Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lessons at the Laundromat

Saturday mornings, time to get as much crap done as possible so that 1. I can take a nap and 2. enjoy a bit of freedom on Sunday before I begin prepping for the week.  Well, the washing machine threw a  major kink in the normal Saturday nonsense as it needs a MAJOR part replaced, which could mean only one thing:  a trip to the laundromat!

Yippee, yahoo, I LOVE going to the laundromat.  No, seriously, I mean, what is not to love?  It's warm, steamy and smells so fresh.  Multiple washing machines, commercial grade, means multiple loads can be done at one time!  Six loads of laundry, washed, dried and folded in 90 minutes - it's like a mother's dream come true.  Rather than washing/drying/folding clothes ALL day long, BAM, the job is done in a fraction of the time, leaving plenty of time for all of the other Saturday nonsense that needs to be bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, and napping.

It's been about 20 years since we've had to use the laundromat for more than washing large items, items that my own washing machine cannot accommodate, such as comforters and rugs...believe me, I've tried to cram those things into our washer, which is probably why it is out of commission right now.  When D & I were dating we'd go to the laundromat - we'd bring books to read, buy a candy bar and a soda and chill while we were waiting for our laundry.  Probably the most positive experiences I can conjure up in regards to might say it is even a bit corny and romantic.  Hmm, romanticizing laundry, now you know I have issues.

Back to the task at hand...Today I decide to have D come with me so can tag team it (the laundry) and then head to the grocery store after - whew, how daring am I, tackling two crappy chores in one day?  I just know I will earn my Saturday afternoon nap after being this productive.  Little did I know that I was about to become an extra what could be a low-budget Tyler Perry movie:  Madea Does Laundry.

Lights, camera, all starts as soon as we walk through the doors of our local laundromat: "Hey girl! Look, it's Keisha (names changed to protect privacy or some other crap like that)!"

I smile and think to myself, "WTH, maybe this is one of my student's parent's, thinking that I'm Keisha."  Nope, it was the girl walking in behind us, toting her laundry in with her little girl behind her.  Whew, relieved that I was not "Keisha" but excited because this was going to be no ordinary laundromat experience...the sisters' were out for their Saturday laundry experience and we were privy to the drama.  It was not going to be the peaceful experience that I'd anticipated, but possibly even better.

Now I don't really have a lot of details because I couldn't hear specifics but this is what I learned:

1. Most stories at the laundromat begin with "Mmm, hmm, tell me about it girl!" or "Don't I know it!"  Followed by a lot of laughing, knee & back slapping, and sounds of agreement "mmm, hmm."

2.  There is a clique mentality with the regulars - instead of saving seats, they save dryers...even if your clothes are not completely ready, one can throw a few garments in to "hold" said dryer for your belongings.  Even if this means that you have a variety of dryers around the perimeter of the place.  Hmm...I have always been curious about my students and their need to be first in line - apparently this is a learned trait.  Who would have known?  Note:  I believe that I am a confident, self-sufficient woman, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by these women - after all, I was on their turf, right?

3.  Single mama's have no shame in hitting on the older, obvious single man (one basket, two loads - darks & whites, neatly dressed).  I'm thinking that next time single mama and crew may want to keep the house slippers, pajama bottoms & do-rags at home...cuz I'm thinking these gentlemen are looking for the whole package, not just the side dish.

4.  No time or patience for children and they'd better not want anything because there is no shame in the laundromat...gotta love the "I'll give you something to cry about" ass whooping, which takes place in the open bathroom.

5.  If you are looking for a peaceful laundry experience, do not go on a Saturday morning - the sign says OPEN 24 HOURS for a reason.

6.  No matter what you may observe and experience at the laundromat, there is one glorious positive:  ALL of your laundry is done, washed/dried/folded when you leave and that my dear people is priceless.

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