There are a few things in life that I have a low tolerance for:
One: My screaming dog running after cars and people passing by.
Two: Coin operated laundromats.
and Three: People that pretend to be something they are not, especially while doing their laundry at a coin-op.
I have visited a coin-op laundromat a total of three times in three different states all under duress. The first time was in Atlanta, Georgia. My roommates and I did not own a washer or dryer nor did we care to. We were foot loose and fancy free flight attendants with disposable clothing and inter -changeable uniforms.
I drew the short Mai-Tai straw that month and was elected to do the bulk items, like towels, sheets, and my high maintenance roommates collection of designer jeans. I spent over two hours sitting between machines having time to observe who walked through the one way sliding door carrying their lives in a Walmart basket.
I stuffed the laundry into the Big Mother Load and slammed the lid shut and dropped my coins into the allotted slot. I noticed a man glaring at me from behind a counter as I did this and slowly approached me laughing. I don’t like to be slowly approached.
He asked me if this was my “first time here”, and I reassured him it was and probably my last. He laughed again. He had a light airy accent from some Island in the Caribean. He asked me if my “clothes come out clean”. I responded that they do. He laughed again. I told him I was happy he found my laundry amusing and he laughed again and handed me a small box of detergent stating: “You need to add soap”.
” I know“, I said with my mind occupied with last nights frivolity. “Maybe my clothing has built in microbes that self clean when you just add water”.
We both laughed at my laundry foible. This man owned the Coin-op and was from Trinidad. That day he taught me how to professionally fold towels so they stack like layered cakes on the closet shelf.
I think it is important to try and learn something new every day and this crossed my mind when I returned home and smushed the pristine towels into the lower cabinet under the bathroom sink.
My second visit to the wash-n-wait society was twenty years later in Brooklyn, New York. I was married with one child and we lived in a building owned by the Camaretti brothers. Two well connected Italian boys. There were only two machines in their building which happened to brake down one morning and forced me tote my laundry ,(which has now graduated to include baby diapers), to an eclectic laundromat down the block.
I tossed my laundry into the machines and sat and waited for my load to finish. It was during the rinse cycle, that I noticed a man enter the area wearing just his trousers and shoes and carried a crumpled New York Times that appeared to be dripping moisture. I looked around an noticed I was alone in this place and the attendant had quietly vanished out back to have a smoke.
This man seemed indifferent as to whether anyone was around him or not as he unrolled his package to be placed in the washer. I raised my head higher to get a glimpse of what his delicate load consisted of and I saw him flop a shirt stained in blood into the machine. He then added his soap (with bleach?), slammed the lid down, popped four coins in and then gently turned around and looked at me. I looked back giving him a smile to insinuate that I know I could be his next victim featured on the front page of the Times, and bolted through the Exit, leaving my laundry for a future garage sale.
My Third, but inevitably not my last, visit to the coin-op happened in Delaware. My puppy peed on both my sons and daughters comforters on the same day. I found a laundry facility located in an upscale neighborhood that catered to people that looked as though they suffered from job transition, divorce, or living the Bohemian life in the City.
I was next in line for the Mega-Machine and patiently sat and read a Doggie magazine to bide my time. Shortly after I arrived, a tall slender man entered wearing a tailored Brooks Brothers suit assisted by a designer oxford shirt and a Bulgari Tie scuffling in his Bruno Magli loafers. He daunted ahead of me as if it were his privilege and entitlement to nab my machine.
The attendant kindly informed him that I was next in line.
He waltzed in my direction and towered over me with his tortoiseshell rims laying half mast on his nose and uttered “Oh?”, as if he had stumbled upon a pile of smelly laundry.
He decided to downsize and opt for another washer that was readily available. We both threw our items into our designated washers and stood quietly next to each other until he started to mutter comments regarding his surroundings. Utter-ings that carried an undertone as if his being there is an after thought and he dare not be spotted by anyone from his Polo Lounge. Sheer rubbish.
That opened the proverbial dryer door for me to crash through and devour this DuPont wannabe.
We engaged in some small talk that lead him to continue his bragging rights of a non confirmed Blue Blood. I listened intently as he boasted about his designer attire and lavish eateries where he “parties” with friends at the ripe age of 56. He carried on about his divorce (during the drying cycle) and waxed and waned about the up -coming yachting season.
I had to ask. “What line of work are you in?”.
His head lowered and he half formed the words; “Car Finance, for a locally advertised used car lot”; escaped his exhausted lips.
A giant cheshire grin came over my menopausal face……he actually was trying to impress me with his hyperboles of life, just like when I was a young and inexperienced Ingenue who never fell for that stuff….ever…..well once maybe.
My Dog has more character than this character will ever have.
I didn’t know that laundromats were the new meat market. I have been married too long. I can’t imagine how this guy thinks a person could possibly be interested in a dinner date after witnessing his intimate monogrammed whitey -tighty’s being thrashed about by a Whirlpool.
Besides…….. I’m a woman who prefers Boxers….they’re well bred.
Looks like someone needs to Heir their dirty laundry…..
spread the humor.