At times, it’s as if our sons’ glad rags are growing in my hands. I remember when their socks and shirts were so small. Now, it’s hard to tell whose socks are whose, and their shirts are rapidly catching up to the size of mine. It won’t be long before their clothes are bigger than mine; then, their clothes will be gone. It could be said that I am marking time with each wash load.

But it’s not all reflective bliss in the lovely land of Luxembourg.

There’s always an inside-out piece to break the spell. I get a bit huffish as I wonder how many times I’ve asked my kids to put their dirty duds rightside-out into the laundry basket before being washed. To no avail. My mom griped about the same thing.

So I’m taken back to when I was young and my parents were younger. Now I am older, and our kids are getting older, too. Funny how the wheel of life spins. Kind of like a load of laundry.