Category Archives: Musings from the laundromat
Alarm was set for seven this morning, it needn’t have been.
I was rudely awakened by the persistent bark of the neighbor’s corgi. Butters joined in and I dragged myself to my bedroom window.
Said corgi was staring at the side of my house and would not stop alerting.
I threw some ‘outside’ clothes on and headed out to see what the fracas was about.
A newly dug hole now exists leading to under my home.
This after a trap sat unsuccessfully for a week in the very same spot. (Sans hole.)
I’m assuming my skunk is back.
I’m over caring. As long as a) Skunks stay nocturnal and b) Nothing else moves in under there to startle it.
Had a long day of napping yesterday and (without too much information, wishing I had an epidural) so I was wide awake.
Headed out to the laundromat after a shower.
Laundry Lady: Hey! I missed you last week.
Me: Yeah, I didn’t even have half a basket.
(OK, that works two ways lol.)
I tossed my items in the machine and took my usual spot.
This was only after I noticed a rock on the table.
My first thought, “Oh, now we’re claiming tables with place rocks?”
Second thought, “Wait – there’s another rock … Must investigate.”
I turned it over to discover the purpose.
So! There are now painted rocks hidden in our town and if you find one, you can post a photo of your find to the Facebook page – then re-hide it or keep it or leave it.
What a wonderful way to begin the morning though – with the word, “Joy.”
I was a little upset that once again the WIFI the laundromat boasts was not functioning again.
That was ok though, I came prepared with a book.
It’s taking me entirely too long to read, not because it isn’t good, it’s amazing! It’s taking me too long because I’ve slowed down on my reading time (not good.)
There was a particular sentence I savored.
“The scratching of the bushes no longer sounded cozy. Spindly fingers asked to be let in, dark figures flitted around the house and looked for a gap, a small opening to squeeze through” – Stefan Kiesbye (Knives, Forks, Scissors, Flames.)
I kept reading until it was time to check the wash.
That’s when I noticed my laundromat neighbor.
Not to be unkind, but only honest, the first thing I noticed was his ripeness.
Then, his table. (Which, also had a rock.)
I set the book aside after seating myself again and observed.
I took all of him in.
His table, his stance, his belongings.
I make the assumption he was homeless.
I make it because he had a small bag of food items, a small bag of toiletries and because he removed his boots and stood bare footed to include his socks in the wash.
On his table, 17 cents – a small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, an insulated drinking vessel and some clean folded socks.
Yes, I felt some guilt sneaking this photo – but he’d disappeared into the bathroom to groom and I couldn’t let the moment pass.
My first thought now? This man had everything he carried with him, and I was going to watch his stuff.
My second thought? He was laundering his items and if anyone had a problem with that I was going into momma lion mode.
This photo breaks my heart a little – and was not intended.
A serendipitous snap of the camera.
And while all we shared was a brief smile, he shared more with me than he’ll ever know.
I chose to leave that rock at the table by the way – so that perhaps someone else could find ‘Joy’.
I peopled yesterday.
I SO peopled.
Made a return at a major store – found no replacement, went to another major store – this is after an uncomfortable drive to the first place.
Care for pets.
Thought of leaving brings on another need for bathroom.
The drive: “OMG, why are they going so fast?” “Am I going too slow?” “I have to be in this lane.” “Are they mad at me?” “They’re not going to let me in if I don’t move now.”
Get me out of here!
Last store – my heart was ready to come out of my chest. I entered Safeway.
Wiped my cart with the sanitary thingy – reach into my purse for my pen (I always do a ‘tally’ as I go) and ‘POKE’ … And OUCH.
I pulled my hand out of my purse and … Blood.
A trial size perfume spritzer had shattered and the ‘poke’ was a shard of glass.
I headed to customer service because A) I am NOT going home now without my provisions and B) I needed her to check my lottery scratcher tickets because I am blind as Clarice Starling in Buffalo Bill’s cellar these days.
So I’m standing there – dripping on not only the cart, but the floor, my clothes, anything in my midst.
Me: (placing, very calmly, scratcher tickets on the counter) Um, do you have a band aid?
Her: Wow. You’re bleeding pretty bad.
Her: OK. (Scurries off for ‘things’)
Me: I’m so sorry.
Her: Don’t be sorry. How did you do that?
