Last weekend was Laura’s bachelorette party, which was less debaucherous than one would assume it to be. We didn’t go to Vegas, we didn’t get blackout drunk, and nobody woke up with any mysterious tattoos of Tom Jones on their butts. Still, by the time it was over, I was dead tired. I dropped Laura off at her apartment and slogged back to my car. On the way, I called Taylor.
He had spent his Saturday night alone, meaning that I expected to find him in a Starcraft induced coma when I got back. He would be staring at his computer, his mouse-finger compulsively twitching, incapable of normal human speech, instead dropping Starjargon like ‘TvP’ and ‘SCV’. His eyes would have an otherworldly glassy sheen. Probably he would be drooling a bit. It seems, though, that I underestimated the type of mischief that my dear old domestic partner gets up to when he’s left alone for too long.
Me: “Hi, I’m on my way home. Or, like, I’m just leaving Laura and Kevin’s.”
Taylor: “Oh, uhhh. Already?”
Taylor: “You’re heading back?”
Taylor: “Oh. Okay.”
Me: “Yeah. So I’ll see you in a bit.”
Taylor: “Yeah. Uhhh. So…”
Taylor: “I may have started a little…project. While you were gone.”
Taylor: “So don’t be alarmed if you get back and the apartment is sort of a…disaster area. I’ll clean it up! I promise.”
Immediately I thought, Oh God, this is it, he’s built a robot out of the toaster or something. He’s gotten bored and turned the microwave into a death ray and it’s seared through our neighbor’s wall. I’ll come home to the smell of gently roasting asbestos and he will have filled in the gaping holes in the wall with toothpaste and Simpsons posters.
There goes our deposit.
Taylor: “So yeah. Just come home. I’ll see you in a bit.”
Me: “Okay. Loveyoubye.”
When I parked my car outside our apartment complex, some forty five minutes later, I got out carefully, listening for any police sirens or fire alarms. There was some soft music coming from Taylor’s open office window, but besides that, it was quite.
I went inside.
Our apartment was drafty and brightly lit. Every window was open, including the sliding glass door. A breeze from somewhere was merrily scattering the herbs we had been drying on our dining room table across the kitchen floor. Nothing seemed unusual so far. The dishes weren’t done, so Taylor hadn’t been cleaning. There was nothing cooking, and from the entryway, our apartment looked pretty normal. Taylor bustled out of the office with a breathless expression on his face and I came forward to give him a hug.
And then I saw the living room.
It looked like somebody had set a bomb off in the local Goodwill. Heaps of clothes lay everywhere, on the floor, on the couches, slumped up against the bookshelves and deposited against the walls. It appeared that Taylor had been spending his time washing every last shirt and sock in the apartment.
“Hi,” he said. “I’ve been doing laundry.”
“And it might take a couple days to finish.”
“Okay,” I said, slightly dumbfounded. “Laundry is a good thing to do.”
“Yes, it is.”
I picked my way across the living room, still exhausted. I became aware of the systematic thump and hum of the washer and dryer. I wondered where I would sit for the rest of the evening.
“You even washed my clothes,” I said, gazing at a pile of jeans. I looked to my left. “Oh, wait, no you didn’t. You just heaped them all up on the couch there.”
Taylor looked exhilarated, like he had just run a marathon or stopped a mugging.
“I just washed the sheets, too,” he said. “I thought today we could go and get a new bedset. Or just a blanket, or some new sheets, since it’s not the season for flannel anymore. And then we can go to the store to get something for lunch and dinner, since we’re out of most everything. I’m thinking rotisserie chicken, maybe artichokes. Then you can come home and nap and you don’t have to do anything else. Does that sound okay?”
I nodded, and that is exactly what we did with the rest of our day.
What I want to know is, when did I start dating Martha Stewart?
And if I leave for two days next time, do you think I could get him to mop?