Discombobulated this morning. I got plenty of sleep, as I knew I wanted to wake early and get ‘my’ washing machines here at the laundromat.
I was in motion, coffee was brewing then … a strange noise. Butters and I both stilled and cocked our heads wondering what the clatter was outside – grackles on the roof again.
Back in motion.
Decided to do 1/2 my bedding as I wasn’t feeling strong enough to carry two laundry baskets plus a quilt and pillow cases and sheets … I know I’m going to regret that when I get home.
I’ll wish the quilt was done too.
I arrive and my laundry lady starts chatting as I wait for her to give me a laundry card.
She pointed out a man in a hat, describing him as ‘the weird guy in the hat’. I followed her gaze to discover she was talking about my glaucoma guy.
Isn’t that odd.
Our perceptions of people and how they vary depending on our personal interactions with them.
I got an update from him about his eyes … he’s getting tired of the drops he’s putting in every day and wondering about marijuana cookies.
By then, another older gentleman joined the conversation and my glaucoma man turned into cataract man right before my eyes. (no pun intended)
Seems he’s certain the cataract surgery has given him glaucoma. The newest member of the conversation assured him that could not be the case.
All this as I’m typing and posting the guest edition before this post.
Then he left.
I looked up to see new eye-chat man studying something on the floor. It was a little tiny bug.
This really caught his attention – I mean … really. He got up, stood over it – and when his wife returned with her cart, pointed it out to her.
His wife just sneezed and he didn’t say ‘bless you’.
I mumbled it to her from my table.
Have they been together so long they don’t say ‘bless you’ anymore?
I hope I always say ‘bless you’. (I don’t think there’s much fear of that considering I’ll shout it to a perfect stranger from an aisle over when I’m at the grocery store.)
He’s been sitting holding a paper towel over a small cut on his elbow for sometime now …
I went and grabbed a band-aid from my laundry lady for him.
Now he can go back to focusing on any little bugs that might venture across the floor in front of him.
45 & 47. Those are the washing machines I bravely claimed after asking “Is someone using this one do you know?” of a table of strangers. MY OCD be damned – there would have to be a machine interrupting the numerical flow.
This morning was the second in a row of me waking and being so relieved to realize I could not only hit my snooze button, but go back to sleep again.
And I did find sleep once more, giving me long enough to have a disturbing dream. I woke an hour and a half later, remembering that I certainly did NOT want to miss out on a good seat and good machines.
I leaped into action! Started a pot of coffee, let Butters out – (who, had decided since the first bleat of my alarm, that there were many, many things close to my bed that resembled drums when thumped with her tail), gathered all household laundry, brushed my teeth, ran a brush through my hair and tossed on some clothes.
I then proceeded to forget my coffee inside three times.
I had been up for 10 minutes, bleary eyed and in that ‘late to school!’ mode.
The neighbors dog decided my laundry baskets, plonked down outside of my gate, were intruders. Barking madly as I went back in the third time to grab my coffee.
Everything finally in the car – and off I went. Still half asleep.
There were only two cars in front of the laundromat, relief washed over me again. (No pun intended.)
This place is much like a Tardis though – the outside does not lend an accurate picture of the inside.
Inside I was met by more people than expected. And my favorite machines almost all taken.
Thus the dilemma of having to use 45 & 47.
#46 had a lavender basket atop of it, like a quarter on a pinball machine. The strangers at the table weren’t sure if the two either side of that one were ‘taken’ – and while I’d usually back away and find another machine out of respect, this week I was staking my claim.
As tired as I am, as I waddled unevenly with two baskets of laundry and balancing my pouting coffee on one finger, (it was still a little upset I forgot it three times) I noticed a sign on the door.
“Absolutely no dogs allowed inside without medical identification!”
Now, obviously I knew what they meant, but I was hit with an image of some random pup walking in sporting a shiny tag stating its medical condition.
Laundry person: “You! You there … dog! You can’t come in!”
Dog: “It’s ok, I have allergies.”
I was still amused by this as I leaned against the counter waiting for my turn with the laundry lady.
Her: “Fresh pot of coffee just made!”
Me: “Thank gawd!”
Her: “I think that old man is mad at me. He keeps looking over because I have blankets in the industrial dryers.”
Me: “Well, he keeps cutting his eyes at you, you come get me.
Her: (laughs) “Ok.”
I adore her. She’s always so nice. I remember when she had to find a new place to live and was exhausted from moving – but still had a smile on her face. I love that she has been part of my Sunday mornings for over 4 years.
I put what I can in her tip jar, which I’m pretty sure is meant for the customers who take advantage of the full service laundry that they offer. But I like to show my appreciation anyway.
Isn’t it odd, that she is a part of my routine … my life, and so many others I’m sure. I want her to know it. To feel special and to know I’m grateful.
And as I glance up, I can see her folding someone elses laundry, while scanning the room to be sure everything is running as smoothly as the seams she irons – and I’m feeling a litte silly for being ruffled over having to use two machines that did not sit side by side.
As my boyfriend said this morning on my Facebook (accompanied by one of his old school photos lol) – I’m the luckiest girl ever.
And I am.
Everything that should truly matter, matters to me. I’m grateful for everything I have and everything I don’t.
And really glad Butters doesn’t have allergies.
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.