The Laundromat

For me, there is no great joy in doing laundry.

I’ve always hated it. At home, in college, in New York – doesn’t really matter where; I just despise the entire process.

But, man was I spoiled when there was a washer and dryer in my house! Add the annoying commute to the Laundromat and the “pay per cycle” system that cities live by, and you’ve got an even less appealing activity. Of course you are speaking to the girl who would rather just buy new clothes than wash her old ones… nevertheless I assure you it’s hardly a fun chore.

“Three… four… five…”

I count out my quarters. It cost between 11-12 of these valuable coins to rinse and dry one pile of my neglected clothing. For all you math-deficient readers out there who are at my level of arithmetic, that’s about $3. The cost of a bagel and coffee! I’m just saying…

So the journey begins. Pick up clothes from floor. Select clothes that look the dirtiest. Ignore jeans that have only been worn twice. Smash as much as possible into hamper. Find detergent. Grab key, quarters, and phone. Walk down two flights of stairs. Carry heavy hamper down street, turn right and go a block.

Then you fight for a washer, go home for 20 minutes, walk back and fight for a dryer, go home for another 30 minutes, walk back one more time, and finally exit quickly with clothing in hand, hoping to avoid the establishment for at least a few weeks.

It’s not too bad when the weather’s nice. In fact in can be an excuse to just sit outside and soak up the sun. But in the snow? Nope, slipping around and hoping your underwear doesn’t fall into a pile of slush is my definition of hell.

Maybe I’m over exaggerating by comparing laundry to the fiery pits of despair, but I think it’s such an inefficient waste of time with very little reward. For goodness sake, in 15 days or so you’ll be back with 12 quarters and 75 some minutes of your life wasted.

Needless to say, I’m certainly not a known presence at the Laundromat. Some people come in with loads upon loads of clothing and stay for hours, or sit, talk, and use this chore as a social outlet. I pity the poor mother with 4 children. Ugh! Hell I tell you! I am not the extrovert I claim in be in other aspects of my life when doing laundry– I simply try and get in and get out with minimal sock-lossage.

So it’s always amusing when a "Laundromat Talker" tries to conjure up conversation with this unenthusiastic clothes washer. Hence the next Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say will give you a glimpse into the world of detergent and dryer sheets. I've even labeled my Laundromat usuals... so stay tuned peeps ;)