Me: (Feeling woozy, trying not to bleed everywhere and becoming increasingly aware of how much I am) I, um, I was by the dispenser, the thing ..
Her: The sanitizer? You cut yourself on the wipe container?
“Do you want to file a claim?”
No, no I didn’t lol. Because it wasn’t the dispenser’s fault.
She kindly patched me up and yes, I had missed a ‘winner’. $10 in my pocket and a band aid on my finger and I was off.
But what WAS their fault? The barricades in the aisles. Stock people, I know you have to stock, but, damn! It’s hard enough for me to be in the store at it’s best time (which I still haven’t figured out) but when I’m doing a grocery version of a maze/obstacle course that’s ridiculous.
I was so DONE with being out, SO done with peopling and so mad at myself for allowing the sweet customer service lady to believe the sanitizer dispenser attacked me.
The rest of the day I spent cleaning and cooking.
It’s time for my annual home inspection – or as I like to think of it, ‘intrusive visit where photographs are taken of all my belongings’.
I clean all the time, but this visit calls for the white glove kind of clean.
You know, all the things you don’t do all the time. (Or, maybe it’s just me?) Like, removing and washing the floor vents, cleaning the top of the fridge, cleaning under sinks and tossing items not used even once since last inspection.
I got most everything done except my bedroom.
I just can’t get into gear to do it!
We all have that one room everything that doesn’t belong anywhere else ends up right? Well, that’s my bedroom.
And it really sucks the ‘nest zen’ right out of my budoire.
I’ll get to it eventually. I have a deadline after all. That always motivates me.
But for today … I’m going to chill out a little.
Luckily, I am done with outside errands and there’s no more peopling in Sunday’s forecast.
I took some ‘mental health’ days from work.
I needed to decompress, give myself an attitude adjustment and also go through my son’s room.
Day 1 consisted mostly of watching everything I wanted to see on Netflix. Plus, grocery shopping.
I actually cooked a meal, peeked in on the chaos that is my son’s room and slowly backed out.
It’s so hard to get motivated to begin when you’re not sure just where TO begin. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Hoarders, you might know where I’m coming from. Ok, it’s not THAT bad – but pretty overwhelming.
So Netflix won me back.
Rewind – so, while I was at the grocery store I ran into laundry lady. We chatted for a moment and went our separate ways.
Then, I happened to be in line behind her and her roommate and not a word was shared.
I felt a little hurt. After all, 6 years of 52 weeks seeing her and tipping her and bonding … and no shopping line chatter.
I had more of a conversation with the little old lady behind me that I did with my Sunday blog muse.
I finished Saving Grace. Started the Santa Clarita Diet, finished that. Watched David Brent, Life on the Road and Finding Dory.
Felt guilty for all of that so yesterday cleaned.
I made a tiny dent in my main project (3 garbage bags later) and focused on the house to get my mind off of some of the sentimental items I’d found in ‘the’ room.
It’s still not done. But, I have today and tomorrow off still.
Not sure how much I’ll accomplish, but I will gird my loins and delve in again.
I asked Nic what he wanted to keep, he said to get rid of everything.
I don’t think he realizes some of the things he left behind.
Besides, this is the mom who saved every card he ever gave me, so, no, I’m not tossing things. Except obvious trash.
It’s also been raining, although, not nearly as much as it has been on the central coast. The devastating photos being shared by my friends in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Carmel are insane!
But, enough that it puts me in ‘just wanna be comfy and relax’ mode. That certainly doesn’t fuel me with the energy to purge and sort through a lifetime.
But, this is why I needed those mental health days.
The task has been weighing on me, and I can’t stand to know something is needing to be done and hasn’t been.
The OCD in me may win out the lethargy.
She’s baaaack! One Sunday morning only, due to ‘scheduling’.
AND! ‘Don’t stop believing’ is on the radio.
All is right with this Sunday morning.
I made it abundantly clear last week to the manager that I missed my Laundry Lady. (She has a name, I choose not to use it here for the sake of her anonymity, not out of disrespect).
I hadn’t seen her in weeks! Although, to be fair, one of those weeks was due to me not attending Laundry Day.
Me: Is ____ ok?
Manager: Yeah! We’re down a person and ____ prefers to come in later.
Me: But … It’s my routine. I miss her.
