Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hey! Those Are Mine

What is it about laundry that is so intimate? Maybe it isn't and it's just me? Either way, I view laundry as something personal. Actually, I only view my laundry as personal. I have always folded and done other people's laundry, but the thought of stranger doing mine, makes me quiver. I don't need (or want) someone knowing my business. I guess because laundry reveals a lot about someone, it intimidates me...a slight fear of being judged? (Oh God, here comes my perfectionism again)

Although there are many perks and possibilities with city, one downfall of apartment living is the communal laundry room; Could be a perk, it beats going to the launda-mat?!?! However, in my building we have 3 washers and 3 dryers for 50 apartments. Most people work Monday-Friday 9-5,meaning the washers and dryers are tied up Monday-Friday 5-11, and all day saturday and sunday. Luckily for me, I'm blessed to work the graveyard shift (7:30p-8a), so I don't usually run into issues, one would think. However, I never seem to get the laundry done on those random Tuesdays when everyone else is sitting behind their desks. No, instead I don't realize that I need to wash things until I notice that I have no clean sports bras and only thongs and it's 5pm on a night that I have to work. *FYI, never wear a thong with scrubs. #1- You feel dirty, #2- if your top so happens to ride up, or you are wearing scrubs 3 sizes too big and your pants slip down, granny panties are much more discrete.*


In an attempt to avoid the laundry room rush, I zoom down to the basement, toss in a load of darks and a load of whites, pour in my detergent, shell out $2.00 for each load, and note that I have 36 minutes until they are done. 34 minutes later I prepare to haul it back to the basement. Wait, my phone is ringing. ugh, it's the chattty friend who always has drama and whose phone calls I try and avoid. But this is the 3rd time she's called, so I must pick up.
20 minutes and 4 attempts at hanging up later, I race to the basement to change over my laundry. But what do I See? MY laundry, thrown on top of the folding table, colors and whites alike. Oh yeah, there are few stray pairs of granny panties on the floor.
I feel so violated!
Someone else touched MY laundry.
I know it's silly, but the though of someone pulling my clothes out of the dryer, someone that I don't know, and touching them creeps me out. I know that 99% of the people in my building could care less about what I wear and just want to get their own laundry done, but still I'm distressed. Needless to say, there is only 1 free dryer so it all goes in and I pray that it's done before I have to leave for work. It takes 38 minutes, yup, I should be fine.

It's not as though any harm was done in the above scenario, but it got me thinking. Why can I wash and fold other people's clothes without bother? Maybe it's because I know them? In college, I used to help the boys in my hall out with their laundry (especially after a few of them ended up with pink sheets and socks). I've done ex-boyfriends laundry. I've done laundry of the people I babysit for...heck, I've even done my grandpa's laundry.

Suddenly, the meager 3 washers and dryers have a whole new appeal. For the sake of privacy and modesty, I'll stay up until all hours of the night and/or plan much better to get it done because one thing is for sure...I'll never jump at the NEw York trend of sending my laundry out!

So to all those of you whose laundry I've done, apologies if I have invaded your intimate zone., but I'm pretty sure you would have told me. Just know that it's not your laundry that weirds me out, it's complete strangers seeing mine.

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