Saturday, March 5, 2016

More Laundry...

LAUNDRY ROOM--#Sol16
Day 5


Sundays, I am already mentally back to work: grading and planning.


Once again….


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."


http://sclaundromats.com/hollands-24-hour-laundromat.html

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.

19 comments:

  1. I love how you took one mundane chore and shared many memories involving that! I might have to use this strategy!!! I can't imagine pushing the stroller, laundry, and toddler like you did! Wow!

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to reading your entries.

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  2. Reading your daily entries has me thinking so much more about community building opportunities in every day moments and my tendency to want to remain in solitude. I'm so fortunate that we have laundry on every floor in my condo and that the machines do not require quarters. I can get away with doing my laundry in my house clothes. (Has your condo association looked into laundry cards vs. coin-op machines? Worth checking out!) The part about walking through snow with toddler D. to get the laundry done warms and breaks my heart at the same time. Watching the "soapsy suds and twirling clothes"...what a delicious phrase!

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    1. Yes, laundry cards. I will bring them up in our next meeting. I like the laundry machines on each floor. That must be so sweet! Thank you for your support.

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  3. Laundry is such a mundane chore, it is never really caught up! I liked how you made the best of it, I give you a tremendous amount of credit for ever getting it done pushing a toddler in a stroller through the snow!

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  4. What an interesting slice. The entire three years we lived in our apartment on the third floor, I drove my laundry to my moms once a week and would spend the day with her doing my laundry for free at her house. It was a two way win. I got to save money and got to spend time with my mom. Great slice. thanks for prompting a memory of my own. :-)

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    1. So glad the fiound memory of times shared emerged! Thank you for your feedback.

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  5. Love this laundry as community center. I felt for the lonely woman who found connection there.

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    1. Thank you for your feedback. Loneliness is a reality for many elderly people.

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  6. My favorite part is taking a quarter over a dollar. I know exactly what you mean. Better yet, finding a quarter on the streets!!

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  7. This post makes me think of two things: one, how glad I am not to have to use the public laundromat anymore! And two, how there are certain topics that EVERYONE has a story for. I like to do a common class writing assignment on school recess, but I think I might add "laundry" to another prompt sometime. These mundane moments are so revealing and personal and universal all at the same time. Thanks for sharing yours! :)

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  8. Yes, thank the heavens for your personal set! Yes, let us encourage our students to notice the wonders of the mundane.

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  9. The best thing that made me decide to stay in my current place was that my landlord bought me a washer/dryer when I was pregnant. I had no idea how significant that purchase would be. Just to to have the immediacy of it made a significant impact on my life. That you made it work with D when he was a toddler speaks so much to your resilience and that one-woman factory-ness of motherhood. You are a treasure.

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    1. "that one-woman factory-ness of motherhood"--I won't forget that phrase, Kim! Thanks!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I am reading and responding as I am doing my laundry.

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    1. What could be more right than to be responding as you do your laundry?

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  11. So glad that you wrote about laundry--I mean, all of us who don't have servants do it, but we seldom talk about it. And yet there's so much satisfaction when clothes are fragrantly clean, dried, and folded. I was 48 when moved into a condo that has one of those stacked washer-dryers. I can't wash much at a time, but I still get to choose the time. And I've discovered one of the "all is well with the world" sounds I cherish is that of my dryer humming. Meanwhile, by writing about the communal laundry room experience, you've gotten me to appreciate the other roles laundry rooms play--and gotten yourself to that place of gratitude that you always manage to get to, and that you always lead me to, too. Your gratitude was an important inspiration of my most recent blog post! Thank you, Natasha, for sharing, which in your case is always a real act of giving.

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