When I lived in Israel in the 1970s, there was a central laundry. We'd drop off our laundry once a week. There was one woman who worked there. I must have not prepared my laundry properly and she took me aside and chastised me. She said that unless I learned how to do laundry, I would not be a good candidate for marriage. I had since heard the same thing from some Jamaicans.
Why? Long fingernails! Men would actually examine you and judge your character based on the length of your nails. How could you wring out the laundry with long nails?
There weren't laundromats in Israel at that time. And I don't remember individuals having laundry machines. So, you had to wash by hand. The climate was good and within a few hours, everything was dry.
I was thinking about this yesterday as I washed some clothes 'by hand.' Luckily, I'd learned a thing or two from the Chinese. Soak the clothes overnight in the tub, if you had one, or in a bucket. The next day, pour out the water, add fresh water, then stomp on the clothes, then wring them clean. My clothes came out cleaner than in the washing machine.
I didn't wash my fingers to the bone! I remember when we didn't have a washing machine at home. We had a washboard. Using that washboard did make your fingers raw. I don't understand how mother did it. What did mother have against Chinese laundry? Curious how we limit our imagination by our unexamined habits.
I did break one of my nails yesterday. But, my clothes are clean!