Monday, June 14, 2010

Hangin' Clothes on the 'Ol Line

If your a mom, you know there is always plenty of laundry to do. Perhaps like me you always assumed the washing machine and dryer went together like salt and pepper. I always considered them married - when you ask for the salt at the table you should recieve the salt and pepper (assuming that everyone knows their manners) - when you ask for a washer you get the washer and dryer, right? The only thing I found that separated the two were the word "and."

My first months of living here in Mexico City we didn't have a washing machine - (before you gasp)'s ok because just right across the street is the "laundry lady" and you just drop off your dirties and pick up your clean clothes in the night. Well, she was absolutely the best about ruining our clothes and she cost a near fortune - so my husband finally got me the new washing machine I had been lusting after for months. He said ..."this month we can just afford the washing machine, but I promise next month we will get the dryer since you need it because you are from the U.S. and you guys love everything fake and love to kill the planet." Kind of true. I was willing to survive this one month without my beloved dryer but, don't think it would be for any longer.

So, my husband strung out some 'ol lines in the patio and we bought some clothespins and I began laundering and hangin'...laundering and hangin'. And I must say, I never did ask for that dryer after all these months and I never will. I don't want it, I don't need it at all. I really thought I needed it and without it I have realized it is completely useless. It's just as easy to hang the clothes on the 'ol line than it is to use a very energy-consuming machine to dry clothes.

Now it is the norm here in Mexico (as well as the rest of latin America, Europe, Asia...) not to have a dryer. It is actually only the norm in the United States to have this duo- not because people cannot afford it, but because it seems frivilous and energy consuming.

Now, I will be the first to admit that nothing looks tackier than seeing lines of clothes waving in the wind. It's not pretty, seriously. But during these hot summer days it only takes about an hour for the clothes to dry out on the 'ol line and then you could sneak them back inside before anyone would ever notice! Your energy bill would shirnk drastically if you could do this one thing, it consumes about 12% of your electric bill every month. Oh, and not to mention we would have less of the rest of the world thinking we are ridiculous over-consuming humans with our abundance of "much needed" appliances. If the rest of the world doesn't need them, why do we? Now, I am not saying by any means to get rid of the dryer. I like the dryer, but couldn't we use it much less? I understand that on rainy days and cold winter days you can't hang clothes outside, but there are a variety of options available for hanging clothes inside. Think about it.

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