Fun fact: When you don’t do laundry for two weeks, when you finally get around to breaking in the new washer/dryer you’ll be surprised at how the pile in the hamper doesn’t get smaller until you’re about 8 hours into the laundry day.
So, here we are, at the long-awaited, exciting conclusion to the laundromat saga that was Sunday is the most glorious day, because that is the day we wash our underpants (Part 1). And I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and blow the ending by telling you what my big problem with the whole laundromat experience actually was. Because it wasn’t the public nature of the process. And it wasn’t even wrestling my body and my laundry basket over snow banks. It was this: It was effing cold in there. And, if you forgot, it’s winter. This winter. In America. Which has been — on the off chance you’re reading this in July because you’ve been hibernating, or fled to Fiji, or are staging a hostile alien takeover — quite wintery.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s pick up where I left off, with my immense shame at not being able to operate a washing machine. Basically, from that point on, things were pretty uneventful. The quarters/start button incident broke the ice with the young women — who were roommates — who were also there doing their laundry. And, in the course of our short acquaintance, I was made privy to the following information:
- The graduated college in 2009
- One of the roommates’ boyfriends has a very open crush on the other roommate
- The roommate with the boyfriend has a thing for her friend’s dad, which seems to be reciprocated by the dad in a way that makes his daughter uncomfortable
- And the crushed-on, hot-dad having roommate was angry at the dad in question for taking the rest of the family down the shore and not inviting her. There was also some tension with her stepmom.
Also, they showed me a new way to fold a fitted sheet.
The things I learn when I’m out in public.
After they left, I was more or less alone, so I settled in to do some reading/course prep. Then, I realized why everyone had been pressing their bodies against the industrial dryers. It seems that not turning on the heat is what keeps the price of a load so low. So, I put on my winter coat, even though I hate doing that because then there isn’t a layer to put on before going outside. And I wondered where my gloves were. Then, I stopped being able to feel my toes. And sadly, I was all out of hand and toe warmers*.
As visions of “To Build a Fire” ran through my head, I pondered the laundromat’s artwork. And I pitied all of you because I don’t have a smart phone. Because describing the clearly original seascapes wouldn’t do them justice. You’ll just have re-trace my steps and see for yourself.
Really, not too much happened after I discovered the paintings and pondered their artistic value while attempting to avoid hypothermia. Aside from drying my clothes far too slowly after being warned about industrial dryers by my mom (who knows I have a crippling fear of shrinking my jeans), things were all right. My clothes eventually got dry.
The only hiccup was when I went to fold my clothes, I plopped some of them into a crusted-on, unidentifiable substance that I’m hoping was detergent.
* I usually have these in my bag, but during winter volunteer time, I actually ran through my stash pretty quickly. And while I was pretty good at refilling my supply during that period of time, once the celebrating and volunteering ended and I resumed a life of indoor wintering (with the exception of the outdoor running), I forgot to throw some more in my purse.