When I was a kid, Mom would hang clothes out to dry. There was usually a row of 4 or 5 lines connected to capital 'T' posts and she'd have a couple of poles with notches in the end to hold the heavy clothes off the ground.

I never thought about the neighbors seeing what we hung out and I never thought to look at their washing, either. We all wore clothes--outer clothes and under clothes. It was  just a fact of life to see work clothes, jeans, shorts, shirts and undies waving in the breeze over the back lawns.

So, I get here and most of the lines are like the one in the photo. Several lines that run around a central post, each circle of line getting smaller as you get closer to the post.

                                     (photo stolen borrowed from the internet)

No big deal, I thought. Until Hubby did the laundry one day. He made a point to put the underwear as close to the pole as possible. Since I only used the outer few lines, I asked him why he did that--purely, out of curiosity. He told me that he was taught to put the undies on the inside so that the other clothes would hide them and the neighbors wouldn't see!

And they think Americans are stuffy!!


Rachel said...

LOL! It's true - I know so many people who still do it that way - not me though - out here in the country there's nobody around to notice - I have an extreme dislike for those rotary clotheslines - my husband built me the t-bar type which I love the look of.

Miss Footloose said...

I love looking at laundry hanging on clothes lines. In Armenia where I lived for a number of years, you could see lines strung high up between two Soviet-style apartment buildings. The lines could be pulled back and forth from opposite balconies so you could hang the clothes and later pull them back in.

PeeJay said...

Those rotary driers are used by some in the UK as well but have to say the reason the 'small' stuff (no matter what it is) goes near the centre is just because of that - it's small. It makes more sense to put the smaller items where there is restricted space and the larger items more to the outside (like sheets etc) because there is more room to spread them out. It's literally graduated from inside out just on size of items for practical reasons. It's got nothing to do with hiding the undies here, as those of us of a certain age hung clothes out on straight lines before rotary driers were thought of.

James said...

I guess the practice of "hiding" the undies dates back to the "good ole days". Nowadays, we are forced into communal living, where drying clothing outside is taboo and we have to use tumble-dryers!

Kay said...

I remember my mom's clothes line too. She always said she like the smell of the sheets better when they hung out in the wind. She finally got a dryer when she was in her late 60's. I don't think she ever got used to not having that fresh air smell on the sheets though.


keewee said...

That's the way I always dried our clothes when I lived in NZ back 30 years ago, and I still miss having a large clothesline.Since living here in USA, I have mostly used a clothes dryer, which is convenient, but I still hang some things on a small line I rigged under the carport.

Marja said...

lol I didn't kno that. I have done it all wrong here than

Misty said...

Oh this post makes me laugh. I remember our dryer broke a few years ago and I had clothes in the wash that needed to be dried. I too was afraid of what the neighbors might see! They'd have to peek really hard through the fence but non the less, it was funny.