Clean Laundry Smell

I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. And I think I know why. I was a bedwetter until I was 11 or 12 (traumatic, I know!) Although it sounds disgusting now (and it probably was then), we didn’t have a dryer, so most of the time we’d air out the sheets, maybe put a towel over the spot, but in general leave them on for several days. (I wonder if I would have worn pull-ups or depends if they had been invented then? I wonder what the casual visitor thought when they entered our house?)

Anyway, eventually the sheets would need to be washed, and if there wasn’t time to hang them on the line, my mom or dad would take a trip to the laundromat. The sheets would come back smelling so good! My dad would put the bottom sheet on, and I would get in bed. Then he would make the bed with me in it. At last, he would say something like “Now where did Barbara go?” What feels more magical than to be invisible? He would call me a few times, and then he would sit (not with all his weight) on me, and continue to say things like “I have no idea where she could have gone.” Eventually I would delightedly reveal myself, and I would go to sleep with warm sheets and nice Daddy memories.

Now that smell can bring it all back instantly. If I am really depressed, sometimes I deliberately walk past the laundry on campus, by the vents, and that lovely smell can make me feel loved–silly, isn’t it?

I told my friend Hannah this, and for my birthday she gave me a candle with a scent called “Clean Cotton.” It is the same smell! So which is best? Nice daddies, good smells, or people who care enough about me enough to remember my stories? I like them all.


3 responses to “Clean Laundry Smell

  1. Aw, now *I* feel special that I got a mention on the blog 🙂
    I hope your actual birthday was everything it should have been, complete with gardening and Ethiopian food!

  2. The birthday was great–sorry your comment got stuck in the “approval bin.” I thought I had given it to you already! And thanks for hte Clean Cotton–I love it!

  3. Found your blog —

    My parents owned a laundromat when I was a small child and the smell of clean laundry, especially bleached white sheets, gives me all kinds of good memories. Our house was attached to the laundromat — my mom cleaned sheets for local motels and lay down next to the piles of folded clean sheets. Very good memories!

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