Tag Archives: laundry

The beast of laundry

At this time in my life, doing laundry is a beast.

Almost continuously for the past 9 years, since I left home to go to college, I’ve been carting my laundry all over creation. I live for the day in which I will have an in-unit washer and dryer. Once that happens, I promise never to complain about doing laundry again!

Or at least I promise to try not to complain about doing laundry again.

Hey, I can’t set the standards too high or I’m just setting myself up for failure. I must retain my right to complain . . . not only is it true because it rhymes, but isn’t there an ammendment to the Constitution that says something like that? With an accompanying Normal Rockwell illustration?

Just kidding. Complaining is actually bad for your general health, so my friends: stay away. Stay positive. Say ‘no’ to whining.

Anyway, the last weekend in October, our laundry situation was getting completely out of control. The sheets were due for a wash . . . the blankets . . . the towels and bathmats . . . and at least a month’s worth of clothes.

The hampers in our bedroom were literally overflowing.

The underwear situation was in a state of emergency.

This post is designed to make those of you who have been blessed with a washer and dryer in your apartment/house grateful. Very, very grateful.

Here is the cart we use to transport the hideous pile to its destination.

Our first mission is to get it down a flight and a half of stairs. Journalistic inaccuracy alert: my husband’s first job is to get it down a flight and a half of stairs. My job is to hold the doors open.

Then we walk it down to the laundromat, which is right next to the El stop.

We come armed with waterfalls of silver coins, known to some as ‘quarters’ and known to others as ‘I can’t wash my clothes without ’em.’

Thankfully they have industrial-sized machines.

Then we hang out for about an hour and a half. Sometimes competition for the little hand carts can be fierce. Soap operas in Spanish play out on the TV’s above us. I bring a novel, and my husband brings his schoolwork.

I made some good progress through “World Without End.”

Children play, throw things, chase each other, clamber up on tables and generally make the place into a playground.

Every now and then a lucky child gets a quarter which, inserted into the slot on this little machine, will give them the ride of a lifetime as it plays the first two lines of “The itsy bitsy spider” over and over again: ‘The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout/down came the rain and washed the spider out.’

And then it repeats that same little piece of melody over . . . and over . . . and over again. It never gets to the “Up came the sun and dried out all the rain/And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again” part, and if you really start thinking about it, that’s just messed up.

Twisted, like.

The person who designed this machine was probably a murderous maniac who just didn’t want the itsy bitsy spider to survive.

I can find no other logical explanation.

The ever-repeating little ditty happens to make me murderous as well, which was probably also in his plan all along: to turn normal, everyday citizens into frantic killing machines. I mean, if the itsy bitsy spider doesn’t make it, what hope is there for the rest of us? Why continue this sham called ‘life’ anyway?

I’ve considered personally disabling this machine, but (if caught) that might mean switching laundromats forever. And I’m not willing to go any further from home than this, not even to save myself from the brainwashing effects of this childrens’ ride.

Oh, the laundromat. How I love it, and how I hate it.

In my desire to document the laundrifying experience for future generations, me and my point and shoot camera did the rounds and captured the sights.

I felt that lugging out my Nikon D5000 might attract unwanted attention from the owners, which is why some of these pictures are not as crisp as I would have liked.

“Why are you taking pictures?” they might demand.

“Well, you see, I’m, uh . . . like, um, a blogger?”

I wonder if they would have understood.

All done! You can see the pile of neatly folded towels on top, proof that our task is complete–for now.

And my husband’s expression–“Um, Jenna, so, why are you taking pictures of me?”

“Well, baby, like, um, . . . I’m a blogger?”

He still seems surprised when I whip out my camera.

A couple more years of ruthless blogging and he’ll be totally used to it. I just have to keep breaking him in.

“But it’s time to eat,” he’ll say–“the food is hot!” “But I have to take a picture of the food first, see?” I try to explain. And that’s how it goes.

Dear future Jenna (now in possession of her own washer and dryer),

One day, Lord willing, you will have a small group of laundry-producing little tykes living with you, otherwise known as children. Especially if you decide to do reusable diapers, you are bound to have lots of laundry. You may be tempted to complain occasionally. Please let this post be a humble reminder that at least you don’t have to cart the laundry outside and inside and outside and inside again. At least you can just walk it across the hall and put it straight into the cleaning machines. At least you never have to listen to ‘the itsy bitsy spider’ song again. So wipe that grimace off your face and start laundrifying with a smile!


your past self, for whom the transportation of laundry hither and thither is not my most favorite thing to do