Ever been the victim of shaming? There are so many ways of embarrassing women, fat shaming, slut shaming and mom shaming to name a few. But I experienced an entirely new kind of shaming; one I never expected… straight up, thong panty, red-in-the-face…” are these yours?” shaming. Was I ever embarrassed?
You’ve heard the term “airing your dirty laundry”? We’ve all heard it and most of us have done it. Though, I really try hard not to. Well, as much as you can when you’re a blogger and telling my business is sort of my business. Ironically enough, I grew up hearing my father tell me constantly, “Don’t tell everyone your business.”
It’s never been my nature to have a filter and mostly there is nothing off limits, as you know from reading this blog, however, it’s different in my real life. Meaning that I do actually think before I speak to someone face to face. I weigh the consequences of my words. I don’t particularly like being embarrassed.
My threshold for embarrassment is pretty high. After all, I grew up with 6 brothers and sisters, you develop a thick skin but I do still embarrass over a few things and this is where the next thing that I’m about to tell you comes in.
Last month, suddenly, our washer started behaving very badly. Like seriously, it needed a timeout in a corner by itself. It’s a fairly new washer, still under warranty, but it decided that it was going to stop spinning and draining and began passively aggressively blinking a warning code at me.
We looked the code up and it meant there was too much suds. What? I’ve been doing laundry since I was about 9-years-old and I never recall putting too much detergent in the laundry. In fact, it was drilled pretty hard into my head not to after a sitcom showed us just what could happen if too much soap got in the washer. Suds everywhere. My mom was very vigilant that never happen because,6 kids, she had no time for cleaning up extraneous messes.
Yet, here we are. We ran the cleaning cycle about 30 times. We stopped using the liquid detergent and switched back to powder. We measured every single bit of soap that went into the machine. Still, the code continued to aggressively blink and beep at me, each time I opened the lid to find the washer with about 7 inches of water in the drum. Then, the washer began screaming another code at us. This one meant that there was a drainage issue.
Do you know what happens when the washer doesn’t drain? I’ll tell you, I had to revert to the ways of my ancestors, I had to wring the entire load out by hand and it was hard. Every load for almost a month (as I waited for the manufacturer to sort out when they could send a technician) I had to wring by hand. It was a hard month. My entire body hurt.
Remember people, I am a writer. I don’t do a lot of manual labor aside from housework and normally, housework does not include hand-wringing sopping wet fleeces and jeans. I ached all over my body. Just as I was finally starting to develop some muscle tone, a technician was sent to my house to try to figure out what was causing the problem.
The technician was a very nice middle-aged man. Very talkative. We developed a friendly rapport as he disassembled my washer in search of the root of all evil. I cracked jokes. He laughed. Then, I went on about my morning work. That’s when it happened. A moment that I will never forget. My face is turning red just thinking about it.
He calls me from the laundry room, “Mrs. Can you come here. I think I found the problem.”
In my mind, I was like, “Hell yeah, I’ll pay anything just please don’t make me wring out another load of bath towels by hand!” I came bouncing into the laundry room like a puppy about to get a treat; smiling my crazy mom smile from ear to ear. There he was surrounded by all the disassembled parts of my washing machine
“Well, ma’am I think I found the culprit of all your washing machine woes.”
And with that, he pulls from the washing machine with the help of his trusted pliers, a pair of my panties. Not just any panties, but a pair of my G-string panties that had somehow gotten themselves over the side of the drum and in between the drum and shell of the machine, where the drain is located.
Apparently, my thong panties were clogging the drain and with that, he handed me my sopping wet panties ( and not in a good way) while he told me that the warranty didn’t cover it and I would owe him just over a $100.
Aside from being embarrassed that a strange man was handing me my panties that clogged a drain, he insulted me further by charging me for doing so. How embarrassing.
So, I took my soaked thong, threw them into the garbage, wrote him a check and never made eye contact ever again. I finally get the saying, don’t air your dirty laundry. It apparently goes for your clean laundry too, if they’re panties. Thus goes my public panty shaming.