I had plans to shop with a friend yesterday afternoon, but she had to cancel and it was cloudy in that might-rain-any-second sort of way, so I went to a movie I’ve been dying to see: “Must Love Dogs.” It was wonderful–great cast, cute story, happy ending. I ate popcorn. I laughed, I cried. I saw previews for movies I want to see in the future (which is one of the best things about actually seeing a movie in the theater). When the movie ended I felt so happy and content. And then I tried to stand. I couldn’t. It was as though some unseen force was pulling me down, like a giant rubber band contracting and expanding, making it impossible for me to leave my seat. Yes, a giant rubber band. Or GUM. A huge freakin’ glob of bright blue recently chewed gum. Ugh. And because of my formerly mentioned cancelled plans, I was dressed like a real person (read: I was, for once, not wearing gym shorts, a t-shirt, and a ballcap). I had on my favorite linen skirt, which is full enough that I can tuck my feet up under my butt, and did I mention how much I wallow and squirm during a movie? Needless to say, the gum had stuck and re-stuck to about eight different places on the backside of my skirt. I. Was. Pissed. I left the theater quickly, cursing all chewers of gum and all pre-pubescent children (surely one of THEM was responsible! Who else would either drop or intentionally place gum IN A CHAIR?) and drove home.
My first plan of attack was shoving my skirt into the freezer for a few hours. When this didn’t work I rubbed ice on the big blue globs; still nada. I moved on to peanut butter, which works for gum in hair, and then to Pam cooking spray (something I read on the Internet) and Joy dishwashing detergent. (Pam and Joy? Why are so many household products named after women? Why not Phil oven cleaner or Rick toilet paper?) None of these substances removed the gum, and my skirt was now dripping with oil and yellow soap, so I stomped out to the washing machine, accosted the gum/peanut butter/Joy/Pam with Spray-n-Wash, and dumped in a huge cup of laundry detergent, just for good measure. And then I forgot about it.
Hours later, as I was locking up the house and turning out the lights to go to bed, I remembered the skirt. I fully expected it to be the newest member of my Unwearables Collection. You know, the clothes you love in spite of their holes, stains, inappropriate sizes, or fashion inadequacies, but which you cannot bear to part with and insist on wearing around the house? But when I pulled the skirt from the bottom of the washer, lo and behold, a miracle had occurred in the gentle cycle! **insert heavenly angel choir music here** The gum was gone! All of it! Not even a speck of blue or a spot of peanut oil remained on the crisp linen surface! **insert Hallelujah chorus here** There was much rejoicing in the laundry room last night.
Now if I only knew which approach caused the miracle to occur, because I’m hoping to see “March of the Penguins” this weekend, and knowing me, this time the gum will be pink.