I just want clean clothes!
Up at the crack of dawn again today, but on a workday you don’t mind it so much. You can roll over and the alarm will wake you up again, or you can take a longer hot shower or maybe have some coffee before you head out the door. It’s all good, though it was a bit odd to wake up and expect to see the wispy tendrils of dark blue clouds on the glowing orange sky of sunrise–nope, darkness!
It was a weird weekend for me, laundry-wise. I reached that point we all reach where I was completely out of clean knickers and it was time to go collect them up and spend the hour or so it takes to do a load of laundry. I could have collected other items too, but this was more about need than chores. It was Sunday evening and I didn’t think the laundry room would be empty, but I figured I could at least get a machine.
When I stepped off the elevator, I could see one of my neighbors standing outside the laundry room door and hear some sharp voices arguing from inside. Turns out there was a machine free, but two women were going off at each other because one, a young pregnant woman, had left her clothes behind for what the other woman, an older woman, claimed was an hour, the core issue being that the older woman touched the younger woman’s clothes–to take them out and put them onto the table in the room, which is cleaned daily. The neighbor, a kind but effete gentleman was desperately trying to mediate their argument, but the young woman was having no part of it. I interrupted long enough to determine if it was all right for me to use the one open machine, but I didn’t get involved in the argument.
It was a pretty common debate and what I had assumed was a standard rule of shared laundry rooms: you wash it, you time it, you come back and get it. We have about 10 washers to 5 dryers, so this usually isn’t a problem. The two main factors in this shouting match were:
- the pregnant woman did leave her stuff behind and freaked out because “I don’t want anyone else touching my clothes!” — aggravating factor was that she was very aggressive, slamming machine doors, rapid-fire speech, not listening, etc.
- the older woman was doing her entire wash, so many clothes that the stereotype of taking in the laundry for other families was hard not to assume — aggravating factor was that she was treating it like a complete non-issue, in effect ignoring the other woman which only made it worse.
It seemed like the younger woman really just wanted someone to apologize and tell her that she was right, and the older woman really just wanted to get on with her laundry! I started my wash, set my phone’s timer and came back in 30 mins and was set to move my stuff to a dryer… except that I couldn’t! The older woman was still using a majority of the washers and all but one of the dryers–the younger woman got her stuff into one. And since the younger woman wasn’t around, the older woman was relating to me how crazy she was and how one of the things she said was “Why do you have to do every piece of laundry you own at one time?” Earlier, this might have seemed like a silly argument, but right then when all I needed was one dryer for my one load of wash? I could relate.
I wisely brought a book down with me just in case I might have to wait, and I think the sight of me reading and keeping an eye on the dryer timers caused the one woman to take some of her stuff out earlier. The pregnant woman came back downstairs and stood next to me while I read saying, “I think I better just wait out here.” I smiled, but didn’t respond. Seriously people, all I wanted was some clean underwear!
On a lighter note, when I took my dry cleaning in yesterday I had 17 shirts to take in. They usually love it when I bring in a large amount, but the woman had to mention that just before me there was a guy that had brought in 34 shirts. I’m not sure if she was throwing down a challenge or anything, but I wasn’t taking the bait. 😉