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My mother says that when I was a child she used to have to go through my pockets before doing the laundry to find the rocks I’d secreted there and forgotten about. It doesn’t surprise me, kids do all kinds of silly things and on our recent family vacation we followed my nephew around from pillar to post (or garden to flowerpot, if you will) in his quest to collect enough rocks to build a new country, perhaps to later call nephewlandia.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, de tal palo, tal astilla (A stick like that gives rise to a splinter that’s the same), etc. You can’t change a zebra’s stripes. I’m not talking about my nephew’s propensity to stick things in his pockets. Unfortunately, I’m talking about my own tendency to launder items that were never meant to go through the spin cycle.

I’ve washed lip balm on several occasions. This works out pretty much fine so long as it doesn’t go through the dryer (which it doesn’t here, as I don’t have one). Though there was the great blackberry lipgloss explosion of 2007 in Ushuaia that left a bunch of my clothes speckled in blackberry, and caused the great Columbia zip-off pants disposal, along with a lot of “what happened to you?” questions when I wore the similiarly stained shirt, looking like I’d participated in some kind of sticky pink food fight. Which I pretty much had.

Other victims of the wash include credit cards, which by the way, get round and bendy if you let them go through the dryer, and the numbers flatten a little, but they still work. I also managed to send my passport through the washing machine once, and am happy to report it stayed fully functional, if a little softer and maybe a touch frayed around the edges.

Last week’s catastrophe (please say with French accent, sounds much better) was the sending of 1/2 a roll of toilet paper through the wash. You think a stray tissue makes a mess!? Quelle surprise! It was riotously bad. It’s because my tp holder is blocked by my washing machine, so the tp migrates around a little bit. Somehow it ended up on the floor and when I was mopping I tossed it in the laundry basket for safekeeping. Dummkopf! (this in German) Lesson learned: no bathroom floor mopping. Also, toilet paper? very clean. Clothes? not so much.

Today’s laundry debacle is actually a gear report. The watch portion of my Polar f6 heart rate monitor took a dip in the whirlpool today, and by all accounts seems to be fine. In truth it was probably the most exciting thing that will happen to the watch today, as I don’t get the feeling that being on my sweaty wrist during a spinning class during which I sing along in both English and Spanish is much of a thrill.

Thanks mamaj for the rock anecdote. I’m afraid to say this seems to be a lifelong affliction with the stuff in the washing machine. Good news? My rock collection now has a home, and they seldom go through the wash.

What have you washed lately?