Do you support the Right to Dry? Or are laundry lines an affront to polite society?
When Robb and I first started seriously house-hunting, one of our rules was "no home owners' associations." I didn't want anyone telling me what kind of garden I could plant, or what sort of front door I was allowed to have. And I particularly didn't want anyone forbidding my use of a laundry line.
As an environmentalist, European traveler, and urban pioneer, I love the use of a clothes line. I'm totally flummoxed by the people who are horrified by the humble, thrifty laundry line.
Here's a pretty typical article on the subject, containing this bit of hysterical hyperbole:
"They're unsightly by most people's standards," said Jeanne Bridgforth, a Realtor with Long & Foster in Richmond. "It gives an atmosphere of decline. You don't sense you're in a well-heeled neighborhood when you see people hanging their laundry out to dry."
Bridgforth recently showed a beautifully restored historic property on Church Hill that was listed in the $700,000 price range. "I had such a hard time selling it because the people next door always had laundry hanging from their second-story back porch," she said. "It was just an eyesore." The house went to foreclosure and eventually to auction, Bridgforth thinks, because of the negative appearance around the house.
While I couldn't pretend to understand every aspect of the current financial crisis, I'm pretty certain that the mortgage meltdown was not, in fact, caused by people eschewing the use of indoor clothes dryers.
The house we're hoping to buy has one of those laundry lines that looks like a naked square umbrella. I'll be happy when I can hang my laundry out to dry without climbing out my living room window.