Mind you, she was a resourceful woman who knew all the stain-removing tricks, and some I never heard of until I joined the clan. For example, coke added to a washer full of grimy clothes was supposed to remove stains.
However, even though coke supposedly dissolves fake nails, it never managed to remove those black grease stains Dad managed to infuse into the very fibers of his clothing. Short of using a stick of dynamite, Mom tried everything, but the grease and oil stains stayed put.
As you may have suspected, Hubby is a chip off the old block. He has an unerring ability to find the one nice, unblemished T-shirt left in the dresser drawer and baptize it in black grease. In his case, it seems to be a laissez-faire, relaxed lifestyle choice.
Dirt loves Hubby. Dirt hides around the corner as he goes outside and pounces on him. Call it a dirty welcome, but he doesn’t mind because “a little dirt won’t hurt you.”
Of course, he is not the person who goes 10 rounds every week with some new and exotic grime that has managed to attach itself to his clothing. If you happen to pass by the laundry room during any weekend, it is not unusual to hear the mellifluous voice of the frustrated female therein, speaking in tongues.
Polite version: “Where in Hades did he manage to find that particular shade of grease?” Or “Do fish use indelible paint guns, or are those genetically engineered fish guts smeared all over this shirt?”
Apparently and as luck would have it, the embedded grime philosophy — a little dirt won’t hurt you — is also part of both our children’s attitude toward getting dirty. They plunge into every project with full gusto and come out stinky and dirty.
The good news is that all of them clean up nicely and manage to look great.
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available at amazon.com. Visit her website, elizabethcowan.com.