October 2, 2010

The Laundromat

Our washer broke this week. That's bad. We have seven people currently living in our house and over half of them are males. (Yes, you know what that means.)

So this afternoon Mom and I took our baskets of laundry to the laundromat in town. 

In my mind those places had long been obsolete. Laundromats were where little bears got left behind and slid on soap suds and slept in empty baskets and met laundromat-artists and won a pocket on their overalls for all their mischief.

Laundromats were where love-struck Spiderman read Longfellow.

Laundromats were not places I went. In fact, I couldn't remember ever going into one.

But this week we needed one. And boy, was I glad they were there.

In we went with our baskets! The lines of machines- massive, steel, rumbling!

We were not at all sure how to use them. If somebody hadn't informed us- we would have used the largest machine which was two to four times too big for our amount of laundry. We counted out quarters in handfuls. Then we didn't know how to put soap in- or in what order. The lady running the place helped us. A rather large middle-aged women barked out directions from her perch on the waiting-bench.

I liked seeing the laundry spin. I liked seeing the suds. I liked leaving and hanging at Starbucks and returning to find it all done.  I liked seeing people of different ages and cultures gathering in one large, noisy room and dragging out all their dirty laundry.

Laundromat, we are officially friends.


  1. I love laundromats much I dedicated an ample bit of self-indulgent prose to them in my NaNoWriMo. :P

  2. some things i loved about the laundromat :
    - getting all 5 loads of laundry done in the time it would take to do 1.
    - the smell of all that detergent and fabric softener. clean!
    - those huge tables to fold all of my laundry on. i still long for a laundry room with one of those. heck, i just plain long for a laundry room that is not a closet :-)

    some things i HATED about the laundromat -
    - having a little one that was potty training and wetting thru all 3 sets of his sheets in one night. now what??
    - having the whole family puking in their beds. at once. (similiar problem to above, muuuuuuch worse).
    - that creepy feeling i would get when folding my "delicates" in front of leering men. i would eventually stuff them unfolded into my laundry bag in red-faced shame. i don't miss that.
    - the compulsion to HOARD QUARTERS. i haven't needed to use the laundromat in over 10 years. i still feel the need to save every quarter i get.

  3. 5 loads in one! YES. That was fantastic- and a life-saver for large families. :-)

    We used those big tables. Those were lovely- nice and high and flat and no doggies or cats or two-year-olds to pull things off. ;-)

    Quarters: Oooh, then you need to visit again. :-) Now they have those machines that take bills and turn them into quarters. $20 into 80 quarters, YES! My backpack was heavy... :-P