Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wishy Washy

Mildew and mold adorned the ceilings and institutional gray tiles were under my feet. Molded plastic seats surrounded me and long fluorescent pendent lights hung high, half working and all cobweb-coated. And this freaky picture was leaning against the wall. This place has always given me the creeps.

Morning found me once again at Yo’s Wishy Washy (self-service laundry, dry cleaning, and drop-off service). A few days ago I noticed my Ultra Downy wasn’t exiting its little compartment and my completed load was sitting in water. More front-loader woes. I’ve had about enough of it. Not that I’m going to do anything about or anything. I’m just saying.

So now I’ve got the inevitable disappointment when I find out the Sears man can’t come till WHEN? What else could he possibly have to do? Okay, there are certainly multiple Sears men and some are probably even women. And I’ll concede they probably have plenty to do. It’s just that a week’s a long wait with seven folks to wash for (though how we are accumulating so many loads is a mystery; the kids will wear their swimsuits 24/7 if I’m not paying attention). I have several offers from well-meaning friends but I just don’t have all day to spend at someone else’s place doing laundry.

What I did have to make time for was a frantic quarter search. The kids took my stash off the piano for a trip to Dairy Queen or the Dollar Store, one of those. I felt like Gollum looking for my precious quarters. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. No, I’m sure I gave them permission but I didn’t foresee this gaping hole of quarter-need lurking in the not so distant future. I ought to just get several rolls of them next time I’m at the bank. Toss them in a sack and they can serve the dual roles of intruder defense and coin-op insurance.

It’s not all bad though. Laundromat people-watching is always fascinating. Today there was just one man. He was probably in his late 40’s and he sat outside on the picnic table reading a novel, smoking Camel Wides, and playing with his iPhone (with a shattered screen—they still work that way?). When he came in he folded two loads of safety-yellow jackets, sort of like the white ones you see butchers wear. Very curious. And what is a “Camel Wide”? Aside from a cigarette of course. I mean what’s with “Wide”?

Being the curious girl that I am, I googled it and found myself on reading review after review about these cigarettes. Really glowing reviews. Multi-paragraph at times. Folks couldn’t say enough good things about them. I almost wanted to light up right there but well, you know. It was surreal. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never inhaled; I smoked plenty in college. But I grew up and stopped and never looked back. It’s been years and years (and YEARS) and everything I’ve surrounded myself with (including my kids) has nothing but truly awful things to say about smoking. We see the charred lungs, the nasty teeth, the awful commercial with the person smoking through the hole in their throat. It reminded me of something a friend said the other night. We were discussing how bold our daughters were when they were quite a bit younger. Willing to speak their minds to perfect strangers. She told me her daughter would walk past smokers and say things like, “Don’t they know they’ll get yellow nails? Don’t they know it shortens their lives?” As if it was possible that they didn’t. It’s easy to grin at their naiveté. Reading those reviews made me wonder if maybe people really could be that ignorant. Or they just love it THAT MUCH. I guess I just kept thinking at least one review would say something like: “I really wish I could quit but since I can’t I’ve written out my last will and testament and stocked up on oxygen tanks. I smoke Camel Wides for their smooth, full-bodied , blah, blah, blah . . . “

As much as I complain about the Laundromat, it’s a lifesaver. Where else can I get five overflowing baskets of laundry washed and dried in less than an hour and a half?

P.S. Hi Sarah! I still miss you on Facebook. Brooks says you’ll come back but I'm not holding my breathe . . .
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1 comment:

  1. I could read an entire post on the guy with the cigarette with girth and the broken screen on his phone. What his plans are. His hopes and dreams? Why WIDE? Why not Virginia Slims?


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