(For the next month, I will be posting classic columns as I anticipate being less than useless after performing on the weekends until mid-October. Enjoy.)
Washer/Dryers are an amazing luxury item to me. Things that I covet with increasing regularity especially when it is raining. Like today.
When I was growing up we had a washer/dryer. Everyone did. I mean, only the white trash down by the railroad tracks washed their knickers in the crick with a rock. OK, there were no white trash in my neighborhood and no cricks but the point is made. When I moved out, there were washer/dryers in my next 5 places. Then I moved in with Kat over on California in Pasadena. It was a lovely flat. Beautiful. We had such a deal! There was a hook up in the laundry room but we were poor and living on pasta and potatoes so no washer/dryer. It was the laundrymat for us. That was especially nasty after Faire weekends when we would have to wash our costummes and clothes along with our regular items. My Subaru Justy stinked of Faire. We were the Jode Family. Tents, sleeping bags, blankets, tarps all piled into the hatch of my car that I would drive around with all week.
Then one day Kat bought a washer. A washer but no dryer. She couldn’t afford the dryer. So we would hang our clothes outside like white trash, our knickers flappin in the wind or inside in the laundry room during rainy days. That room always smelled like water and faire and cats and old wine but it was better than the crick and the rock.
A few years later I moved in with Ruthie and we had a washer/dryer again. When I moved back to my own place, no washer. It was then that I discovered the laundrymat. Once I bought my house, one plus was the washer/dryer in the basement. The old lady I bought the house from asked if I wanted it. I curse that woman’s name every time I think about it (like now). As soon as the papers were signed and I got the keys, I brought my laundry over so I could do laundry in my own washer/dryer. Everything was going fine. Until the water in the washer wouldn’t drain. I took everything out, wrung it out in the sink and put it in the dryer. Dryer was broken. I hate that old woman. Do you know how long it takes a washer full of water to evaporate? Three Years. Don’t ask. I was too traumatized to try to drain it with a hose.
So it is back to the laundrymat. I use one in Piedmont. When choosing a laundry it is important to take certain things into consideration.
A) Location: Must be in a nice middle – upper middle class area with open businesses and respectable traffic. Meaning no crack whores and drug dealers to rob, rape or kill you.
B) Price: Must be reasonably priced. I don’t pay $3 a load. That is crap.
C) Appearance: Must be clean. I dont want to sit on sticky seats or have to deal with tables that have large penises carved into them.
My laundry opens at 6:30am. I usually go on Sundays first thing. This way I can park for free, don’t have to deal with mothers doing 10 loads (taking most if not all of the available machines) while chasing 3 screaming kids around. There is a Starbucks on one corner, a Peets on the other and a Posh Bagel across the street. There is a change machine, very few homeless people come by and bother you and the people I see are nice. It’s like a little club. The Sunday morning laundry club. Same people, there at 6:30am. In the winter it’s still dark and now it’s raining. Have to park across the street and haul my laundry over. I sit, read my book and think with longing of beautiful, shiny wahser/dryers. Even more so for one of those fancy hanging dryer shelf things they sell now. They are so pretty. I sometimes just stare at them at Home Depot with deep envy. Ah yes, washer/dryers and sample kitchens are my fantasy crack. Do you know they have self closing drawers now?!
Anyway, so on the list of things for a new apartment are (a) my own parking place, (b) a kitchen bigger than a postage stamp and (c) a washer/dryer. One of these days I will be able to wash my clothes in the privacy of my own home, starkers if I feel like it. Yup, that’ll be the day!