I think I have discovered the reason behind Europe’s depopulation woes. Their washing machines are too tiny. Today, after Small Son and his New Girlfriend left to go back to the US, I started changing sheets and doing laundry as one does. Y’all. I began at 8 a.m. and it is now 5:30 p.m. and I am still not finished. My washer is sooooo tiny, (how tiny is it, you ask?), it is sooooo tiny that I have to wash each sheet separately. Yes. Both the top sheet and the bottom sheet do not fit in the little container at the same time. I can fit one sheet and two bath towels and possibly a pair of tightie whities, but not two sheets.
Lawd Amighty, you could fit all of the bedding from the third floor of a Holiday Inn in one load in my washing machine in the US with room left over for a poodle or a small toddler. The only two women in the US who do more than one load of laundry per day are Kate Gosselin and the Octomom. So far today, I am on load number FIVE and I am still not finished. Now, perhaps, you are thinking that Small Son and New Girlfriend are just major dirty laundry producers. No. A normal amount, I would say. Four sheets and a handful of towels. So, here’s my question. What do these Euro-women do who have a bunch of kids?
Ah ha!! They don’t have a lot of kids. Usually one. Never more than two. It’s a real problem over here, the depopulation of Europe. They are not replacing themselves anymore and I know why. Women don’t want to spend their entire life in the laundry room watching their three diapers and a couple of pairs of footie pajamas spin round and round. If I had to do two childrens’ laundry (or more!) every day with these machines, I would require way more Valium than is legally permitted.
I’m really confused about this. I know the washers and dryers are small so that they will be more energy efficient and use only an eyedropper-full of water for the entire wash/rinse cycle, but, c’mon! How is it more energy efficient if you have to run ten times as many loads to get the job done?
And, of course, there’s no bleach, but that is an old story and we will not go there.
Anyway, we had a nice day, but the pools were not heated. Remember, it was just snowing here not even a month ago. These pools were cold even though we are now in the middle of a heatwave. We went in them but it was not really pleasant. It was, actually, a bit painful. The locals were just a-hoopin’ and a-hollerin’ and having a good ol’ time, but our lips were turning blue, if you know what I mean.
“Surely, it means that you cannot wear STREET CLOTHES in the pools. They cannot possibly mean that every single person in there with a Y chromosome has to wear a Nut Bag.”
Ahh. Yes, Trailing Spouse! That is what that must mean! They just don’t want you in the pool with your regular clothes, like boxers and khakis! Good on you for figuring out that crazy sign!”
And in we go.
We tried to sneak Small Son down the water slide in his flashy trunks. Non, non, non. I tried to explain to the French Pool Gendarme that, in America, my son’s shorts were an actual bathing suit. Busted. Back into the lake we went. You see, you could go in the lake with all of the other middle school juvenile delinquents with those trunks but not the heated pools.
Fast forward to the next day when I went on my favorite website, englishforum.ch, and I asked those veterans on there WHY the Only Speedo Rule. Firstly, I found out it is not just a French thing. They also have this rule in many pools in Switzerland. Some people thought it was a hygiene issue, which didn’t make any sense, but then the truth eventually came out. Speedos are for actual swimming, not just jumping in a pool to horse around and cool off. It appears to be a cultural thing and, also, a snob thing. If you are going into a swimming pool, you should be swimming, i.e. doing laps. Swim trunks are not conducive to doing laps because they fall off.
They did, however, enjoy looking at all the ladies sans bikini tops. Oh. Did I forget to mention that little tidbit? Yes, tops are optional in Evian. So, don’t feel toooooo badly for Mr. Big and Small Son. Their day was not an entirely ruined.
Laundry’s done. More later on the hiking trip we took while Small Son was here. But no more about Speedos. I promise.