Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Laundering Out

Leading up to the closing days of August, I had never lived in a place which lacked on-site laundry facilities. Most of those years, the laundry was really not even my concern. Sure, if I had been a more responsible son I might have handled the laundry myself every once in a while, but I have no interest in re-writing history. As it was, others shouldered the burden. Apart from that, I did my own laundry, and did it in the same place where I lived. At summer camp, many of us were just learning how to do it. The facilities were right there among the staff cabins. I benefited from the tutelage of the camp staff scoutmaster, who oversaw the living quarters for junior staff. Also helping was the very limited nature of clothing that had to be washed. We all had the same green pants, green (and later tan) t-shirts, and tan formal shirts. Later situations were not so easy.

In college, I lived in two different buildings which were about the same as far as laundry went. I had to load up items of my luggage with clothes, and take then down to the second floor of our building in the elevator. I lived on something like the tenth floor. The machines were more or less reliable, one exceptional occasion aside. I could get the laundry going, then return to my room and do something else, which I liked. I also could remain down in the laundry room and occupy myself with the tv or socialize with others, but I never seemed to like what was on tv, and I had no friends there with whom I might socialize. That was fine by me at the time. It was a basically acceptable situation where laundry was concerned.

Once in Los Angeles, I was again on my own to do the laundry. The hostel in Koreatown was my first stop. I can't recall the laundry there, but I think I may not have been there long enough to use the facilities. I think they were there. In any case, I was on to my next place fairly quickly. Though it was a duplex, there were machines there leased by the landlord. They were unreliable. The washer worked all right, but not so the dryer. I could let the clothes tumble in that thing for days and have them come out as damp as they went it. It had no functioning heating apparatus, I guess. I used a clothesline that basically did the job. My next place had more dependable machines, but not many more of them in spite of the building having many more units. It required planning to get the laundry done adequately. At least they were there in the complex.

Where I am now, we have no machines of our own to use. It's an inconvenience for anyone, but more so for me. Others have vehicles to move their laundry, and I have as much laundry as any man. It's heavy and unwieldy. I have no different means of bringing it to and from a laundromat than I ever have. I pack it into duffel bags and lug it by dint of the muscles with witch I am modestly built. That's not so bad, I guess, and the facilities at the laundromat outstrip those of any building I have lived in. There are single and triple load washers, as well as triple load dryers. There are vending machines offering everything from snacks to needed clothes-washing accessories. I also can use their tables for folding and the sink for pre-washing (though you know well that I won't do the latter).

Measuring the pros and cons of it, I find it to be a wash. I don't feel comfortable walking back to my place and doing something else as I once did. I maybe could, but I wonder if my clothes would be safe, and anyway under such conditions it amounts to nothing better than reading at the laundromat. Besides, attractive women wash their clothes like anyone else, but seldom come to visit me in my home. Perhaps this apparent inconvenience is yet another step out of my comfort zone and into the real world of growth and fuller living. I certainly hope that shall be the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you, netizen?