Friday is the day when I join forces with a team of fearless word-wielding friends all over the world to write from a one-word prompt. We write for five minutes with no overthinking, overanalyzing, or overediting. If you want to play along, check out Lisa-Jo’s site for all the details. Today’s word is laundry.
I’ve been waiting for this for a while now, a word that was seemingly random. Only this one really isn’t, because a group of us banded together this week to fund a laundry spot for mothers in South Africa. It sounds like a small thing, but it’s not really.
It seems like it never stops, the laundry. You go through the motions of sorting, washing, drying, folding, putting away, and as soon as you’re done, there’s something new in the hamper already. And if you live in a house with a tween or teenaged girl, what’s in the hamper may or may not really belong there, because those girls have a way of trying on clothes and discarding them without even wearing them. They find it much easier to put them with the dirties instead of hanging them back up.
Which reminds me of how we treat people sometimes. We “try them on” by observing them from a distance and deciding without even speaking to them that they’re not friend material. We see their presence on social media and decide what kind of person they are. Or we exchange a couple of small talk sentences and make a snap judgment about the whole person from those few minutes. We throw people in the hamper based on a surface-y interaction that doesn’t come close to revealing what they’re really all about and may or not be true at all. There is so much more to be discovered than what you see at first glance! But it’s far easier to tell yourself that those are not your “kind of people” than to take the time to get to know them.
Now I know that I can’t be best friends with everyone, even if I wanted to. And I know that there are always going to be people with whom I click and plenty of others with whom I don’t, and sometimes you can tell right away. But if I don’t give them myself a chance to know them a little bit more, I don’t think I can make that call with confidence.