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Musings from the Laundromat: Displaced Glaucoma Man Edition

Me: Would you be a lamb and reset the WIFI?

Laundry Lady:  I just did – I figured I’d get your coffee going first.

Me:  Awwww!

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This was not my first interaction in the less than 10 minutes I’ve been here.

First we discussed fireworks, or rather, the lack thereof from our most local casino.

I guess we were both outside when night fell, drawn out by the distant ‘POP! POP!’ sounds only to discover it was tourists on the beach and not an official display.

Then I noticed her hair.

Me: Did you dye your hair??

Laundry Lady: Yeah.

A small smile played on her lips and I was SO glad I noticed.

I shuffled away like Igor to my machine, heavy basket dictating my gait.

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Glaucoma man found me as I was filling my machines.  Actually, he came up on me whilst I was snapping a bra closed before flinging it in.

He was disturbed.  (Not about my bra)

Him: He has my machine.  (He glared over toward his usual spot.) She opened the back door first today and let him in.

I glanced over towards ‘his’ machine, and sure enough, an unfamiliar face (attached to an unfamiliar body) stood near it.

Now, I’m NOT going to knock him for this discomfort.  We all know how my weird little OCD’s send me into a tailspin when I’m stuck under the weird rainbow umbrella instead of the seats I like – or how frustrating it is to find all ‘my’ machines in use.

I get it.

We all have our little routines and rituals.

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Him:  She must know him.

He said it like it was a conspiracy.  I couldn’t help remembering her telling me “sometimes I make him wait.” and stifled a giggle.

But Laundry Lady is not cruel hearted, I decided probably she just happened to open the back door first, and was not making Glaucoma man suffer needlessly.

Me: Well, technically she doesn’t have to open until 8 – she’s sweet to do so.

Him: How is your husband?

Me: Good.  (I didn’t correct him)

He went on to talk about how Laundry Lady is grumpy.  Which is so not true.  Then shared with me that she isn’t well.

This made me sad.  I didn’t push for all the details – I figure if someone wants me to know something personal about themselves, they’ll tell me.

He shared anyway.

Him: Yeah, she has that COD.

Me: C.O.P.D?

Him: Yes.

Me: Me too

Him: You do? But you always have a smile on your face!

I wanted to tell him so does the Laundry Lady.  For me anyway.  I think she just runs out of patience with some patrons.  I mean, I wasn’t going to tell him that part.

The bottom line though, is that if you’re kind, you get kindness back.  If you smile, you receive one of those in return too.

And if you are consistent about it – you get a friendly weekly chat and a fresh pot of coffee.

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Why Worry? Because I just do.

I stress.

I stress the heck out.

Over the tiniest of things – and it’s SO very real to me.

“You think too much” is probably one of the most said to me comments.

And yeah, I do, honestly totally believe in this:

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However, I’m also the girl who worries about inanimate objects.

Like the avocado I ate tonight.

Does it LOOK like it wants to be eaten???

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Must have been horrifying for the poor thing!

I posted this on my Facebook this morning:

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I CAN not help it!!!!!

I think being a single mom for so many years just infiltrated this in my bloodstream!

Not having a ‘plan B’

Sometimes not even having a ‘plan A’

So when my ‘check engine’ light went on this weekend, I might as well have been holding a tarantula in my hand whilst looking at a tornado.

Seriously.

Car problems are in my top 5 things I stress and freak out about.

And so, when it’s something similar (ok, EXACTLY LIKE) what I experienced 8 months ago and $700 ago – I freaking worry.

They could find nothing wrong – and I drove my car home – NOT feeling like I’d had a reprieve, but feeling like ‘Murphy’s Law” is in effect and for SURE my engine light is comin’ on again – and the 4 mechanics that drove my car into a gasless situation will suddenly be enlightened by the magic of the false computer readout!

Bottom line, I don’t believe them.  I think it’s gonna happen again when I’m on my own with no witnesses.

But, even so:

Me: You know, there are people in the hospital right now, in waiting rooms of hospitals, that would give anything for my first world problems.

