Sunday, November 24, 2013

Photo A Day, Day 24: Word

“Word” is a hard thing to put into a photograph. I thought about taking a picture of the word “Home” in a wall-hanging I have that says, “Home Is Where Your Story Begins,” but I used that for a photo earlier this month. I checked out some words that were printed on a bunch of storage boxes that I was rooting through this afternoon, but nothing sparked my imagination.

Until I went to throw a load of laundry into the dryer and discovered that something that should have been in the colored load had made its way into the white load, and had turned it PINK.


One bath towel, three or four of my husband’s undershirts, several pairs of socks, a couple of hand towels, and a bunch of washcloths that were all formerly pure white are now a delicate shade of PINK. Even after a second washing with a generous dose of bleach, they are still undeniably, incontrovertibly, unchangeably PINK. 

The word “PINK” is, as of this load of laundry, a very hated word in my vocabulary. PINK is a pretty color, but it should not be associated with men’s undershirts, good towels and washcloths, or gym socks. Those things should all be as white as the driven snow. As white as a newborn baby lamb. As white as a standard poodle straight from the groomer’s salon. White white white. Not PINK.

And the thing that is MOST frustrating about the situation is that just last week I gave my husband a hard time for throwing something red into the laundry bin which ran all over a load of light-colored clothes, turning a number of them (including several brand-new pairs of my son’s underpants) PINK. In all my years of doing laundry (more than 30!), I had never turned anything PINK before, so I felt somewhat justified in yelling at him. But here I am, less than a week later, staring at a pile of PINK clothes which were never meant to be PINK. And  to add insult to injury, I still can’t even figure out what the culprit was. There was nothing red that snuck into the load; no wayward sock or balled-up t-shirt, no bit of crayon buried deep in a pocket, no escaped tube of lipstick. Only two many-times-washed pink shirts and a pair of relatively new white socks with bright pink stripes which don’t appear to have run. Even in hindsight, I can’t figure out what my mistake was.

So this photograph is an illustration of all the frustration, all the anger, all the hatred, all the powerlessness, and all the crow-eating that can be stored up in a single word which normally does not have any emotional associations: the word “PINK”.


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