Laundry Woes

I had to go to the laundrymat today, because my payload of filthy clothing had gotten quite large, thanks to my grubbing around in the garden for two days in a row. Whatever wasn’t covered in dirt was covered in Cephalexin, thanks to Mr Bell, and a friend happened to be going, so I piggybacked with him and we cruised on over to Lucy’s.

What is it about laundrymats that is so…sad, and desperate?

After all, a laundrymat is a place where you go to get your clothes clean. Clean clothing is exciting, and happy, and I love the feel of things fresh out of the dryer. So, you would think that the people in a laundrymat would be happy and excited about the clean clothes ahead, thinking about sliding into freshly laundered sheets and being able to wear a favorite shirt again. Instead, everyone is uniformly pissed off and grumpy.

Going to the laundrymat is also rather more efficient than owning your own washer and dryer, since you share machines with many people. This cuts down on overall use of resources, which is always a good thing, in my opinion. However, most people who go to laundrymats are in the lower classes, and I don’t see any resource-conscious eco-types using the laundrymat facilities. No, they have oversized houses with dedicated laundry rooms, and they can use their Ecover laundry soap and not mingle with the likes of us.

Laundrymats also always seem surprisingly dirty and unfriendly, to me. Cracked, dull linoleum and tired looked machines, a bulletin board covered in ancient notices and a screaming toddler writhing on the floor. That sums up the laundrymat, for me, although I hear that there are hip, fun, clean laundrymats where you can do things like eat dinner while your clothes wash, or use a laundrymat wifi system to while away the time you spend there.

There’s always a surly staffer who glares at you when you accidentally slam the dryer shut, and a muttering old man in the corner who smells like pee, along with one harried looking yuppie-type who wishes that ou was somewhere else, and takes it out on everyone in their vicinity. A pile of old newspaper and copies of Watchtower is mounded on a table, and you poke listlessly through it to see if there’s anything which you could tolerate reading.

Perhaps it’s because most people view laundry, at heart, as a chore. Chores, be default, cannot be enjoyable, so why would you bother making a laundrymat into a nice place to be? People are going to come either way, because they need clean clothing, so it doesn’t seem terribly important, really, to expend any effort on the facilities. All of the laundrymats here are uniformly dull and tragic, and going to them is manifestly depressing. I’m tempted to start laundering my clothes in the shower or something just to avoid the experience.

Or perhaps I should start a rival laundrymat which is fun to be in, like a restaurant with washers under the tables, so you can eat awesome food while doing your laundry. Since I’ve been longing for 24 hour Indian food and a laundrymat that doesn’t depress me, maybe I have found my calling…