Saturday, January 10, 2009


Prior to living in NYC, I had been blessed with the apparent privilege of having laundry located somewhere in the same vicinity or actual space in which I lived.

Oh man was it ever a CHORE to go down 3 flights of stairs into the basement of my Chicago apartment building if I wanted to do laundry once a week. Oh the agony of waiting comfortably in my own living room while the cycles completed and egad, the utter pain of folding my unmentionables in the privacy of my clean bedroom! Booooo hooooo hooooo hoooooo.

Now after 3 years of living in NYC which can only be described as all out war, I have a new attitude toward laundry. It is something that maybe happens once a month; no longer a commonplace chore but a hard won battle to have clean clothing and I dread doing it. Washers and dryers are for the wealthy. And even wealthy people don't have these appliances but can at least afford to have someone pick up their laundry and do it for them. I am left to the world of laundromats; a world where you spar with tiny Polish women for the good dryer. In this world, people steal your belongings, ram you with wobbly carts, and yell at you for taking up too much counter space.

Considering I don't have a ton of garments anymore, I somehow acrue mountains of dirty laundry that sits in the corner of my room and mocks me as I turn a pair of socks inside out to wear another day. I sniff the seat of my jeans while shrugging my shoulders; "Someone on the F train is definitely going to smell worse than me", I often think to myself.

Living in my part of Brooklyn there is one laundromat an avenue up the street which apparently services the entire neighborhood with it's 4 washers and 4 dryers. All of this is crammed into a space the size of a walk-in closet and it's easily 110 degrees inside. Screaming children run in and out of the laundromat and whiz by on scooters out front. And of course there is a line to even use the machines. NO. Give me a mother scratching break.

After dragging an awkward, 30 pound bag of laundry for almost 20 minutes and sweating profusely, it dawns on me why everyone has those little push carts. This is the NY equivalent of a vehicle.

So, instead of buying a metal cart, for almost 3 years I have sneakily borrowed my neighbor's during the day when they are not home. I get everything ready to go for my 3-hour outing and push off from my apartment to wheel my filthy apparel over half a mile away to the more remote laundromat I found. Without fail, I always hit a pothole in the road as I am crossing this one intersection and either my laundry jumps out the top of the cart into the street, the cart gets stuck and i tumble over it hitting my shin, or both happen at once but usually only on a rainy day.

By the time I get to the laundromat, my mood can only be described as "foul". Sure, this laundromat is far more spacious than the local one, but somehow 1 little old lady has taken up every washer to launder bedspreads covered with cat hair. The smell of a dirty diaper hangs thick in the air even though there is no baby in sight.

Telemundo blares on the TV and the vending machine is broken.

Man, I don't belong here. But then I ran across this ad and it angered me.

It makes me wonder, how on earth did someone get the idea that a laundromat is a place for sexy, young adults to gather and wear $300 pairs of jeans?

Goddammit, let that old lady in, you trust-fund brats! As much as I can't stand her for taking up all the dryers, I am one of her and if you mess with her, you mess with me!

This director has clearly never spent a day with real people doing laundry in a laundromat; disgruntled, defeaten and certainly not above stealing your designer jeans.

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