My Honey: Yeah

Me: I don’t want a lot of money – Just ‘Enough’.  So that if an issue comes up, I can handle it.    Someone says their tooth hurts, I can say, “Here! Go to the dentist.” I don’t need jewelry, perfume, fancy clothes – Just … enough

And I mean that.

I’ve worked hard – all my life.  I wish for ‘enough’

Then I see this happen in my room and know …. we could live like this FOREVER if we had ‘enough’ for emergencies.

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I’m SO grateful.

Musings from the Laundromat: ‘Green Blue and Red things’ Edition

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Came SO close to not coming today.

I’ve been ill since Christmas, yesterday I felt a lot better after becoming one with the couch all day, only throwing clothes on for my weekend job.

This morning I woke at 5:30 am and ended up falling asleep again like some modern-day old lady.  Instead of reading glasses slipping down my nose and a book in my hand, I nodded off with my ipad on my chest.

I dreamed then of my keys and trying to figure out how to take my dog through a mall and outside so that she could relieve herself.

Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big right?

My subconscious was obviously telling me ‘get your arse up – you have somewhere to be and a 4 legged manatee that can’t let herself out. ‘

I realized at my second waking – that I felt rotten.

I mentally counted how many pairs of clean underwear I had remaining and decided it didn’t matter.  I can’t relax knowing I have skipped a chore anyway.

So here I am.

Ooo!  But not after this sign I ignored – I got into the car and the first lyrics I heard were those of a Maroon Five song.

“Please don’t go …”

Of course then I sat in the car wondering if Adam Levine knew something I didn’t.

Still – duty won out.

The drive was uneventful – then at the counter I was faced with a conundrum.

The laundromat leaves their key cards on the counter for you to select one.  I usually pick yellow.  Today there were only two, blue and green.

One of my favorite people on the planet favors the color blue, another, green.

What should have been a simple task of just grabbing a card became an internal conflict.  Felt like I was picking one person over the other rather than a piece of plastic.

Yes, this is how my mind works (or malfunctions?) all the time.

I picked this one.

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I hope the person who loves green doesn’t see.

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Found this in my sons pants pocket …

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It’s a good thing I check pockets.

Last week I found his debit card – which made me wonder if perhaps the time to stop doing your child’s laundry for them is when they OWN a flipping debit card.

I have no idea what the ‘thing’ is.  But judging from the three tiny batteries inside, it’s probably good I rescued it from a certain watery death.

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I’ll ask him when I get home.  I won’t be able to sleep tonight not knowing now.

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Clothes are now in the dryers.

It’s become ever more apparent that I’m under the weather – as my OCD is accompanying me on every small mission.

I picked dryer number 43 and dryer number 45 for the honor of participating in my task at hand.

Because I’m 44.

These next 30 minutes had better go fast, because I’ll either fall asleep at this table, with my head on my ipad – or start arranging the laundry carts according to color.

I think definitely I need more rest.  After I clean the house – and discover what the ‘thing is.

Unless I hear a song with the lyrics: “Don’t clean” or “Don’t worry .. about a thing”

Wait – isn’t that Bob Marley??

He liked green too.

Waking and winking and windows with locust

I found the locust.  Well, they’ve still been out and about, but not in the vast numbers they were not too long ago.  I think most of them gather on my porch at night.  I forget to keep my porch light off.  I digress.

I pulled up to the laundromat and spotted them.

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Okay, so there’s only 4 or 5 on the window, but they’re everywhere in the parking lot.

I was allowed to sleep in until 5:30 am this morning.  Butters was either a) feeling generous or b) tuckered herself out with her Shar Pei/Shepherd shenanigans.  I’m leaning towards b.  Although, there’s a strong argument for a choice ‘c’ … That I was too tired to notice any earlier attempts at arousal.  Is that the right word?  Okay, that’s funny.  I’m leaving it in and not even going to google. OCD be damned.

