Laundry and Taxes
I saw Everything, Everywhere, All At Once when it was released in theaters, and I don't think it's left my mind since. Mainly, I can’t stop thinking about this one line, and I'll try not to spoil too much because I really think you should watch the movie yourself...
In the movie, Evelyn, our main character, finds herself with the ability to travel between multiple universes. While in her main universe, she runs a failing laundromat and is constantly at odds with her business and family. She is able to see how her life would play out if the most minor of decisions had been different, and in one she is an ultra-famous star. There, she runs into her husband (who of course, is not her husband in this universe because their paths had diverged long ago). She sees her main universe as the ultimate failure, the summation of her life's worst decisions.
But it doesn't seem like that to her husband. Instead, he says,
"So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you."
Just laundry and taxes.
I think that line is so powerful to me because that’s what makes up most of our lives. It’s mostly laundry, taxes, making dinner, watching TV, reading at home, sleeping in on the weekends, going to work, coming home. But I also think it’s those most mundane moments of life that are the most beautiful parts of a partnership with someone else.
Last night, I finished reading Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman (stick with me). The book bills itself as an unauthorized, behind-the-scenes, tell-all of the TV show The Bachelor. But I’m reality, the book spends a lot of time asking the question — in modern, feminist times, why do so many people love watching the unrealistic, overproduced, backwards show every single week?
Of course, we watch for the drama and the live tweets and the snark, but I would be lying if I said I had never watched Zac and Tayshia’s (RIP) proposal on YouTube just to feel something.
There’s a part of me that does watch for the fantasy. The magical dates. The love story. And every year I somehow walk away believing in at least part of my heart that the two (or four, this season, I guess) crazy kids will really make it work.
But I think there’s a reason they (usually) don’t work things out for very long.
It’s laundry and taxes.
Even for the most glamorous influencers, I think most of life is the boring stuff. They get engaged and the only time they’ve spent together is jumping out of hot air balloons and dining in cathedrals. Then they have to go through TSA together, cook spaghetti and make the bed. It’s boring.
Far be it from me to give out relationship advice and I’m not claiming to be an expert. But I think it’s so important to find someone you like doing laundry and taxes with. And I think it’s equally, or more, important to find the beauty in laundry and taxes for yourself.
If we spend most of our lives asleep or waiting in line or stopped at red lights, aren’t we doing ourself a disservice by focusing solely on the peak moments of our lives?
It’s About Time (wink) for another movie reference. Another one of my favorite movies is About Time, a movie about a young man who discovers that all the men in his family have the ability to travel back in time. They can only go back to moments in their own lives, but they can change the outcome of key moments and impact the future.
Again, light on spoilers here, because again, I think you should watch the movie. On second thought, this is going to spoil the ending for sure, but still the movie is worth the journey.
His dad advices him to live each day twice. The first time just going through the day as you normally would, but the second time, don’t change anything but just really notice the beauty and sweetness of the world and of your life. Anyways, in the end, he stops going back in time at all, and learns to just enjoy every single day for what it is: beautiful.
The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.
I just think most of us have extraordinary, ordinary lives. I feel it every time I have dinner with a close friend, see my family, play with my dog or cook dinner alongside Erick. The boring moments are so beautiful, if you take the time to notice them.
And in this life, I love just doing laundry and taxes with you.