School Lessons

So, school commenced a few weeks ago. Elder is a senior, Younger a freshman.

Every Thursday night, the senior football players have a small dinner at one house or another. (They will be at our house in October. I’m thoroughly alarmed.) So, the first week, when we retrieved Younger from the practice, Elder handed my husband his humongous duffel bag and asked him to wash his jersey, since Elder wouldn’t arrive at home until after 10:00 and he had to wear the jersey the next day for school.

Here are two facts —

One, my husband doesn’t do laundry.

Two, my husband doesn’t pass along messages.

Elder checked his duffel when he arrived home but failed to see a maroon jersey in a maroon duffel bag and assumed my husband had fulfilled his request. So about fifteen minutes before everyone was to leave the next day, we had our first catastrophe of the year.

“I have to wear my jersey but I can’t wear it like this,” Elder roared, waving the jersey frantically in the hallway. “It stinks.”

And I will just say that I caught the scent while descending the stairs. He wasn’t exaggerating. The jersey did stink.

So, I accepted that I would be late to work, tossing the jersey into the washing machine on the shortest cycle offered and arranging to meet Elder at a gas station in town after a minimal amount of time.

Then I stood by the washing machine watching the countdown.

Another fact —

A washing machine really doesn’t know how to keep time.

So, when the buzzer eventually announced the end of the cycle, I did not even have five minutes for a quick stint in the dryer. Grabbing the jersey, I threw it on a hanger and drove like a maniac towards town with all the windows down and the jersey flapping in the breeze like a flag.

One last fact —

Even speeding winds can’t dry a jersey when the temperature and the humidity is somewhere in the nineties.

Elder accepted the wet jersey with only a few words, including “thanks.” And I headed belatedly to work. Only to receive a text from Younger before I reached the city limits.

“I left my gym shorts at home,” he wrote. “You don’t have to get them, if it’s too much.” Then he added, “But if it’s not, weights is right after first lunch.”

More than two decades after graduation, and I still hate school.

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