Alone at the Laundromat
Technically, Liz and I have a brand new washer and dryer in the basement. But we need a few things set up first before we can use them. Until that time, we’re still heading out to the local laundromat to do our laundry.
Which is what I did tonight, but it came with a surprise. I wish I would have taken a photo or two, but when I pulled up to my usual laundromat (Kimbark Laundry), I saw that the whole space was dark. On peering in through the window, the place was absolutely empty – totally gutted.
No machines, no lights, just empty.
Prior to Kimbark, I had gone to a place up in Kenwood. The parking was always tough, the place was always packed, and it was always super noisy. I really wasn’t looking forward to having to go back there.
I swung by the small laundromat on Harper/53rd on a whim, and found a parking spot. The downside was that I had to pay to park my car on the street… but the main reason I’d never gone here before was the lack of parking.
I walked in – and found myself totally alone.
Reader, it was glorious. The place was nice, there was a TV but it wasn’t blaring. And there was no one else around.
At first, I had to talk with the owner (a Chinese woman who seemed really wary of my requests for change). I asked her to break a $20, and she gave me $5 in quarters, and the rest in bills. When I tried to use the change machine, she yelled over to me that it didn’t work.
So I went back to her for more change. At which point, she got really suspicious of me – and asked how much laundry I had. From there, I had to justify getting more change from here, and argued my way into getting more quarters. Very odd.
Over the course of the night, as I got more change from her, I learned that a lot of folks would come in, get change, and then just leave. Not sure why, but this was apparently the cause for her wariness. I’d like to think that, over the course of the night, I slowly won her trust.
Here’s me running like seven dryers at the same time. I tend to separate things out if I can (shirts in one, underwear in another, socks in another). Given how much room I had to work with, I dedicated one dryer to white socks and another dryer to dark socks.
I had this thought: Wow, this must be how rich people do laundry. And then after like 10 seconds, realized that rich people probably don’t optimize their laundry time because they have serfs to handle that kind of work for them.
At least I did find a new spot to do laundry, for now. And it feels almost like a getaway, given how few people were around.