lesson from a pair of pants

It occurred to me as I was pulling on a pair of pants: Americans are pansies.

The pants were stiff and tough; ugh! They weren’t comfortable at all. The last time they’d been washed—and hung to dry—I was living in Hong Kong.

The same thing had happened, in reverse, when I first moved home. Pulling a shirt out of the dryer, I was amazed. So this is what it feels like to use a dryer . . .

And it struck in me a memory. I remembered previous journeys abroad—to Italy, France, and Taiwan. And I remembered a particular sense of dread each time: I’m going to have to HANG DRY my clothes??!!

[Pause. Cough.]

Hang dry your clothes? YES, you’re going to have to hang dry your clothes, you big sissy! And it’s not going to kill you, either. Millions, no, BILLIONS of people around the world hang dry their clothes every day. How do you think people dried their clothing a hundred years ago? . . .

And they do it in humidity, too! You’re at least lucky you live in California.

Pshh. As if this is something you should even be worrying about.

And besides! Did you know that, while Americans make up only five percent of the world’s population, they use 20 percent of its energy*? Do you realize how much energy you can save by hang drying your clothes?

[Pause. Sheepish grin.]

Although, I have to admit: Remember when your clothes used to smell like mold? Using a dryer is nice.

(Believe it or not, people can change.)

*Source: worldpopulation.org.

yes, i cheated. i used a heater.

my “dryer” in hong kong . . .