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The Epic of the Laundry

In which our hero shows he can be a weenie…

OK, I may have been a weenie. I present the (obviously biased; I mean, I’m me) evidence for you to ponder. You might be glad I don’t do all the things I think.

My apartment building has 10 studios, one 1-bedroom apartment, and one washer and dryer. Usually this is enough for all of us and our laundrying needs. I started this weekend with an on-the-verge-of-overflowing laundry basket and the knowledge that yep, I’d need to do at least a load, ideally Saturday. (Cleeeeeeeeen. It’s important to be clean. Cleeeeeeeeen.) I tend to wake up pre-dawn, whether it’s the week or the weekend, so I figured early Saturday would be a good time to get started. So I woke up and checked on the laundry room. A finished load was in the washer.

It was there in the midday when I left to buy groceries. It was there when I got back. It was there when I left for my next trip up to Everyday Music and Burgerville. It was still there when I got back. Half an hour of washing on Friday night + a full day of mellowing = someone either forgot or had to leave (or left and then forgot). Which is a pet peeve of mine: Other people need to do laundry. We shouldn’t have to wait that long because you forgot.

Now, I could’ve unloaded the wet clothes. I’ve lived in a college dorm; I’m not squeamish about touching other people’s laundry. But I didn’t want to. That’s different from unloading a dried load; whoever this person was didn’t deserve to have clean wet clothes possibly get dirtied again. If that person was out, then there’d be no point in knocking on doors to ask “Hey, that your washer load?,” which I also didn’t want to do. I figured I’d wait. Be patient. Check in the morning; I was tired, and more in the mood to sleep than wrangle with laundry, both mine and someone else’s. I’d unload if the washing machine were still loaded Sunday morning.

It was still loaded Sunday morning. Okay, now the knocking on doors seemed a better idea. But early Sunday morning’s a bad time for that. So more waiting; still hesitant to unload. Finally, I went down and saw evidence that someone other than me had gone there! But here it got slightly confusing, because a load was drying, and the washer was open. With wet clothes still in it. Okay, wait more. Next visit, the dryer was emptied; the washer still had wet clothes. I ran up to my studio, got paper towels, put them on the counter, and put the wet clothes on top of that. So at least I did it in a sanitary way. (I’ll be what I am. Sanitary Man.) My washing began. And next time I went to the basement, my wash load was finishing and the clothes I’d unloaded were drying. By the time that dryer load finished, I parked myself in the laundry room with a book, on the off chance that the other person would arrive and unload presently. (I like the word “presently.”)

Nope, no unloading, even after waiting awhile, even after that person had to remember the load. I have less compunction about unloading someone’s dry clothes, so I did. I loaded my load, and I admit, by then I was annoyed.

How did I show that? With the thought I should’ve started skipping through the building, making a little bit of noise and just saying “Laundry, laundry, laundry…”

Yeah, I know, really passive-aggressive of me. I also resisted leaving a note in the front entrance that said Is it that hard to remember your laundry? Really? That would’ve been even more passive-aggressive and obnoxious. And jeez, Chris, this could’ve been solved by listening to which apartments had sound coming from them and knocking on those doors and asking people. Is it really so hard to find whose laundry it is and ask that person to finish it?

Yeah, I have issues.

This has been a true story.


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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February 2024


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