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I was installing the oak trim boards in my house. I purchased unfinished wood, so each board and trim stick had to be clear-coated with the polyurethane finish – hand-sanded between layers.
Each day, I'd calculate the amount of wood I would need for the next day and make sure I had plenty of boards finished, dried, and ready to go to avoid a work stoppage.
After midnight Monday morning, I finished applying the second coat of varnish on the trim boards I would need for the day's work. Then, I cleaned up my brushes and headed for the shower.
Before getting in the shower, I decided to go ahead and toss my work clothes in the washer so I would have clean clothes to wear. I don't wash my work clothes with any other regular laundry.
I lifted the lid on the washer to make sure it was empty. Then, I set the dial to the "regular" cycle and pulled the knob. Water began flowing into the washtub. I added a small amount of liquid detergent to the water then removed my t-shirt and jeans, tossing them in with the rest of the work clothes. "I might as well wash my socks too," I said.
Standing barefoot on the concrete basement floor, wearing only my boxer shorts, I shivered. "It's chilly down here." I tossed the socks in with the load, closed the lid, and went upstairs.
Sunday had been a long day. I worked late. I was cold, tired, and my body hurt. So, the shower felt especially good. After I washed up, I decided to stay in the shower longer. I stood under the stream of hot water, letting it soothe my aches and pains. Besides, I had to wait on the washing machine.
I shut off the water, toweled off, and put on clean pajamas. I had every intention of staying awake long enough to put my clothes in the dryer, but that didn't happen. While sitting on the couch, listening for the washer to complete its cycle, I fell asleep.
A few minutes after waking in the morning, I remembered my wet clothes were still in the washer, and I had no other clean work jeans to wear. "Dang! Not having work clothes is going to throw my whole day off schedule."
I had to first coat the wood I needed for Tuesday to be dry and ready for sanding and the second coat in the evening. I wasn't going to chance getting varnish on a pair of good jeans, and varnishing boards in boxer shorts just didn't seem right! "What if a neighbor comes knocking on my door? What would the dog think?"
My dog June followed me down the steps. "If I can remodel an entire house alone, I should certainly be capable of handling a simple load of laundry on my own, right?"
Although I spoke rhetorically, June answered anyway. "Apparently not." Smart-aleck dog!
Surrendering to the notion that I was just going to be behind schedule, I put my clothes in the dryer then went upstairs to have breakfast while they tumbled to dry.
With my right foot on the first step, a lightbulb lit up over my head; I had an idea. I turned around quickly, nearly tripping over the dog. I walked back to the dryer with June at my heels. I turned the heat setting to high. "That'll make my jeans dry faster." I gave June a rub on the head, "I am a genius."
June gladly accepted my gesture of affection but continued looking on with skepticism. "Are you supposed to do that?"
"Why not? It won't hurt anything." I replied.
June warned, "Mom never uses the high heat setting when she does laundry."
I justified, "Well, mom's not here now, is she?" I could see the doubt in June's eyes. "Look, this will speed the drying process, getting me on the job closer to on schedule." I didn't want to hear any more from the dog.
Changing the subject, I announced, "Hey, this is Monday."
I slipped on my snow boots to take the trash to the curb wearing my pajamas. June ran off to the yard to do her morning business. I grabbed the mail on my way back to the house.
By the time I fed the dog, ate my oatmeal, and brushed my teeth, I heard the dryer's buzzer sound off. So, I hurried downstairs; June followed.
When I bent over and opened the dryer door, a blast of hot, dry air hit me in the face. I reached inside to grab my clothes. "Ouch!" My forearm touched the zipper and metal button on my jeans, and they were hot!
Upstairs, I tossed the clean clothes on the bed to fold later. Next, I took a T-shirt, shook it in the air a few times to cool it down, then put it on. It was still warm and felt good. Next, I grabbed my jeans, putting my left leg in first, then my right leg. I tried to pull them up. “Holy crikey! I must have put a pair of my wife's jeans in the washer with mine. Oh, this could be bad.”
