Lydster: Missed the laundromat

The Roches

laundromatMy daughter had the opportunity to use the laundromat, but alas! She missed it.

In late April, our clothes dryer died. This was not a particularly surprising occurrence, given the clunking racket it had been making for several months. Still, it was annoying, particularly for my daughter. She was straightening her room. So she had… a few loads to do. It was also a bother for me, as a jagged piece of metal on the machine – where did THAT come from? – punctured my thumb. Grawlix.

This took place on a Saturday, and my wife was visiting her mother out of town. We couldn’t even order a machine until she returned home on Monday. And the new machine would not be delivered until eight days after that.

My wife washed clothes that week and took them to the laundromat. Did my daughter want to do the same? NO! The idea of schlepping wet clothes to someplace else was weird to her.

Too bad. There is an art to cleaning one’s clothes in the public arena. Getting the quarters. Finding the empty machines. It’s a ritual of being on one’s own.

My sisters reminded me that the washer, and probably the dryer were in our kitchen. I have only vague recollections of this.

“Her cycle is through”

But I have vivid memories of gathering the dirty clothes and taking them to the various laundry establishments. Each has its own idiosyncrasies in terms of cost, size, lighting, cleanliness, and availability of machines.

Especially the latter. When you need a washer, the machines are all full, but the wash is done, how long do you wait until you pull out someone else’s stuff, place it in one of those baskets or on a counter, and put your own clothes in?

These are the negotiations of life that can be very useful in other venues. I would have introduced my daughter to the song The Death of Suzzy Roche by the sister singing group the Roches, who I saw perform back in the 1980s.

A rule to live by: “Everybody in the laundromat is equal.” It’ll be something my daughter will probably learn eventually.

 

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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