Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why do people like me?

My apartment doesn't have a washer/dryer in the unit. There's one coin-op washer and one coin-op dryer in the garage below the building for all of the residents to share. There are only like 8 or 9 apartments, so I would share the machine with, at the most, 20 people. But I don't roll that way.

I've lived in this building for over two months and have yet to use the "laundry facilities on the premises" (is it me, or does this read like a lease?). Anyway, like most people who aren't Paris Hilton, I do not have enough clothes (read: underwear) to go this long without doing laundry. And a laundromat--with its inevitable bad radio AND staticky TV playing noisy sports--was not an inviting alternative. I think the thing that irks me the most about laundromats are their sterility, their vacancy. Laundry, though not a relished chore, is one that smacks of home and nesting. I mean, who the hell goes out of the house to wash their dishes, to clean their bathroom? It just doesn't make sense. I mean, it's an outrage! I hadn't had to deal with no-laundry-in-unit trauma since New York in grad school and was clearly not taking too kindly to such a cruel downshift in my standard of living.

So, with the two most obvious options utterly offensive to me, I had to get creative. The first time I was faced with the extremely dire need to wash my clothes (read: underwear), I figured out the perfect solution: inflict my tedious weekend tasks on others. I just hate laundromats so much and who wants to fight over the one machine in the building? That's what I bitched about to my friend about on the phone. I'd had plans to hike with her and her husband (also a friend) that afternoon but how could I deal with this laundry situation and still get to enjoy an afternoon hike with them? Basically, I was enough of a whiny baby about it that they insisted I do it at their place. (Well, maybe insisted is too strong a term, wearily offered is probably more accurate.) So I head over to their place, simultaneously sheepish at their kindness and triumphant about my successful avoidance of laundry facilities that require quarters and sitting around. I arrive, we chat, we throw in laundry, and head out for our hike.

It's a lovely afternoon--a hike that could best be described as "strolling in the woods"--but the conversation was stimulating and the air was crisp and nice. Following this, the afternoon was made even more lovely by our decision to stop in Santa Monica on the way back to their place. They had a quick errand to run, which reminded me that I had a thing or two I'd like to get done as well. While they were looking for a gift in a particular store, I was, too--for a friend's birthday party that night. And since we were just across the street from Aveda, I asked if there was time to get my brows waxed. It's only supposed to take 10 minutes and they had another teensy errand to take care of, so no big whoop. (Brow waxing is another activity that involves some amount of consternation for me; because I don't have a regular browsthetician, I prefer to jump on the chance when it presents itself. And since it's I right there, and since I'm getting so much accomplished today already...)

So it takes a half an hour. I pay an obscene amount to the black-clad Aveda ladies, vow to ascertain the phone number of the lady I went to once on 3rd Street Promenade who only charges $10 and does a better job, and leave to look for my pals.

I find them in their car, waiting. To their credit, they are not that bothered at my delayed exit from the salon. (I'm not sure I'd be so accommodating: inconsiderate people are the worst!) So, gift in hand; brows plucked, waxed and arched; we head to their place in order for me to finish doing laundry. While the second load is in the dryer, they cook dinner for the three of us and we eat. It was delicious.

I thought of all of this today as I loaded three washers at one time and chatted to my bff during her layover at an airport. Then I loaded all three loads from their respective washers into one mega-dryer, leaving out the shrinkables and setting it at high heat for 40 minutes. When my bff and I got off the phone, I read my book. I ignored the football game on TV--though enjoyed the convo about it amongst two middle-aged men who were maybe becoming pals before my very eyes (awww, strangers becoming friends). And the radio even played "Joey" by Concrete Blonde. In less than 2 hours, ALL of my laundry was clean and folded and ready to go. Sheets, towels, jeans, underwear. And there are still tons of quarters left over in my little "laundry money" bag for next time.


Blogger newyorquina said...

What's a bff?

7:02 AM  
Blogger starpower said...

bff=best friend forever. bff, a lot of the time in this blog=Suie.

7:44 AM  
Blogger newyorquina said...

Right. Bff. Can I have some tater tots?

9:32 AM  
Blogger ross_vegas said...

"I think the thing that irks me the most about laundromats are their sterility, their vacancy. Laundry, though not a relished chore, is one that smacks of home and nesting." Absolutely brilliant insight.

10:40 AM  

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