Not kidding: this is a post about a laundry hamper. This is a bonafide ode to the specific laundry hamper made of water hyacinths that I bought this weekend for a ridiculous amount of money. Allow me to start at the beginning.

The beginning in this case was a Saturday morning after a much-too-late Friday night. A little sleep-deprived I was tripping over shit in my closet, annoyed as I realized I seemed to always be when it came time to get something from or hang something up in that closet. Maybe it was the way the open basket my dirty clothes were in totally blocked me from reaching things. Maybe it was the bags of stuff intended for the Goodwill piled up at the back. Maybe it was how I kept having to step over that damn pair of black boots that kept falling on the damn floor.

Sleep-deprived and crabby may be only good for one thing: tearing one’s closet apart with a vengeance.

Which is what I did. And once everything was out of my damn way, then I could reflect on how to actually fix this once and for (damn) all. [Still crabby, obvies.]

The linchpin in all of this was that damn basket. This was just a big basket that I’d won in a raffle at a holiday party at a friend’s house, a basket that had come packed with all kinds of goodies. It was never intended as a hamper, but I, recovering formerly-destitute person that I am, put it to work as one. Which is FINE. Until it’s really not.


The problem with being a recovering formerly-destitute person…

What I realized looking at that damn basket was that never, not once in my long life, have I ever actually purchased, bought for myself, an actual laundry hamper. Maybe that’s stupid. Maybe buying a hamper is stupid. Whatever. I suddenly thought, the heck, I’m done making do with this bullshit basket that takes up so much space that I can’t get to my clothes without wanting to throw things. Fuck this and fuck that. [crabby.]

So off I went to the store of containers.

I should also mention that lately I’ve really been so bummed out about plastic. I know, me and what army? But seriously, wherever I can, trying to minimize buying plastic. Let me just tell you, as someone who spent a fair amount of time recently in the hamper aisle at the store of containers, that MOST of them are either all plastic or mostly plastic. Which is such a bummer. I know, I get it: plastic is light, plastic is cheap, plastic can be extruded in all kinds of amazing colors, sparkles even. And I do love sparkles. But no, couldn’t do it.

Which is how I ended up with a $50 hamper made from water hyacinths in Vietnam. I feel like that fact requires a brief pause, so it can sink in. You think about it, while I sit here and continue to repeat to myself that at least I can say that it’s the ONLY ONE I ever bought, so over 55 years, that’s not really that much money. And when I’m done with it, I can use it as a sarcophagus at the green cemetery in Mill Valley. So there’s that.

Aside from me reeling from the price tag, it’s a pretty thing, my expensive hamper. It tucks into my closet perfectly, and that narrow aisle that was formerly impassable is now clear. The runway, she is open. When I look into my closet, I think, hmm, look how cute is the hamper, lined up so tidy, keeping things under control. I look into the closet and feel happy, not crabby, able to move with ease, to see what I own, to make choices.

Why did I put it off so long?

I wonder, in how many other small ways in my life am I not doing something for ME, not implementing some structure, some small thing that would make everything better? In how many other ways does lack still have me in its grip? Where else can I root it out, so I can look around me with joy and really appreciate what I already have and choose better? Where else am I uncomfortable and bothered and crabby because I’m skimping on something that would make my environment, my life more pleasing?

What else am I putting off? For how much longer?

I know, right? Just a hamper. But even a hamper can change your life.