I came downstairs the other morning to find a pile of laundry at the foot of the steps. Not washed and folded laundry neatly placed in a basket and ready to carry upstairs — but a pile of disheveled clothes that needed to be relocated about twelve feet WNW in front of the washing machine.
I made a necessary but perhaps slightly exaggerated stride to step over the clutter and enter the kitchen. Carol looked in my direction; I nodded my head toward the mess on the floor and quizzically raised my eyebrows. “Oh, shut up…” she replied.
I think it’s unfair for someone to call you out for thoughts not yet expressed; don’t you? I mean, sure — I may have been forming a coherent sentence questioning why the laundry had been left in that spot, but I also may have been giving consideration to extraneous factors and found myself willing to come down on the side of good intentions gone awry. This would be the difference between asking, “Why did you dump the laundry at the foot of the stairs?” and “I suppose you think you had a good reason for dumping the laundry at the foot of the stairs?” It’s all in the context.
It turned out one of the cats cut across Carol’s path as she came off that last step, so she dropped the clothes to grab the railing and keep from tripping. Fair enough — but I was still puzzled as to why the pile remained there afterward, creating a hazard for other household members to avoid. Such as myself. Over the next few minutes I kept one eye on the pile and the other on Carol as she fixed breakfast for us before getting herself ready for work, making myself a little wall-eyed since she never approached the mess to complete its delivery to the laundry area. Finally I decided to take charge, scooping up the clothes and placing them in front of the washing machine. As soon as I did so, Carol called out to me: “As long as you’re going to do laundry, would you also throw my yoga clothes in? And remember they do NOT go in the dryer — you have to hang them up.” Before I could even respond Carol added, “… and there’s also a load of towels.” Well, so much for *my* plans for the day.
I got through the multiple loads of laundry, shrinking only a couple pairs of Carol’s yoga pants — a solid 4 out of 5 for effort. I also put together a vegetarian dinner that neither one of us was really all that interested in eating, but at least it’s now sitting in the fridge if we feel a need to partake of something “healthy” later in the week. I vacuumed, brushed the cats, vacuumed again and thought long and hard about mopping the kitchen floor, ultimately deciding against it since I didn’t care to exude the aroma of Pine-Sol for the rest of the day.

When Carol came home that evening, she checked on the laundry and expressed her dismay about the yoga pants that were now better suited for a toddler to wear. I considered putting a positive spin on it, referencing my 80% success rate with the remaining clothing and also mentioning that if she felt she could do a better job she was welcome to handle the task her own self, and also had she noticed how nice the carpet looked after being vacuumed other than the swath under the dining room table where much of the cat hair had collected — but I decided against giving her so much to sort through at one time.
That would just be piling it on.