When there’s something you enjoy, you want to share it with others.
How about laundry?
A man with Kentucky and West Virginia connections loves laundry so much people call him The Laundry Guy.
Patric Richardson’s fascination with laundry is an outgrowth of his love of fine clothes. The owner of Mona Williams boutique in the Mall of America, Richardson loved shopping at Parsons and Stone and Thomas, department stores in the region that have succumbed to online shopping and large retail chains.
His career began with a degree in fashion merchandising, apparel and textiles from the University of Kentucky, where he learned to care for fabric. He worked for Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom before opening his own boutique.
His book, “Laundry Love, Finding Joy in a Common Chore,” and Discovery+ series, “The Laundry Guy,” both launching this month, put forth the thesis that washing clothes can be fun.
The best thing I have to say about laundry is I have a laundry shoot in the bathroom that takes dirty duds to the basement, where my washer and dryer are. I’ve adored a laundry chute since I discovered one at my Aunt Mary’s house that took clothes on the long journey from the upstairs to the basement. Before I understood the full effects of gravity, I thought it would be quite fun to "ride" the laundry chute.
The worst thing I have to say about laundry is I have to go down rickety old steps to do laundry in my basement.
In between, laundry is a bore. Not a chore I hate and not a chore I enjoy. Especially the folding. For some reason, I hate folding and putting away my clothes.
Richardson, though, enjoys beautiful fabric, so touching and folding clothing is understandably a pleasure for him.
I like beautiful fabric, but I don’t love it. My numb fingertips don’t allow me the full pleasure he derives from a creamy cashmere.
Richardson said you need the right tools to make laundry more pleasurable. The right tools: horsehair brushes, a spray bottle of vinegar and water for stains; a spray bottle of vodka for odor; a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol for spot cleaning; oxygen bleach and soap. He said he prefers soap to detergent because of its natural ingredients.
I don’t even know what oxygen bleach is. And I can think of better uses for vodka.
Richardson recommends hanging clothing on a line outdoors, saving energy and helping extend the life of your wardrobe.
Like Richardson, I remember my grandmother hanging clothes on the line and handing her the pins. The sunshine and the fresh breeze gave clothes a natural feeling.
But this is the 21st century. There’s air pollution out there waiting to attack our clothes. And the weather isn’t dependably bright and breezy. And the birds. Oh, the birds!
But I’m a live-and-let-live kind of gal. In modern lingo, “You do you.”
Richardson hasn’t convinced me to share his love of laundry. I would, however, be willing to share my laundry by letting him do it for me.
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