Like most people
in their late thirties,
I am mightily embarrassed
by certain things I did
in my 20s.
This isn’t to single out people of any particular age. I know for a fact that in my forties I’ll be able to come up with a similar confession about what I’m doing right now, although I have no idea what it’ll actually be. My 20s confession, though–I knew that was wrong when it was actually happening.
In 2005, I was 29 and living by myself in a fourth-floor one-bedroom apartment located in what was then Edmonton’s most fashionably bohemian neighbourhood (which REALLY isn’t saying a lot). I am not by nature a tidy person. I’d like to be, but I just find that the constant effort required to maintain a certain level of cleanliness is beyond me. It requires a vigilance and rigour I have never possessed and I have a startlingly high tolerance for clutter and filth. But I still managed to keep the place pretty clean. I was experimenting with this thing called “being social” and I tried to keep the place presentable enough to pass muster should anyone unexpectedly happen by (or enough that I could quickly make it presentable if I received some prior warning). And perhaps it was this minimal focus on the most common and universal of household chores that caused me to completely neglect something every normal person would easily consider just as important.
That is to say, I went an entire year without doing laundry.
I know this because I stayed in that apartment for 12 months and I never once went to the laundry room. Occasionally in an emergency, I would throw something in the sink or bathtub, but that was it. At the time the bottom half of my wardrobe consisted entirely of jeans, which people say don’t need to be washed, but I also never did that freezer trick you’re supposed to pull when they do start to get a little ripe. Looking back I really do worry about how I must have smelled, but if it was bad everyone around was far too polite to ever mention it.
The only thing I couldn’t get around were towels. And this is where it really gets terrible. Instead of just going downstairs and washing my towels like a normal human being, I threw them in the closet after using them for a week and then I would buy a new one for $5 from the nearby Army & Navy discount store.
And that’s where I lose any of the respect you ever had for me.
So, that’s my most shameful 20-something single-years confession. Now it’s your turn. Don’t leave me hanging!