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Charlie’s parents always assigned him chores around the house. They would often ask him to trim the lawn, wash the dishes, and feed the dog. However, his chores never included laundry. He relied on his mother to wash his clothes for him. Charlie was an outstanding student and was recently accepted to a top college. The college he planned to attend was in New York City. Charlie was nervous about leaving Texas, where he grew up, and being so far away from his family, but he knew that the college in New York was the perfect fit for him. Before he left, his mother decided that she had better show him how to wash his own clothes because she wouldn’t be there to do it for him anymore. She showed Charlie how to sort his clothes into two piles: whites and colors.
Then she showed him how much soap to use and told him when to use hot or warm water and when to use cold water. Next, she explained the different settings on the dryer and told him to be careful not to dry certain items on high heat. Charlie didn’t pay much attention. He didn’t see what could happen or what was so complicated about washing clothes. He planned on packing mostly t-shirts and jeans and figured that it would be hard to mess up something so simple. When Charlie arrived at school, he was completely overwhelmed with all of the exciting things to do and new people to meet. He was also careful to dedicate plenty of time to his school work because he wanted to impress his professors and earn good grades. One morning Charlie woke up and found that he had no clean clothes to wear. His schedule had been so packed with activities and studying that he had managed to get through the first month of school without doing any laundry. That night, Charlie piled his soiled clothes into a large basket and headed to his dormitory’s laundry room. He shoved all of his clothes into a washer, poured in the soap, and pressed the start. Half an hour later, he opened the washer and started moving the clothes into the dryer. It was then that he realized that he had skipped one very significant step. All of his white t-shirts and socks had turned pink. He had forgotten to sort his colors from his whites. Charlie had received a bright red t-shirt with his new school’s logo across the front. The red dye had bled in the wash, turning all of his white clothes pink. Charlie was unhappy about his destroyed wardrobe, but he figured that there was absolutely nothing to do except to put the clothes in the dryer and hope for the best. So he transferred the clothes to a dryer and set the heat to high. After all, he was anxious to get back upstairs to his studies. An hour later, Charlie removed his clothes from the dryer and headed straight back to his dorm room. The following morning, he reached for one of his favorite t-shirts. It was slightly pink now, but he didn’t have enough money to replace all of his newly pink clothes. He would have to wear them, pink or not. As he pulled the shirt over his head, he noticed that it seemed tight. He looked at himself in the mirror.
The shirt had shrunk in the dryer. It looked like he had tried to squeeze into his little sister’s pink t-shirt. All Charlie could do was laugh. He called his mom and asked her to repeat her laundry instructions again.
This time, Charlie took notes.
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