Friday, March 27, 2009

laundrophobia

If there is any constant in my hectic life, it is laundry. I am trying to cut down from having to do it two times to only once a week. Not sure this will save me money in the laundry room, but at least it will save me time. Theoretically.

Last night I had six loads: sheets, towels, kid's, mine, cold water stuff. I did the laundry night shuffle. Kid and I go downstairs to the laundry room. She brings a toy and plays while I sort and load. Back upstairs, I get her in the bath, and then apres bath I go down to load the dryers while she watches cartoons in her jammies (What a life! Enjoy it, kid!) Back upstairs to fix dinner, more cartoons, eat, watch Stevie Wonder (Stevie!) on American Idol, and then back downstairs to collect everything. Except - even though I had everything perfectly timed, I must have arrived a few minutes after the dryer stopped. At least long enough for some twerp to dump my sheets and pillowcases on the folding table. I must have just missed him (judging from the clothes spinning around in my former dryer it was a him). Isn't there some kind of laundry room etiquette that a person should wait at least five minutes or so before manhandling someone else's things? At least it wasn't our clothes all over the place. I loaded up the rest of my clean laundry to take back upstairs for folding and just stared at my messed up sheets. I suddenly was angry and skeeved out at the same time. I brought the rest of the laundry back upstairs, grabbed the detergent, went back downstairs and threw the sheets, etc. back in a washer. Craptastic.

Over reaction? Maybe. This isn't the first time this has ever happened to me, but somehow I couldn't imagine us lying on pillowcases that our unknown neighbor had tossed around willy nilly. Maybe if they had been more nicely arranged, rather than so unceremoniously dumped, looking as if they had beeen picked up from the floor. Maybe if everyone and their brother wasn't coughing up a lung these days. I don't know. So - more work for me, and the kid had to deal with a severely cranky mom for the rest of the evening (luckily for her, it was almost bedtime.)

Sigh. When I lived in Brooklyn, I used to drag a huge bag every two weeks to the local laundromat a few blocks away. Then I discovered they actually had a laundry service, so for a few bucks more, I let them do the fluffing and folding. When I moved into this building and saw the huge laundry room I was pleased. It seemed so convenient, I could just hop on the elevator and wheel in my cart full of dirty duds. After I had my daughter the frequency and size of loads increased. And it's expensive.

I'm not ready to look into a laundry service again, and it seems crazy to take my business elsewhere when there's all these machines right here, but...hmmm. Of course D.C. isn't Brooklyn or New York, where there were laundromats everywhere, because most apartment buildings didn't have laundry rooms.

I love living in the city, but sometimes the inhumanity of apartment living can get me down. For such a big building, we actually do know a good deal of our neighbors, at least well enough to say hello to. But like D.C., the residents are pretty transient. I guess in future I will have to make more of an effort to get downstairs before the drying cycle is done, so I don't develop severe laundrophobia.

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