Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Laundry Laments

“A picture is worth a thousand words..”
Frederick R. Barnard (perhaps!)

Laundry has actually been a chore I have never minded.  You can be doing so many other things while doing it.  (Back to the days of where life was a long list of multi-tasking..)  Now there has been much talk over the years of all the things I have ruined as a laundress.  But, whatever, I did a lovely job 85% of the time.  And, you know what they say ”You don’t like it?  Do it yourself!”

Dennisport beach
without the Tower..
 The first time I ever used a laundry-mat was the summer of ’76.  My first summer on Cape Cod without parents!  (A lovely right of passage for many of us from the Boston area.  Working, usually waitressing, and playing on the Cape.)  Since I lived at home and commuted to college, it was my first foray into taking care of myself.  I lived in a girls’ animal house.  And, it was one of the best summers of my life.  But, the laundry-mat next to the Tastee Tower of Pizza on Lower Country in Dennisport may be why I have had a life long aversion to public laundry-mats…

Wedding site..
The next public laundrymat I had to use was in my apartment building in Del Rio, Texas.  Oh, dear, so much could be written about Del Rio.  I was oh so young, a newly married bride of a not so officer and gentleman.  I worked very hard at being a good officer’s wife, as they told us we were supposed to at the Officer’s Wive’s Club luncheon given to us before our weddings at the infamous chapel on Graduation Week.  I think we all know how that turned out…

So, now many years later, rebuilding my life, yet again, and living in my city of dreams, New York, I now have no personal washer and dryer.  Streeteasy has a cute add campaign all over the MTA, NYC’s trains and buses, about apartments and what it means to have made it home-wise in the Big Apple.  Moving into the Hx3, I was consoled by the fact that there was a laundry room in the basement.  So, I simply took the elevator to the basement, and was still able to get a lot of other stuff “done” while doing laundry.

Last December having been told I must move, I quickly learned that in this Metropolis, walk-up buildings have no laundry facilities.  Elevator buildings do.  I have absolutely no idea why.  So, when I found my beautiful new home on Craigslist, it was immediately apparent there was no laundry onsite.  One reason I didn’t take a one bedroom; really didn’t want to traipse 3-4 flights with bags, etc.  (And believe it or not my tiny studio has more closet space than the one-bedrooms.) 

Why I took my new home, and love it!
It took me a month before I visited the laundry-mat two doors down.  What the hell was I afraid of?   I had sold, given and thrown away almost every “thing” I loved just over a year ago.  I moved to one of the biggest cities in the world, alone, and have worked very hard at re-building my life.  It’s been amazing..  Still, my “thing” about laundry-mats hadn’t abated.  Having no choice as I was running out of clean undies, I went two doors down.  And, yes, it truly was painless, actually easier than in my last building as I had just a few steps between the two buildings to conquer, and I still could come home and do “stuff” as things were washing, then drying.

Two weeks ago, I happily wandered over to my laundry-mat to   Dryers not available”.  A neighborhood man had taken it upon himself to be the messenger.  The building had a gas leak.  (There have been too many of those in this city lately.  Some resulting in homes and lives lost.  Now it is not being taken lightly.)  So, it would be a while before the building had gas again. The man explained he simply had things hanging all over his apartment.  So, with memories of Mom hanging out our clothes on two clotheslines on Houston Ave, I thought, “O.K.  I can do this.”
see a big sign.. ”Washing only.

Walking home later that week, there was a new big sign on my laundry-mat.  “Closing for a few months to renovate while the gas is being fixed.  Our sister shop around the corner is available for drop-off and pickup.  Sorry for the inconvenience.”  Oh, s…  The talk in my garden amongst my new neighbors, my new Lady Friends, was  “Where do we go?”

I accept my age..
I saw on my travels in the ‘hood a couple of blocks away, another laundry-mat.  Ok, good, not too   But now my laundry is building up again, including sheets and towels.  To digress a bit, when I moved down to NYC full-time, having given away my car, Kristi jokingly said, “Mom, now you’ll have to buy one of those rolling carts that the old ladies use to do their shopping!”  I replied, “That’ll never happen.”  Well, guess what?!  Never say never.  Off to Bed Bath and Beyond  I went to buy myself a nice little rolling cart as I didn’t want to be the old lady Santa walking the streets of Manhattan with my big bags of laundry.  My back and shoulder have made me pay enough for abusing them over the years.

Walking home from my stint in my Park  (Central) the other evening I walked by “my new” laundry-mat to check on their times.  I had one pair of clean undies left.  I had no choice.  A young guy was taping up a sign that stating there were only 4 hours a week available for “self-laundry”.  All had to be dropped off.    I asked him what had happened.  Their sister shop up in the 80’s was having gas issues.

A month's worth of laundry!
Oh, for God’s sake.  Believe me, I already do many things by hand, but everything?  So, I decided whatever, I’d treat myself.  I brought my laundry around the corner to “One Stop Do All’s” sister shop to drop my laundry off.  Later that day, I went back over to pick it up.  OMG, I am now in love and hooked.  I may never do laundry again.  Yes, it was more expensive, but, OMG.  In discussing this with my new Ladies in our garden, I was told that they even pick up and deliver!  I love NYC!