Laundry Lady: I don’t know what I’m going to do after work.
Me: Oh? Why?
Laundry Lady: It’s my birthday.
Me: Happy Birthday!!! I wish you had told me last week.
And I do. I would have brought her a card and flowers. She’s just so sweet that I still might have to. I can run by the shop after laundry and come back.
Laundry Lady: Well …
And a smile played across her face.
Me: I’m glad you were born.
Laundry Lady: Thank you
It’s almost like a little reunion here today … Guess who else had a birthday, 81st to be exact?
Glaucoma Man. He’s back.
And in true Glaucoma Man fashion, as soon as I started typing he stopped by to chat. His timing has always been impeccable.
He’s excited about a new trailer his sister bought him. One with an awning and, I quote: “I could even take a bubble bath if I wanted to, it has a tub!”
Me: Oh that’s exciting!
Glaucoma Man: My one now doesn’t even have a shower … I’ve been living like a bum.
I didn’t know that.
I assume the park that houses the trailers must have a communal bathing area though, because he’s always well-kept.
It’s grey and drizzling outside – perfect for a lazy Sunday, but I’m sure as Laundry Lady looks out the window as she’s stuck at work on her birthday the grey might elicit a different feeling.
And for Glaucoma Man, while he doesn’t have a lazy Sunday ahead, I’m sure he’s grateful for the break in the heat so he can work on trying to start and move his 25 year old home that’s currently sporting a near flat tire.
I wonder also what the man to my right is thinking. He’s sat facing a washing machine and lost in thought.
Another man paces without a smile on his face. Another white-haired man is stood guarding his wash.
And I sit and see them all – and wish I knew what was going through their minds.
I’m lucky some of them feel they can open up and share with me. Because, really, I am a good ear and so very curious about people.
And what is it they think of me? I’m the girl in the corner typing. The girl with a faint smile on my lips as I anticipate my upcoming trip to the coast.
The girl who doesn’t speak much, but who is thinking of flowers and returning, of my old friend getting an awning and a tub.
Got here an hour later than usual. I was greeted by a different crowd – ok, they didn’t technically ‘greet’ me … actually, it’s kind of odd here today. No one is smiling.
Everyone is pretty much keeping to themselves.
ALL of the machines I like to use were mysteriously occupied, and I say ‘mysteriously’ because the ratio of actual humans in process of laundering, versus amount of machines didn’t make sense. Although, math never was my strong suit, so I’ll let the mystery be.
Shoved all my stuff in the ‘double load’ machines. Grrrr. I call bullshit on that label. First of all, you get as much in the ‘double’ load as you do in the ‘single load’. And they charge whatever the difference is between $2.25 and $1.65. Ok, I DO know this one … 60 extra cents! Highway robbery.
Anyway, after I’d stuffed the two machines … I wandered over to the counter area in search of coffee. Had just finished stirring in my powdered packet of creamer – AND gloriously knocked the entire cup over, which, went in the direction of the laundry lady’s work area.
Me: I’m SO sorry … I spilled!
Her: It’s ok, I was getting bored anyway
Me: Well, I’m sure this wasn’t on your dream list of things to occupy your time with …
She didn’t disagree, and I felt awful. Just horrible.
I helped clean up, then slinked off with another cup.
The dryer has stopped – think I’ll cut my losses, fold and get out of here before I spill something else.
Until the next Musing … have a great week – and don’t forget to eat your veggies!
This place is getting more and more like the Hunger Games. I went to bed early last night – determined to be here exactly at 8 a.m. To grab my washing machines.
Then did the ‘Are you going to be using this one?’ routine again.
I stuck it out though. A man whose items were almost done told me so, and I stayed close by him. Maybe a little too close. The man was a sturdy Hawaiian and I was on him like a toddler on a leg.
But I got three machines in a row.
I decided I didn’t want to balance two baskets, a purse AND a to-go cup today, besides, there’s coffee here.
First thing I spied with my little eye (other than way too many people already in various stages of laundry considering the place just opened) was the empty coffee pot.
I needn’t have worried.
Me: Good morning!
My laundry lady: Mornin’.
Me: How are you?
My laundry lady: I’m ok. Do you want coffee? I didn’t make any because no one drank any of it yesterday.
Me: Oh yes please! I didn’t bring mine.
She so gets me.
After successfully adopting the Hawaiian mans washing machines, I ventured back to the counter for the freshly made coffee.
Me: How is it that people are almost done with their laundry if you don’t open until 8?
My laundry lady: I get here early, and if they’re my regulars, I let them in. You can come early.
Awww! I’m one of ‘her regulars’. And I have Disney Fast Pass clearance.
We then chatted about how I would feel weird encroaching on her before they were officially open.
I would too. We talked about that. I’m such a rule follower it’s ridiculous.
I don’t speed. I don’t ‘touch’ if it says ‘Do Not Touch’. I’ll wait until the clock strikes the exact opening time of an establishment.
I am though. I’m a square.
There’s this little old man sitting in front of me – reminds me of Elmer Fudd. Not in a rude way. He just does … and he looks so quiet and sweet.
Then he stood up, and the back of his shirt says “Buck Off!” with a picture of an antlered deer.
The square in me widened her eyes … the other part of me giggled.
I wonder where he got it. Did he spot it at a sporting store and just have to have it? Was it a gift from his wife? A friend? A grandchild?
I’m too curious for my own good. I want to know the story behind everything. Good thing is, I’m not superficially nosey, just genuinely curious.
Or is that just a polite way of saying ‘nosey’?