I quickly removed the jeans, inspecting up and down the pant legs. "This is not good, not good at all!" I came across numerous dots of dried varnish on the denim fabric. I thought I had ruined a pair of her jeans...until I came upon a leather patch embossed "Wrangle." Confused, I looked the jeans over again. Yep. They were mine.
I put them on again and pulled them up. I struggled with the button. I took a very deep breath and sucked my stomach in as much as I could. I still couldn't fasten the button. "How in the heck do girls wear those skinny jeans?" I tried a trick I had seen women do on TV shows,
I laid on the bed, getting psyched up, then counted, "One, two, three, GO!" I simultaneously inhaled, arched my back, and sucked in my gut while trying to pull my waistband together. I was so close I couldn't give up. I held my breath, giving one final tug; I managed to fasten the button.
I was afraid to exhale, fearing I would blow the metal button off my jeans. I imagined it would pop off with such force it would shoot right through the newly finished sheetrock ceiling. Trying to avert any damage, I thought, "Hurry Tom, get the zipper up."
June looked on with merciless glee as I wiggled about, tugging on the metal tab to close my fly. Finally, finally, I had fastened my jeans. I laid there for a moment to rest.
When I stood up, I inhaled against my will, gasping. I think I shrieked a little too. "Ay, Yi, Yi!" I'd learned a whole new meaning of the term sung! "How could they be so tight?" I wondered. "They fit perfectly last night."
June was laughing. "Do you suppose this is why Mom never uses the high heat setting?" I gave her a snarling look of disapproval for her "I told you so" attitude.
"Not to worry, my little canine critic. I've got this." Jeans are always a little tight coming out of the dryer. I placed my outstretched leg on the edge of the bed then began reaching for my toes. An exercise regimen of bends and stretches should do the trick. I felt the jeans were loosening up, but not enough.
Maybe some squats. That'll stretch them out! I began the first squat. "Ouchy! Ouchy! Ouch!" Another not-so-good idea. Things got pinched that aren't meant to be!
June was laughing even harder. "Why don't you try the splits next? That might help!"
I had had an actual situation on my hands...or should I say, on my legs. To complicate matters, I wasn't sure I could get them off. I was determined to avoid calling 911 and was able to wiggle free.
Using common logic and obvious reasoning, I deduced: "Now, if these jeans got this tight by drying them on high heat, putting them back in the dryer on "cool down" should reverse the damage.
June looked at me with repeated concern, "Mom never does that when she's doing laundry."
"Well, Mom isn't here right now, is she?"
Another failure. The "cool down" setting didn't help; it just consumed more of my valuable time. I managed to squeeze back into the ill-fitting britches. The thought of trying a different pair of jeans hadn't even occurred to me. "I guess I'm just going to move a little more cautiously until the denim stretches back out."
While walking down the hallway with a window casing in my hands, I peered through a doorway. June was lying there sprawled out on the bed. "Get down! You know Mom doesn't want you on the bed!"
June didn't even raise her head; she just answered, "Well, Mom isn't here now, is she?" Smart-aleck dog.
I suppose I had been working for about a half-hour when I finally got some relief. First, the distressed denim gave way while I bent over to pick up some more boards. Then, when I felt the cool breeze, I realized I had ripped out the crotch of my pants.
I couldn't have cared less how ridiculous I looked. It didn't feel too bad, and the jeans seemed to fit better, so I kept working.
Then, I thought, "What if a neighbor comes knocking on my door. What would the dog think? Maybe I should change my pants." And so, I did. Fortunately, the next pair of jeans went on without such a fight.
Although I didn't get started on my work when I wanted to, it had been an educational morning. First, I learned the importance of proper heat settings. Additionally, I now understand what girls go through putting on those skinny jeans. But I have to say; there is no way a girl can know how a guy feels when he wears those skinny jeans. Yikes!