The addiction

Today, I realised that I am a closet ‘clothes-folder’.

I got an inkling of my ‘condition’ a few years ago when my niece, who was just beginning to talk then, pointed out to a bunch of folded clothes lying on a chair and said, “Bua.”

Today, however, I realised how chronic my problem was. There was a huge pile of clothes on the side table, left by the maid who was running late yesterday evening. I had asked her to put away the clothes before she left, but she said she’d do it later. The pile nagged at me all night, recurring in my dreams along with other items on my ‘to-do’ list that haunt me every time I wake up in the middle of the night.

This morning then, on my way to take a shower, I glanced surreptitiously at the pile. Before I knew it, I was folding away, looking up at the clock every few minutes in guilt, but unable to stop myself. I knew the housekeeper would do it in the afternoon, I knew that I was a stickler for leaving my home dot on 9.35 am, and yet I kept folding, folding, until a voice finally rang out in my head: “This is a waste of time. Go take a bath already.”

While in the shower, as the warm water trickled over my face and calmed me, I confronted my demons: Okay, so I am addicted to folding clothes. So what? It’s not hurting me, and it’s not hurting anyone else. It’s better than being addicted to an early morning shot of vodka in my coffee (yes, I’ve been there too, years ago when I was a desperate, depressed housewife). It’s better than being on drugs or smoking (no, not been there) or even stuffing my face with chocolate (sigh, *raise my hand*). So what if the feeling of clearing up a large mess and sorting it into controllable little bundles leaves me satiated. So what if it is reflective of a larger longing inside me for a ‘sorted’ life, which I suspect I may never have. So what if it makes me late for work in the morning, or late to bed at night. It fulfills something inside me. And I will continue to fold clothes, dammit.

Yeah baby, bring them on, those piles and piles. Let the washing machine do a week’s clothes at a time so that I get a whole bunch in a go. Bring them on.


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