Bottom line is I ‘arose’ and decided I’d be at the laundromat as soon as they opened.  Then hop from here to the grocery store.  THEN … I’m cleaning the house in ‘ten-second-tidy’ fashion and hitting the couch.

I even decided in the car on the way over that I was going to try out ‘sassy’ today.  Thought I might even wink at a fellow laundromat patron if one made eye contact.  Male, female – didn’t matter.  It would be one of those friendly ‘hey there – alright?’ winks.

I’m not very good at winking.  If I try with my right eye,  the entire right side of my face scrunches up and I end up impersonating Popeye.

I can pull off a left eye wink, but I can’t support it with the casual confidence to make it look like anything more than a twitch.

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Those realizations, coupled with the fact that my table was taken, sucked all the wink mood right out of me.

I’m at the kiddy table under that damned rainbow umberella again.  Add insult to injury, the lady that works here walked by and mentioned I need a new laundry basket.  Hmph!

They sell them, and if I’m interested I should let her know.

Good grief.

Today I’m neurotic – until I google again.

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It’s official.  I’m neurotic.  (as I notice the hair in my eye in the above picture)

I Googled it, so it must be true.  Plus, it described me to a T on the following:

  • The tendency to restrict oneself, to be satisfied with very little or to remain inconspicuous: Grows out of normal need to move cautiously, delay gratification
  • An insistence of self-sufficiency and independence which does not allow one to ask for help or commit to relationship: Grows out of a normal need for autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Anxiety, self-sufficiency, OCD and having to over analyze every little thing, yup, that’s me. 

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Good news is – it’s not a mental illness and it’s treatable.  basically, ‘get over it’.  Okay, so maybe they suggested therapy to help with that.  But, there is hope. 

Seriously everything I do, from driving beyond 5 miles in the car to being faced with something unexpected, results in a physical reaction akin to readying myself to open a can of Pillsbury dough.

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I have had a reprieve from most of my anxiety, by not interacting with people outside of work.  I have to push myself to do anything that involves making eye contact with others.  Funny thing is though, when I am out there, I’m that kid who just waltzes up to another kid they don’t know and introduces themselves.  It’s mental.  Okay, I’m mental. 

So before I turn into this:

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Or this:

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It’s time to assess myself.

I don’t think it’s a secret that my kryptonite is ‘relationships’ (of the romantic variety.)  *shudder*

I’m talking, full on – fight or flight response to the THOUGHT of it.  I want you in my house, but gone when I want to be alone.  I want you in my life, but don’t tell me how I should be living it.  I want you to find me attractive, but don’t look at me or make me feel like a piece of meat.

It’s terrible. 

Seriously.

Because there is a really good chance that my neurosis in this area will end up truly leading me to my cat lady future.

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This is how I see those relationship petals … nothing is black and white. Except how I want things.  Those are very black and white, and don’t you bring a grey crayon anywhere near me. 

I’ve found a balance that doesn’t give me panic attacks.  It’s called being alone.

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But recently, I’ve had my balance tilted.  Thankfully, these days, when off-center, I stop to look at what is causing it.  I’m a lot more open to the possibility that I (gasp) could be wrong.  

I emailed my best friend and she assured me, she was not about to co-sign my bullshit.  She heard me out – as she always does and about 100 emails later, I could have published my analyses as a thesis. 

I think I convinced myself to some degree that I was doing the humanitarian thing by not getting involved with anyone.  I KNOW I’m a mess.  Who puts themselves out there knowing they’re a train wreck? I have my good qualities too – but don’t think it’s fair to subject someone to my hang ups and neuroses.  I’ve hurt too many people already.

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So if I’m going to even consider changing my cat lady plans – I have to start to work on myself.  That’s the bottom line.  Because even if Prince Charming showed up, with a box of Good and Plenty’s (my favorite) in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other – I’d find something wrong with him.

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People keep saying, “when you meet the right guy, it will be different.”  But, I really think in this case: It’s not you, it’s me is the truth of the matter.

And I’m all for truth.

And hope.

And love.

Just better be EXACTLY the way the ever-changing image of it is in my head, or else.

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