This morning, Butters was sniffing around Nic’s ‘go bag’ (he came in late from a trip to Phoenix for a Speech & Debate competition.) She’s always sniffing something new. Goes bonkers if a new ‘thing’ enters the house, and only relaxes if I touch it in front of her.
This gets a little awkward if it’s an electrician or handy man – I have to ask them if I can touch their pant leg.
Anyway, this morning she was completely submerged in Nic’s bag and I said “Hey nosey pants!” And then imagined what ‘Nosey Pants’ might look like.
But yeah, that’s been my morning so far.
And today is my Mums birthday. Shout out to her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY! I’ll be crossing the river and encroaching on her after a few chores. With a little gift bag in hand.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Sunday – and NEXT Sunday, I shall not be alone in the laundromat … If I can type and laugh at the same time, I’ll share that with you.
For now …
The ground is wet outside from a recent storm that passed through our thirsty desert – the sky is clear, birds are singing – and I’m sat in an almost empty laundromat at a table that is always my 3rd choice to perch at.
There is a couple at the ‘umbrella table’. I regarded them as I stuffed two washing machines to their capacity. (I was stuffing mostly because I was too lazy to stop half way through and go back to the ‘Value Transfer Machine’ and add more money to my laundry card.) As I was doing this, another couple came in the back door.
“Still here huh?”
“Yeah” said the umbrella table couple.
I wanted to interject some sarcasm – but kept my head down and stuffed. Why do we do that? Confirm that people right in front of us are, in fact, actually there? Or ask acquaintances that we see in a grocery store or a bank “Hi! What are you doing here?”
I noticed this little tiny laundry basket unattended when I first sat down.
Can you see it? Barely? That’s how little it is. I sat and wondered, while typing, who the owner of the basket was and how much laundry could possibly fit in it to warrant a trip here.
I mean seriously, compare the hangers to the basket and probably, what, only 5 shirts?
Mystery was solved for me.
There are now bags on the folding table as the owner of the little tiny basket returned.
That’s more than 5 shirts.
The basket was a red herring.
He’s back outside in his car now – not before bending over at the dryers and giving me an eyefull that made a very clear point that Mr. Little Basket needs a belt.
Time to check my washing machines.
They were finished. And I ended up making that trip to the ‘Value Transfer Machine’ after I also stuffed the driers and realized they would need more time to successfully dry my stuffings.
Why do I have so much laundry today?? Nic must have worn every pair of jeans, shorts and t-shirts he owned last week. OR (and this is probably closer to the truth) I’ve just washed clean clothes that somehow returned to his hamper.
I found these in his pockets – another mystery!
The receipt is for Carls Jr. – no mystery there – but the ticket! Hmmm … wonder when he got that. Is there a prize on the line? Or did it grant him access to a meal somewhere. And if it is food related, why is he going to Carls Jr. and blue ticket places without me?
Okay, since I’ve shared about other’s laundry, I’ll tell you a funny story about me.
Yesterday I was getting dressed while half awake – and as I was walking from the closet to my master bathroom, I noticed something in the mirror.
You know I’ve been working out, and I’m actually seeing results. There are muscles on my belly where no muscles have been before. It’s really quite exciting.
So I’m walking – and noticing – and my eyes widen and I think “Oh! That is a LOT of definition!’
I got closer to the mirror and felt like a complete idiot.
Here is a photo of what I saw (only much blurrier in reality)
It was the string of my underwear.
Hey! From across the room it looked an awful lot like that ‘V’ I see on muscle-y people going from their hips on down!
I laughed pretty hard at that before I took the photo.
Time to wrap this up and do the ‘Drier Dance’. This is when I snatch dry items out, while leaving the damp items in to continue on their tumble, and shuffle back and forth to the folding tables.
Oh! Thought you’d like to see how capable ‘Little Basket’ was of holding things.
This looks like a complete set of bedding!
Morals of today’s musings:
Never judge a man by the size of his laundry basket
If someone is right in front of you, they’re probably there
Underwear is not a muscle.
I struggled with my laundry basket today – it’s bedding day.
I wondered when I waddled in, swaying back and forth from the weight of my laundry, if I really have lost too much weight.
Through the door and to the machine to load money onto the laundromat card.
There was a man behind me – mumbling about keys. I turned and smiled – not sure if he meant to be in line. I could still hear him mumbling while I filled two washing machines. I named him ‘man in the blue t-shirt’ and wondered about his life.
I am constantly curious.
As I looked to my right, from my machines – I noticed a sight that piqued my curiosity even more.
On the floor – was an open, empty suitcase.
Leaning against one of the machines was a small girl holding a blanket close to her and sucking her thumb.
She reminded me of a small deer – or bird. Nervously shifting and ready to take off at the slightest sign of danger.
My heart sighed.
I named her ‘little pink girl’ and my imagination was already writing her story. Why was she so thin and delicate? Were she and her guardian living out of that suitcase somewhere? Were they hiding from someone?
Of course, the very real possibility exists that she is simply on holiday. I do live in a resort area.
But I’m always wondering.
Her guardian came back to her side and was kind. My heart relaxed a little.
Little pink girl made eye contact with me and I smiled.
When I pulled my comforter out of my basket, like an impossibly large handkerchief from a magician’s hat, we shared a smile.
I imagined her thinking it was the color of hard candies.
I wanted to photograph her in that moment … leaning there – cautiously looking at her surroundings with her big, beautiful eyes. Sucking her thumb beside that suitcase.
Some moments can’t be captured.
But they can be shared.