Observations and Conversations

28 Mar

I had way too much fun over the weekend to bother with laundry and what with this and that and going to the dog park, but Wednesday night it was too late to even consider. It had to get done last night or I’d be going to work commando today.

So I set out into the rain, two baskets in the back seat. Had to stop at Crap-Mart to get some laundry soap and as I was wheeling the cart to the register I looked over my potential purchases and wondered what conclusions people would draw about my life. You know, how you do in a crowded mega store.

Electric razor. Laundry soap and Oxy-Clean. Ginormous box of scoopable cat litter. What? It was on sale. Six cans of cat food. Friskies because the Little Prince will only eat Friskies, the fish flavors, shreds, not pate. A mat that promises to keep the litter in the vicinity of the box.

Conclusion? Crazy cat lady with mounds of dirty laundry and hairy legs. Great. Thank god I’d skipped the cookie sale!

After lugging my purchases to the car and lugging the laundry into Spin City (the only game in town) I got started. The laundry had already been sorted and I popped the two burlap bags into a top loader before anyone could object (rug hooking!!) and was loading up three front loaders, minding my own business, lost in a daydream and eager to get back to my book, when a woman tapped me on the shoulder, nearly causing me to scream.

Is it just me, or does everyone generally avoid eye contact at the laun-dro-mat? I tend to shove the dirty stuff into the machines, eager to get them going so no one can make judgements about my clothes or the dirt on them. I’m probably just paranoid, but it feels too intimate for people to be looking at my clothes, all limp and dirty like that. Anyway.

“I don’t know if you’ve used these machines before,” the woman said, “but don’t put the soap in until you’ve started the machine or it will just run out and not stay in with the clothes.” Followed by a long-winded explanation about how I should add the soap and some other nonsense that was totally necessary. Granted, I was wearing rain clothes, but I’m pretty sure she could see I was female, and not young, so how could she think I didn’t know how to do my own laundry? I thanked her for the heads-up and shook my head as she walked away.

La la la la la. The clothes go round and round. The soap bubbles up. The water isn’t too dirty, but then again, I hadn’t loaded the machines up to capacity, either.

Another woman approaches.

“What made you choose these machines?” she asked. At my confused look, she went on. “I always thought those were dryers and I’ve always used the top loaders. I just never paid attention before!” This was not a young woman, but a middle aged woman like myself – she HAD to have done this before.

She went on to explain that she had a washer and dryer at home but was having problems with the washer drain and had to come to Spin City to wash.

I told her that I chose the larger machines because I was washing fabric and felting sweaters – the clothes were an added bonus to save time. There! That made me sound all Artsy and Sophisticated instead of a loser who doesn’t have a washer and dryer at home.

“Oh! You’re crafty? You’re washing fabric?”

“Yep. I sew & quilt, knit and spin and lots of other stuff and regular washers just don’t do the job when you’re washing yardage.”

She lost interest at that point and wandered off about the time the Cleaner Boy arrived. He is tall, with a really bad haircut. He has the braying voice of a redneck who thinks if he only talks loud enough he’ll sound smart. That’s a cruel thing to say, but I lived in his town and let me tell you, the natives are a little…let’s just say…inbred…and leave it at that.

He asked a million questions of everyone, trying to engage us, but really, we’re here to get a job done and go home, not have a conversation. Finally everyone was gone but me and the homeless drunk guy who acted like he was moving in for the night.

Cleaner Boy just wouldn’t leave me alone. I asked for a rag to wipe out the top loader I used (burlap sheds horribly the first time it gets washed) and evidently that means we’re now BFFs. He started asking questions and it came out that I have a dog. He leaned in conspiratorially. “If your dog is in the car, after these people leave you can bring her inside – it’s okay while I’m here…”

Yeaaaaahhh. Thank god I left her at home! Dude was getting way too cozy.

Finally, everything was dry and I was packed up to get out of there.

“Do you know the time?” I asked my new BFF.


“Oh, crap! I gotta go!”

Cleaner Boy carried one of my baskets out to the car, said, “have a great night, Ma’am,” and loped off in the rain.

Anyone else notice that laun-dro-mats are like casinos? No clocks. The mesmerizing sound of the machines. You plug quarters in the slots until you have no more, snap out of a haze and realize how much time you’ve lost. The only thing missing is free drinks…


Posted by on March 28, 2014 in right?, You're kidding


Tags: ,

20 responses to “Observations and Conversations

  1. djmatticus

    March 28, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Um… that’s what hip flasks are for….

    • Sofia Leo

      March 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Right! But I was driving 😦

      • djmatticus

        March 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Laundry with a friend, and take turns being the DD?

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

        LOL! Perfect! A Laundry Buddy! I’ll go put an ad on CraigsList 🙂

      • djmatticus

        March 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

        Might be good to have a buddy with you when you interview potential buddies found off CraigsList.
        That was a hard sentence to type!

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2014 at 10:30 am

        And where is this introvert gonna find all these buddies?

      • djmatticus

        March 28, 2014 at 10:31 am


        The laundromat! I hear that’s a great place to meet people. Plus, you already know you have laundry in common. 😛
        Oh, wait…

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

        LOL! Right…

  2. Twindaddy

    March 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I hate going to laundromats. It never fails that someone is there with kids they make no attempt to control…

    • Sofia Leo

      March 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

      No kids this time! No dogs, either. Only one slightly smelling homeless dude and a bunch of regular people who didn’t want to do anything but get it done and get the hell out of there. I hate to go when there are screaming kids, too.

      • Twindaddy

        March 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

        I mean, I get that kids are kids, but don’t ignore them while they sprint around the place likes it’s a damn race track. Sigh…

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

        Totally agree! That’s what playgrounds are for. I mean, if we don’t teach them that there is a time and a place for acting like little savages we aren’t doing our job as parents!

      • Twindaddy

        March 29, 2014 at 5:07 am


  3. El Guapo

    March 28, 2014 at 11:44 am

    This is why we drop our stuff off, get the hell out and pick it up the next day, nice and clean.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      If only that was an option in this tiny redneck town 😦

  4. goldfish

    March 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I am ever so grateful that my apartment has laundry on site. I do not miss the laundromat, however, they were an endless source of stories, so there’s that.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Blog fodder is a good thing. The park does have washers, but only two and they’re too old and small to wash yardage and the dryers are not great, either. Once a month or so I have to make the trek to the Real Machines.

  5. Awana

    March 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I hate the Laundromat, but I, too am stuck with them until THAT DAY I can have my own. I’ll probably be doing the devil’s wash by that time…and BTW: who hires a male to clean anything? Gross…..and no, I don’t want a dog in there, so he can just NOT be your BFF…

  6. List of X

    March 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    If the Cleaner Boy offers you to bring your dog in again, you could always say “well, I have a 120-pound Rottweiler, trained to attack strangers on sight, but if that’s ok with you, I’ll bring him in”.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Already told him what kind of dog she is, but you can bet I won’t be bringing her in…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: