I have a confession to make. I am having an affair. No, not that kind of an affair, because really, who has time for such inappropriate tabloid drama? I’ll leave that to Schwarzenegger, thanks. I am talking about the affair I am having with my laundry line, a relationship that has me cheating on my clothes dryer machine.

I am not ashamed to air my dirty laundry here because if I can help one other human being to feel normal about this household chore, that’s enough. Very few things in life give me greater pleasure than the methodic, meditative experience of hanging clothing on my laundry line, (sad, but true). I love my stringy, four-pronged metal frame fixture so much that I have named it Mr. D., (the D is for “dependable”).

Mr. D is always there for me, standing patiently, grounded in his concrete foundation, confident in his purpose and sense of duty. He knows I will faithfully arrive, once I’ve separated my colours from my whites. As I walk through the patio doors with a plastic hamper basket balanced on my right hip, he doesn’t remark at how tired I look, still in my pyjamas. Mr.D never whines when the linens are too heavy, or when the Carpenter’s work pants pull his plastic limbs near to the ground. There is no judgment of my ugly cotton panties either, (that speak of being married too long to remember lace), nor comments as I carefully nestle those wretched undergarments into the interior web of the laundry line. I like my neighbours too much to scare them. And if I get careless, forgetful, tempt fate in a rainstorm and leave my clothes wet and heavy on his capable limbs, Mr. D does not complain. Who wouldn’t love my laundry-line?

Perhaps his greatest asset is his silence. What woman does not want a man who listens? Really listens. I don’t’ mean listening like the Carpenter, bless him, who knows exactly when to say “um-hmm,” nod his head, or make direct eye contact, so he appears intent, deceptively alert even, but really has no clue what I’ve just said. Twenty years in to this relationship, my husband knows my speech patterns and routine bitch sessions so well that he can actually time his responses to the exact second of my pauses. Does that mean he knows what I speak of? No. But Mr.D does, and here is the really trippy part: Mr D. reads my mind telepathically.

It’s true. I don’t even need to speak. I do it all in my head, and he just gets it. You know? We cover all the topics too, from my personal problems to those of my dearest friends, plus my worries, dreams, hopes, analyzing it all while I hang the wet clothes, and again when I take the brittle laundry down. Mr. D is loyal. He never tells a soul.

Do you think my dryer ever did that for me? No way. He just opens his big, gapping mouth and flips on his light, impatient for the wet laundry. He beckons me with a terrifying buzzer when he’s finished his job, as if to say, “get down here and fold this stuff before it wrinkles.” So bossy.

How can something so right ever be wrong? There is nothing dirty about it. Anyone can go for a tumble with their dryer, but I prefer to fly, literally, by the seat of my pants.