Usually I never notice them until emptying the dryer. The ink stains. An ugly, clearly visible blotch on a pair of jeans. Speckled shirts and blouses, many of which don't register during an initial quick inspection.
Once again, I neglected to check pockets before tossing various items of clothing into the washer. Upon this discovery, I curse myself out mercilessly.
Fortunately, it's a relatively rare experience, once or twice a year out of a total of 365, figuring an average of one load of wash per day. But the week before my most recent misfortune, our 25-year-old son ignored the same cardinal rule of loading the washer and ended up with two permanently stained shirts, one of which practically served as his uniform while working at the Bubble Up Bar at the Avenue Bar.
As I get older, I find that making lists and posting reminder notices are increasingly helpful. I try not leave the house without a grocery list, although I'm not wholly consistent in this practice. If I make the discovery within a few blocks of home as I'm driving to Metcalfe's or Woodman's, I loop through our neighborhood to sweep it off the area of the kitchen counter where I left it. If I make the discovery as I start my sweep through the store, l feel momentarily lost. Since grocery shopping is a 3 or 4 times a week errand, the list I leave behind is never that long. And, at 67, I retain enough brain cells to reconstruct the list mentally, although at least one items usually escapes capture.
In an effort to keeps pens out of our washer and dryer, I have taped the reminder you see pictured above to the container of laundry detergent. After awhile, I fear, the index card may just blend into the rest of the contents of the cupboard. Maybe is should have used a red Sharpie.