The Single Man's Laundry Cycle

I lived on my own for quite a long time in a little unit in Lara which I loved.  It was the perfect sized place for a single guy, easy to maintain and keep clean, great for entertaining (everyone loved a good roof party)  and had great acoustics for the many rock concerts I put on for a highly appreciative audience ie. - my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

I thrived in this place and it became a central meeting place for our little social circle.

I remember once that a friend of mine commented how amazing it was that I "did everything" when it came time for me to mow the lawn.  I think because I cooked, cleaned, entertained, mowed the lawns, put the bins out and all the other things one does when living independently, she was impressed. As I pointed out to her though, if I didn't do those things, who would.

However, as impressive as it may seem, there was one area that I feel let me down (and to be honest, still does)


I'm rubbish at it.  I've tried to stay on top of it, but because of my  come-and-go lifestyle it is an extremely difficult task to do so.  These days, I have quite literally given up on it, and when I finally realise I have nothing to wear, it's much easier to pop in to K-mart and pick up a cheap t-shirt, or pair of pants than have to go through the rigmarole of my laundry cycle.

You see, my laundry cycle is extremely complex and, well, long.  It's not something one can accomplish on a sunny Sunday arvo, but in fact spans weeks, if not months.

I've named it "The Single Man's Laundry Cycle" and it goes like this:

Step 1)  When you can no longer see carpet, nor open your bedroom door owing to the inordinate amount of clothing overflowing from your laundry hamper, then it's time to wash your clothes.

Step 2)  Slough off the top level of your laundry hamper (or alternately gather up everything that is on the floor) and place it in the washing machine. Don't worry about separating darks, lights, fabrics etc. 'cause we're doing all this on a cold wash, so it won't matter what you do.)

Step 3) Turn on washing machine

Step 4) Approximately three (3) days later, return to washing machine and rinse washed clothes that are starting to develop mould on them.

Step 5) Place all socks and jocks into the tumble dryer, you don't need to waste precious clothesline space or pegs on those, and hang out everything else.  Repeat the process from step 2.

Step 6) With two loads of washing on the line and 2 loads of socks and jocks in the dryer, your work is practically done.  Congratulate yourself as you turn on the dryer and take your laundry basket, still approximately two-thirds full back to your bedroom.  Doing another load would be pointless at this point as there is no room, nor time, to dry it properly, but you'll do some more tomorrow when you've brought all the dry laundry in.

Step 7) Every morning, go to the tumble dryer to collect only the socks and jocks that you need for that day. You don't need to bring the rest in.  (In my case, the dryer was actually out in the shed, so I had to go out everyday, rain or shine, to collect the things I needed)

Step 8) Approximately 6 weeks later, your two loads of laundry are still on the line, although your dryer is now practically empty (well done).  Collect your clothes from the line and place any that are covered in bird poop back in your laundry basket.  Most clothing, despite being stiff as a board and sun bleached to the point where it now looks like a hypercolour t-shirt, is still entirely wearable so hang it up.

Obviously this process only really works if you live alone and don't have to share the machines or clothesline space with others.  If you do, the solution is simple.

Once you can no longer see your carpet, nor open your door, gather up everything and take it to a laundromat.  Use multiple machines so you can do it all at once (you can even be a little bit fancy and separate your colours and fabrics like a grown up).  Once this is done, place everything into one of the HUGE dryers that uni students climb into and then post photos of themsleves on facebook in an attempt to look spontaneous and outrageously wacky, and dry everything at once.  (NB - when removing clothes from these dryers, anything with metal buttons on it will BURN DIRECTLY THROUGH YOUR FLESH so please, be careful)

So there it is folks, direct from me to you, the definitive guide for laundry for today's modern man.

Dear Tina Fey,

Dear Tina Fey,

You are an incredibly talented comedic actress, your writing is on par with such luminaries in the comedy world as Jennifer Saunders and the Pythons and your commentary on society is both clever and honest.

I just have one problem.

Can you please STOP pretending to be some dowdy old housewife in the roles that you choose?

I’ve recently become a fan of 30 Rock and time after time there are jokes about Liz Lemon’s unattractiveness, dorky fashion choices, frumpy figure and her age.  She is referred to as everything from a lesbian to a man to the most horrific choice a man could dare to go out with.

This wouldn’t be such a problem for me except for the fact that you, Tina Fey, are none of these things.  And what’s worse is that YOU, Tina Fey, are the creator of the character and head writer for the show which means you are directly responsible for propagating the lie. 

I understand that there are laughs to be played from picking on Liz Lemon and highlighting her flaws, but come ON Tina Fey, enough is enough.


I just watched Date Night and yet again we see frumpy housewife although perhaps not highlighted quite so much as with the Liz Lemon character.  And I also recently watched Mean Girls, where your character, Ms Norbury, is once again depicted as this undesirable being.

Tina Fey, you are HOT.  Okay?  There’s no denying it.  You are beautiful in a classical way, you are slender, you are funny and, let’s face it, you know it. 


Yeah you do.

If you keep trying to convince people you are this saggy old lump, then I’m sorry, but you’re doing more damage than good. If you are meant to be the epitome of unattractive, then what does that say for the rest of us out there?

And yes, the irony that I am a single MAN in his early 30’s about to enter into a feminist rant is not lost on me, but as a leader for young people, I feel it is necessary to point out a few things.

Women out there who are feeling intimidated by this ridiculous standard of beauty that you are supposed to aspire to, just STOP IT.

Young girls out there who are striving to attain this idealised model of perfection, just STOP IT.

Older women who are resorting to deforming your faces in an attempt to look younger, or more desirable, just STOP IT.

Can someone explain to me why oh why Olivia Newton John did that to her face?!  She was gorgeous and now she just looks silly. Courtney Cox on Cougar Town…your mouth shouldn’t look like that!

STOP IT!!!!!

Sexy is NOT being stick thin with a massive chest and long blonde hair. Sexy is NOT big pouty lips and eyebrows near your hairline. Sexy is NOT orange tinted skin and bleached hair (I’ve never in my life looked at a cheese Twistie™ and thought “I wish my girlfriend looked like this”).

I know that what is considered sexy is subjective, but here's my thoughts:

Sexy is being yourself and accepting yourself, having a sense of humour and being comfortable with it.

Sexy is being mysterious and modest and not wearing minimal clothing to get attention.

Sexy is looking like you’ve lived life, not erasing all signs you might have ever laughed.

Sexy is being healthy, looking healthy and feeling healthy.  Healthy women (and men) have contours that are not the result of protruding bones.

Sexy is you, Tina Fey. Now just accept it, embrace it, and let’s all just get on with it.

Yours sincerely,

Mark McBabe.