Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My crazy trip to the laundromat...

In an effort to conserve water until our supply is back to normal, I decided to make a trip to the laundromat this morning.

Now in the past, an occasional necessary trip to the laundromat proved to be productive and, if I may say, quite relaxing! I mean, really...where else can I go sit for 2 hours, no children in tow, books and magazines in hand, and accomplish 8 hours of housework in a fourth of the time? Sure, there's a whole lot of folding all at once, and it's some extra cash out of my pocket, but how great to get home and put away all those clothes and know I'm finished...just like that!

This morning, however, was a different story. Apparently, everyone in town goes to the laundromat at the same time and it just happens to be 10:15 am...the exact time I walked through the door, huffing and puffing, trying to balance 5 loads of laundry in 3 baskets and a clothing bag.

By no less power than divine intervention, I was able to find 3 washers all in a row and quickly piled my loads on top of them, effectively "marking my territory". I had exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes to get all 5 loads washed, dried, folded and lugged back to my car before I had to get back home so Ryan could go to work. I wasted no time starting the first 3 loads. Once they were going, I waded through a sea of people trying to find a place to sit, anxious to cash in on some much needed free time for reading.

Hmmm...easier said than done...back to my washers.

I don't know if it's allowed, but I hopped up on top of one of the machines, determined I was going to get some reading in. I effectively drowned out the noise for about 15 minutes when the washer suddenly stopped, those things are fast...and I suddenly realized I was going to have to find some dryers.

At that very moment, every washer in the whole place must have finished its cycle at the same time, because everyone started racing for carts and throwing wet clothes left and would have been quite comedic if I'd had time to stop and watch...but no, I was right there with them! I bypassed the cart and quickly dumped the first load into my one empty laundry basket. I set off for an empty dryer, but realized that if I left my washer, someone would take it, and I still had 2 more loads to wash!

I quickly threw another $1.50 into the washer and started it. That would buy me a to the dryers! Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a lady heading toward "my" machines ~ the only set of top/bottom dryers that were not occupied yet. I swiftly slid my basket across the floor ahead of me, cutting her off at the pass, and threw open the top and bottom doors. With both hands, I started throwing clothes into the two dryers at the same time until my basket was empty. Victory!

Shaking off a couple of dirty looks (hey, it's every man for himself when it comes to clean laundry!), I made my way back to my washers. The second I emptied the third machine, someone else jumped in my place. Seriously, folks...this was war!

After adding those clothes to the "claimed" dryers, I tried to sit down to read again, but it was just not going to happen. Did you know that a quarter only gets you like 6 minutes of drying time now? And the instant the dryer would start to slow down, someone was hovering next to it like they would just as soon throw your clothes on the floor than wait for another to open up. I had to "shoo" away a few overly anxious old ladies who just didn't care if my clothes were dry or not!

Finally, with tons of semi-dry clothes piled into a rolling cart that I confiscated from some poor, unsuspecting old man after he pulled his last pair of socks out of it, I found a half-empty folding table. I had exactly 7 minutes to fold it all and get it to my car.

Then, halfway through the folding marathon, the funniest thing happened. A little old lady came over and dropped a pair of leopard-print undies in my cart and gave me a "knowing" wink.

"Those aren't mine" I said, ever so politely.
She smiled and walked away. Now what? They really weren't mine! I looked up and realized that every eye in the place was looking at me! And it dawned on me that I was the only one there that was under the age of 60. No wonder she thought they were mine! You can bet that none of them were claiming them!

All of a sudden, I got really cracked up. You know when you just start laughing and you can't stop? I'm sure they all thought I was quite the whack job, standing there laughing like that, but I just couldn't help myself.

I'm sure they all had a funny story to tell their families tonight about the crazy woman at the I decided to tell my version of it to you! Hope it gave you a chuckle...

I'll never take my washer and dryer for granted again!

(..and I just can't help but wonder which little old lady those leopard undies belonged to!)



Ante Family Agrarians said...

Too funny!! I do our heavy laundry at the laundry mat in coleman every week.
Peace, Kris

Serial Mommy said...

i suppose when i get to be a "little old lady" i want to still be wearing leopard panties too! i don't know if you emailed me or not, but what color would you like the purse you won to be?

Anonymous said...

Thats very funny, I can see you now standing there laughing while holding the underwear...... good story!

Heather said...

Oh my goodness! That is too funny! Sounds like something that would happen on TV!