Sundays, I am already mentally back to work: grading and planning.
I should have done my laundry last night, Friday.
There is that rare Friday moment when I make it downstairs to the laundry room despite my exhaustion from the week. I flip on the lights of my condominium’s laundry room and think, "The perfect Friday night date: empty washer and dryers. Oh what a night! Do do do do do, do do do do."
Today, Saturday, every time I finally took my laundry down, the washing machines were taken.
The first time I went down to the laundry someone else had even left their basket in the imaginary queue.
Laundry: when I first moved to Boston to complete my M.A.T. In teaching, I rented an apartment in a two-family home . After maybe 4-5 months, the shared washer in the basement broke down. Since the landlord did not fix it, I had to go to the local laundromat. We did not have a car yet; in fact, I did not even have a driver’s license yet. My toddler son and I would head out early in the morning. I could not simultaneously push the stroller and him, so we had to find strategies. Games for my son to hold onto the carriage while I pushed. Or if he got tired, I would pick him up and push with one hand. Snowy paths and days were more challenging...Though I was focused on finishing the laundry, my son loved to watch the soapy suds and twirling clothes in the washers. He loved to watch the clothes “flying” in the dryer. Of course those bottom huge open mouth dryers tempted him like a play cave.
There is an "Everybody Hates Chris" when Chris has to go to the laundromat. He starts by defining the term and concept of a laundromat for those who have never stepped foot in a laundromat.
When I bought my condo, I just assumed I could hook up a washer and a dryer in my place. I later found out that since we all paid the hot water through our condo fee, individual units could not have their own. I was shocked. I had signed off on papers, only to discover I did not do thorough research.
All my adult life, my main dream has been to be able to do laundry in my pajamas or even while I sleep at night. Wake to go to the bathroom and just casually put the clothes in the dryer and sink back into bed: not to have to worry about what I wear to do laundry. But now, I would spend the rest of my life having to get dressed to do laundry and above all needing quarters. Sometimes, I think I would take a quarter over a dollar even in dire circumstances. If I am missing a quarter no matter how many dollars are in my wallet, the laundry cannot be done.
Years ago, the minute I entered our building's laundry room an elder woman neighbor (who lived on the first floor) would always come out to chat. Her husband had recently died. She came to the laundry room to share her childhood stories or to reminisce about her husband. I think the moment she heard someone anybody in the laundry room, she was eager to leave her silent apartment. Though she would recount some of the stories several times, it was always a pleasure speaking with her. She no longer lives here now, but I am glad the laundry room provided a common space for human interaction.
If we did not share machines, all the tenants might not have had the chance to be a friendly ear to our elderly condo friend. I guess sharing is caring.