Manager: (Laughs) You know what? I’m going to tell her that, because I don’t really do mornings.
I felt a little bad this morning when I saw who was opening. Like I had something to do with her schedule.
But, no, it just so happens something hung the manager up here until after midnight.
I guess I don’t have the pull I thought I did around here. (Joke).
I’m looking around and noticing the gender ratio … There’s 5 men vs one woman. That woman being me.
The funny thing I’ve noticed about guys doing laundry is … They hover.
They stand staring at the their chosen machines – guarding them?
It cracks me up.
A wash cycle takes half an hour, and the dryers run in 10 minute increments. Take a seat guys! The rainbow umbrella table is available!
So, I’m over in my nook and Laundry Lady just came over for a chat. (I think she might have missed me a little bit too.)
Asked me if I’d ever seen Twilight.
(She had just watched all the movies).
Have I seen Twilight? HA!
I gobbled up those pages faster than a pigeon with a French fry! Then saw the movies.
Speaking of pigeons.
It was my mum’s birthday this past week. We celebrated yesterday with a ‘mum and me’ day.
Went down to the river, ok, the casinos along the river, and had a wonderful lunch at Bubba Gump’s.
Here’s my mum’s plate with a few friends.
(SUBTITLES: What my mum says at the end is: “OK, that’s it. No, I’m sorry, but you’re just throwing it at me here.”)
Funny thing was, an employee came over after noticing the flock of feeders and said, “We ask you don’t feed the birds.”
My mum replied, “I’m not feeding them, they’re helping themselves.”
It was a great day.
And now I’m home and Sunday still feels perfectly right.
Hope yours does too!
This is the first Sunday I haven’t had to go to the laundromat. My laundry basket was a third full, and, I was not going to muse a load and spend money on that.
Friday, I heard so many songs that resonated with me – the most important being, “Turn the Page” via Metallica.
I found myself lost in the lyrics and substantiating it with my anxiety disorder. Let’s walk through this.
I get up.
I take my meds.
I take my dog outside.
I come inside.
I feed all pets. (Butters plus my fish and Nic’s that he left)
I bathe and dress.
I take Butters out again, because she never goes the first time.
I watch some news.
I walk Butters again – just in case. Also, fix my lunch.
I walk out leaving cartoons on for my dog and say “gimme kisses and smisses”
Every. Single. Day.
Turn the page.
It’s fucking Groundhogs day!
But, I’m also diagnosed agoraphobic and have severe anxitey and panic disorder.
I have some comfort in repeated things.
I feel safe driving to work, being there, driving home.
I feel safe driving to the store – then … BOOM!
I’m lucky if I get through the shopping.
This might be too much information, but, if I’m helping just ONE person, I’m glad to share – my issue when I leave my house is like … Stomach flu. I get INSTANT tummy troubles. It manifests itself physically.
So, I hear this song on Friday on my way home. And it’s this.
I got this … Um, feel or glow or understanding the way I understood it. I KNOW obviously what he’s talking about. But, it SO resonated.
“You can think about the woman or the girls you knewthe night before”
For sure. Me. Knowing me. What I’m capable of being and who I am today. Who I used to be.
“But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do.”
“When you’re riding sixteen hours and there’s nothing much to do, and you don’t feel much like ridin’ you just wish the trip was through.”
I’ve had those moments too. Wanting, just … To be done.
“There I am, on the road again.”
There’s only so many places I can go. I am terrified on big traffic highways. My anxiety comes on and I can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t feel my limbs. It’s serious.
Also speaks to my daily drive to work, which I CAN do. But the repedeance is bonkers.
“There I am up on stage.”
Yup. With a mask and a smile and a positive attitude.
Me with makeup:
Me, with nothing but Chapstick.
“Out there in the spotlight, you’re a million miles away. Every ounce of energy you try to give away. As the sweat pours out your body, like the music that you play”
And, again, I’m exhausted every. Single. Day. I am. And I know the source.
And people that say “Anxitey” or “Depression” isn’t real, seriously need to talk to THEIR doctors about it.
“GET OVER IT”
“IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD!”
Let me take that route.
“Later in that evening, as you lie awake in bed, with the echoes from the amplifiers ringin” in your head, you smoke the day’s last cigarette remembering what she said.”