The average household does about eight loads of laundry a week (Leverette). Thats about a load of laundry a day, and doing laundry is so common that even author Sandra Cisneros wrote a short story about a person doing laundry after a tragic loss. The main character, who is genderless and nameless, is in the process of doing laundry at a local laundry mat. And as the main character is doing laundry they seem to be talking to themselves, as well as having the occasional conversation with another laundry patron. They seem to be talking about how their spouse that is no longer around, and about the different tasks their partner used to do for them around the house. Almost in a you don’t know what you have till its gone sort of way. Los Boxers was one of the shorter stories we read from Sandra Cisneros’ book of short stories Women Hollering Creek. But that does not mean that it dose not have one of the more important lessons that we can learn from the readings. While it may seem odd that the main character is doing laundry and talking to them self, it is the over all message that makes this story stick out so much to me. You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone, and sometimes we need ice cubes to help us get the stains out of our own lives, so we can start clean again.
The main character is both nameless, and genderless. This leaves the story up to interpretation, about who the main character has lost. When I first read the story I assumed that the main character was male, and had lost a female character. However, the reader never really gets to know who the main character is, or how they lost their significant other. We do find out that the main character is missing a female significant other, and uou can really just fell how sad the main character is, and how much this loss is effecting them. As the main character is doing their laundry, they seem to talking to them self about the laundry, and some of the other chores that they were used to them doing while they used to be around. I think that the main character is using the laundry as a way of coping. I think that it is important for the main character to continue to do some of the things that make their life more normal. And if doing laundry makes them think of their significant other in a positive light, then I think that it is important for them to continue to do things that make them happy.
One of the main scenes that really stuck out to me, was the ice cube scene. This scene, to me, is in a way the main character cleaning up their own life. In the story the main character uses an ice cube to get out a set in stain, and states that their lost loved one used to use ice cubes to help get out statins just like the one he is trying to get out. This is a metaphor for cleaning up their life after the death of his significant other. If they are able to use the ice cube to get out stains, just like the lose of their loved one, then maybe they will be able to get out stains that are keeping them from living their best life after this lose. I think that the main character has always known how to do laundry, but they are just now being faced with the fact at they actually need to be doing the laundry. And in actually doing the laundry, and using the ice cube trick, they are slowly learning how to live their life without their significant other.
When the main character is done with the actual washing of the clothes, he goes into ironing the clothes that need to be ironed. The main character states “Starched and ironed everything.” “Even ironed los boxers” (Cisneros 132). The main character seems to be laughing at this statement, but then gets more serious when he says “But now that she’s dead, well, that’s just how life is” (Cisneros 132). This last sentience of the story is really powerful. It really leaves the ending for the reader to decide how they think the story ends. The reader could put their own spin on how the laundry ends, or how the main character feels. When I finished this story, I like to think that the main character is now okay. That the main character will get through this hard time. I hope that the main character will look fondly on all the different cleaning technics that used to drive them crazy when their significant other was around.
The age old saying goes you don’t always know what you have till its gone. This is a pretty common saying, and Ive heard it mostly said around the concept of relationships. Los Boxers is a short story that gives this phrase new meaning. When our main character loses their female significant other, they are stuck with doing many of the chorus their loved one used to do for them. While doing laundry the main character thinks on some found memories, and also some memories that they used to think were kind of crazy. Id like to think the main character will now look back on their significant other’s ice cube trick as a found memory, and will be able to smile whenever they do laundry from now on.
Cisneros , Sandra. Women Hollering Creek. 1991
Leverette, Mary Marlowe. “Amaze Your Friends and Family – Even Complete Strangers – With Laundry Trivia.” The Spruce, The Spruce, 3 Oct. 2018, www.thespruce.com/interesting-laundry-facts-and-trivia-2146486.