Two Hours of My Life…Gone

I bet one of them is out of order.

There’s another thing about our New York rental I’ve failed to mention. There’s no washer/dryer. Because of this reality, every 10 days I trek a block and a half to the local laundromat.

Laundromat. A name that harkens back to the space age where everything you could want is yours at the push of a button.

As a kid, our family had an old white porcelin tub washer with rollers on top that you fed soaked clothes. The rollers squashed the clothes thinner than a vanilla wafer. (Watch your fingers!) I don’t remember if we had a dryer. One of my childhood memories is hanging clothes on the line in the warmer months. If the temperature dropped over night, the clothes were stiff as a board. I bent the clothes like cardboard.

Before my parents took the step of buying a modern washer and dryer, we piled into the  1982 Toyota Tercel and drove 15 minutes down Route 6 to the nearest laundromat. In the winter it was pleasantly warm and smelled of soap. I recall dust lint, ripped magazines, hard plastic bucket chairs affixed to the floor and metal carts. My job was to place the wet clothes from the washer into the cart, drive the cart to an available dryer and plop the coins into the slot. How adult.

Good times. Good times.

My next experience with laundromats was post college. Living in Everett, MA, I walked my laundry a couple of blocks away. I don’t have many memories of those days. I can recall stuffing my clean, dried underwear into the laundry bag immediately because it seemed the middle-aged men were eyeing those particular garment pieces. Yea…gross.

Dozens of years later, here I am…full circle.  This time I’m doing laundry for three. Hains briefs, black bras and pink onsies make up the pile.

The local laundromat is a small one. Nothing special. Mostly old folks and young couples come in. There’s nothing romantic about the place. In fact my tolerance for it grows thinner with every passing visit.

Yesterday was laundry day and one woman was using SEVEN dryers, leaving only two left. How thoughtful. During the course of the visit, dryer hog woman took her laundry and departed. Soon after a retiree came in. She claimed the title of dryer hog and claimed five dryers, placing just a handful of clothes in each dryer. Retiree/dryer hog complained about acid rain and how the Chamber of Commerce takes foreign donations. By that time, my clothes were done and I made my escape.

Yea, doing laundry isn’t like it used to be. There aren’t even metal carts.

That’s just wrong.


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