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3/10/12

Observations: Tales from the Laundromat

For a brief period, I didn't have a working dryer.  Because of budgeting and aggressively trying to catch up on debts, I didn't have enough money to immediately replace it.  This meant trips to the laundromat, and lots of blog fodder.

Laundromats are always awkward, especially for guys.  When I'm home, I usually do laundry at the last minute, meaning I'm wandering around the house in boxer-briefs while folding clothes.

For some reason, they don't let you do that in public anymore... but you know what?  In Eastern Idaho, that's a good thing.  I don't know what's in the water, but there are 25 ugly people in this town for every one "7" or above...

To avoid the crowds, I went at 8am on a Saturday.  I painfully put a $20 in the change machine, and started to do my thing.

At the time, there was only one family in the laundromat with me:  A mother and her two teenage daughters.  The trio were a sight to behold.  Mom was in thin workout pants that showed off her gigantic striped granny panties underneath, and the daughters weren't any better.

Mom would constantly yell to them about this and that, then run to the truck for a smoke.  When mom was away, the girls would play...

Dem shoes...
They would race in carts, or sit on top of washers during the spin cycle ("this unbalanced load feels gooooooooood....")

I snapped a few pictures, but sadly wasn't paying attention when the cart tipped and one girl took a header onto the floor.

She was ok, but really embarrassed.  They were quiet the rest of the trip.

Mom, with the striped double-wide, flirted with all the male laundry-goers that walked in.  She was a scary looking beast, but the guys were too, so of course they hit it off.

Other patrons would rock in the chairs, singing incoherently to themselves.  The token 'stare-mesmerized-into-the-dryer-for-a-long-period-of-time' dude was here, as were the 'I'm-going-to-camp-out-in-front-of-the-washer-so-nobody-can-steal-my-undies' people.

And, of course, the children.  After all, this isn't a laundromat, this is a playground...  I especially loved the mom who brought in toys for their kids.  Not toys like coloring books or blocks.  I'm talking BIG WHEELS and a scooter.  The world is your obstacle course, kid, and I'm only one more thing to drive around/over...

So maybe Saturday wasn't the best day to do this...
As the place got more and more crowded, people started fighting for machines.  Luckily my clothes were all in dryers at this point, so I didn't have to play the territorial game.  As my clothes neared completion, people started arguing over who called dibs on my dryer.  As they were fighting and getting ready to pounce, I turned into an ass.

I put a few more quarters in, just to "make sure everything was dry" and to make them wait a few more minutes.

That, and so I could stare at the ugliest feet I've ever seen, to try and understand why someone would do this to themselves...


Mismatched socks, beat-up sheep slippers that looked older than me, and it didn't go with the rest of what she was wearing.  It made no sense.

Then again, it's laundry day.  Throw on your leftovers, so you can clean everything else...
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20 witty retorts:

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

That is freakin' hilarious!!!!!!! As for the mismatched socks, that is THE style these days for kids. They actually sell mismatched socks in pairs and there are whole stores devoted to nothing BUT mismatched socks. My son LOVES wearing mismatched socks. CRAZY!!!!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Nothing digs out the creative antics quite like doing laundry in a crowded public area, child or not!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Welcome to the underclass my friend, people who have not yet become self aware.

Pish Posh said...

Haha. I used to live in the city and would do my laundry in a Latino neighborhood where we'd all drink beer and watch Mexican soap operas while doing our laundry. It was pretty sweet.

But I've also lived places where I had to go sit in my car while the laundry was doing its thing because the people there were so frightening. I'm washing my underwear, jackass, we're not on a date.

Crack You Whip said...

This so funny! Love that you thought to snap plenty of pics! I enjoy watching the people if ever I have to go to the laundry mat. I bring popcorn.

When they are finished doing their laundry, they go to Walmart...

Lil Dreamer said...

Maybe Jerry Springer should set up shop in a laundromat... that might make for some good material!!

THE SNEE said...

Wow! Did this post ring true with me. I spent a year in the laundromat and couldn't really get over how many people I wasn't interested in getting to know better. It's sort of shocking that a facility dedicated to getting things cleaner can be so....what's the word I'm looking for? Dirty? Murky? Muddy? Stanky? ignorant perhaps?

meandmythinkingcap said...

Now what I am supposed to wear matching socks and heels to laundromat?
Moral of the post:
1. Dont go to laundromats which doesnt have "photography not allowed" warning.
2.Dont choose morning time in laundromat
3.train the kids and send them or send the husband.
4.If dont get looked at, dress up fine and go to laundromat not bar, may boost confidence because there are looking fine woman there in laundromat. :)

G said...

I quite like those socks...they remind me of the 80's

Adsila said...

Haha, that was frickin' funny. Thanks for the visuals too.

D4 said...

Ah man, you did what I would've. Put a few extra quarters in there, amazing. I would applause!

Bozo said...

I want to got to a laundromat! There aren't any here, but next time I travel it will be on my list of things to do lol...

Loved the pictures! Did you take them with a blog post in mind? Or did you just feel like the moment had to be captured?

Brandon @ www.lostinidaho.me said...

I've blogged about observations before, and the lightbulb went off while watching these people.

I said to myself "I have a new post!" and instantly started snapping pictures.

Thank, Q said...

When I first moved out of my parents' home, I had to do the laundromat thing for a year. I would see some of the most interesting people there. I went cross-town to one spot in particular because they have the finest women, er, uh, I mean washers.

Baur said...

Very interesting!

Hey Monkey Butt said...

look at dem shoes... those are nasty shoes. lol I dont miss the days at the laundry mat and don't want to go at it again. I think Id sell my soul first or something.

Mynx said...

Last time I used a laundromat I was in Fiji. At a resort. You would have liked it, the only other person using it was in a white crochet bikini and if i say so myself, she rocked it (bitch)

AccordingtoJewels said...

I've never been more thankful to have never used a single laundry mat in all my life. I have no patience for that kind of shit.

Michael said...

I have laundry in the basement of my building but if I've let it pile up or have towels/blankets to wash I hit the mat. I fortunately don't have to deal with any crazies.

Kim Gibson said...

Yay! I found a fellow Idaho blogger! OMGosh!This post made my morning! Still laughing!

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