I don't know if it was because of the fajitas or the sweltering heat, but I spent last night doing a lot of laundry -- in my dreams.

Apparently there was a huge birthday party being organized for one of my friend's sons and I had volunteered to help set up. When I arrived at the banquet hall, all the tables were loaded down with piles of laundry.

The freakiest thing was that this 13-year-old boy had organized each pile by colour, fabric type and preferred washing method.

"Is this what you do for fun?" I asked him.

"Just follow the directions," he replied, handing me a three-ring binder and a jug of bleach for unbleachables.

When I looked up at the clock, it was like one of those Project Runway moments when the designers only have three more hours to get their couture gown made out of olive leaves and gabardine together before the judging. I stepped up the pace and, thinking that I was saving time, combined loads and helped the environment by sticking with cold water and my own supply of Cold Water Tide, which I was lugging around in my purse for some reason.

Halfway through the socks and underwear, the birthday boy held up a butt-ugly orange tablecloth that I was using to hold the items about to be washed.

"What is this doing here?" he asked, appalled.

"Yeah, it's pretty darn ugly. I'm just using it for now so I don't get the other tablecloths dirty."

He grabbed the orange fabric and thrust it into my hands. "This is for the head table," he hissed. "Wash it again. By itself."

Feeling about as cuddly as a porcupine, I took another look at the clock, the remaining items to be washed and the offending piece of fabric. There was no freaking way I could get it all done in time for the partay without combining loads.

Why on earth I didn't duck out and hitch a ride to a coupon convention, I have no idea.

But you know what happens, right? One new navy blue sock made it's way into the wrong load of laundry and left a tell-tale stain that was now set in for life.

"How could you do this to me?" the boy cried.

"How could you do this to me?" I cried back. "I've done 24 loads of laundry since I've gotten here! Couldn't you have maybe, I dunno, planned ahead and gotten this all done last week?"

A throat cleared behind me. I turned to see that all the party guests had arrived while I was freaking out on the guest of honour.

Grabbing the jug of Cold Water Tide, I handed it to him.

"Happy Birthday," I said.