The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Lost in Suburbia: A lesson for the laundry-challenged

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  • Since I work from home, I don’t generally get dressed up for the occasion. Most of the time I consider it a successful day if I change out of my bathrobe and put on actual clothes. Because of this, I don’t have a lot of fancy clothes, and most of what I do have can easily be thrown in the wash.
    This arrangement has always worked out fine until the day I bought a pair of “nice” jeans. These uber-high end jeans fit great but were clearly spun from gold denim, if the cost was any indication. Even though the label said they could be washed in the laundry, I was concerned that I might accidentally shrink them or spill bleach on them or wreak some other kind of irreparable havoc on them. Not that I’ve ever done that before. OK … once. Or maybe six times. But definitely not more than 29.
    Anyway, knowing I am laundry-challenged, I decided the safest thing to do would be to have the pants dry cleaned. I figured people who clean clothes for a living must be better at it than I am, or at the very least, their clean-to-ruin ratio would be better than mine. Plus, having used the same drycleaners for a decade, I was confident that they would take good care of my new, expensive jeans so they lasted a long, long time and I could justify having spent the equivalent of a week’s worth of groceries on a stupid pair of pants.
    In my defense, these were no ordinary jeans. In my long career as a fickle jeans consumer, I have probably tried on and rejected more skinny jeans, flares, bootlegs and straight legs than a GAP model. Between the super low ones that leave me with the world’s worst muffin top to the high-waisted mom jeans that make my butt look so big it should be designated the 51st state of the union, I have searched high and low for great fitting jeans. So when I finally found a pair that actually flattered my lower half, I was willing to pay whatever the price to rein in the UFO (unidentified formidably-sized object) that rides behind me.
    Confident in my jean-saving strategy, I had my nice jeans dry cleaned and then brought them home and ripped them out of the plastic bag to try them back on. But as I went to pull them up, I realize something was amiss. I got them on my legs and over my knees, but once I got to my thighs, it was clear that the jeans were not going any further. I was pretty sure I had not gained 10 pounds overnight, although that has happened in the past, so I figured it had to be the jeans.
    “I don’t understand,” I wailed to my husband as I stood in the bedroom with my jeans at half mast. “I had these dry cleaned. They’re not supposed to shrink when you get them dry cleaned.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “They must have laundered them instead,” he said.
    “I definitely told them dry clean, not laundry!” I protested.
    “They must have gotten your instructions wrong,” he replied.
    I grabbed the hanger and read the dry cleaning ticket. Then I peeled the pants off and stared at them accusingly. With a sudden realization I peered at the jeans label.
    “Actually they got it half right,” I said shaking my head. “They were definitely dry-cleaned. …
    “But they’re not my jeans.”
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