For the month of October my washing machine, only four years old, has been out of commission because of a broken lid that rendered the locking mechanism, likewise the machine, inoperable. Apparently not many people break washing machine lids (go figure!), so it was on back order. So I’ve been schlepping down to the local laundromat to wash my clothes. I haven’t used a community laundromat since being a newlywed thirty-one years ago. I forgot about the inconveniences of not having my own machine, though they came back to me quickly enough. But I never considered there were pros.
First of all, the obvious: you can do all your wash at once. Towels, sheets, delicates, everyday…it all goes into machines, and they are done at the same time. That’s a significant plus! However, to save money, I drag everything that’s wet back to my house and dry the loads separately. So, chalk one up for the “con” side, too.
Second, you can sit relatively undisturbed while the laundry is being washed. Yep, no crying kids (I’m beyond that anyway), no pesky dog begging to play ball or go for a walk, no husband asking you to find where he left a certain, suddenly important, paper, and no aging father(at 93) telling you about the glories of 1930’s cereals. It’s just you and the rumbling machines. And maybe a few more unsociable sorts doing their laundry as well.
Free time to write. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I’m writing this blog at the moment, facing the parking lot out the door of this fine establishment while I consider my words. Of course, you don’t have to write a blog; you can write the next chapter of your WIP, you can write an outline for your next book, you can even write your grocery list. The bottom line is that you can WRITE without interruptions. Of course, you’ll probably have to use longhand, since not too many people bring laptops to laundromats. Darn, this could go on the “con” side too…
You can daydream in a laundromat. Plan your next vacation, or your characters’ next seductive assignation. Granted, I haven’t seen any 6’2” hunks walk in here recently, with ripped arm muscles and washboard abs, but it could happen still. Right?
It doesn’t matter that the last guy in here wore a striped shirt with plaid shorts, socks with flip flops and a duffle bag of dirty clothes that he threw into a large-capacity machine without sorting. The possibility that a Scott Eastwood lookalike could walk in still has my heart hammering.
Do these pluses outweigh the minuses? The facts that I have to drag a heavy hamper into my car and then in here, that each load is $2.75, plus the $.75 a box for soap, since my HE detergent won’t work in these appliances, and that these machines have the capacity of two towels and three pieces of underwear versus my large capacity washer? That’s up to the individual’s discretion, I guess.
For me, as I drag my now-empty hamper back into the house, where my husband has fallen asleep in his chair while the news rambles on the TV screen, the dog has dropped his slimy ball at my feet, my college-age sons are playing video games instead of doing homework, and my dad is at the table enjoying his Cornflakes, the laundromat has become my sanctuary. A place that glows with an aura reminiscent of the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones movie. I almost dread the fact that the repairman is coming tomorrow to fix my washer.
But then, maybe he will look like Scott Eastwood…