On Sunday, I went to the laundromat, and I realized something – the laundromat has been a staple in my life for much longer than I realized.
I remember going to the laundromat as a kid; I also remember not liking it, even though it involved absolutely no work on my end. The place was sort of old, and the TVs only had news channels playing.
As I grew older, my parents moved into homes with washers and dryers (although we did have a clothesline in at least one of my backyards). I learned, and did, my own laundry in middle school.
Once I got to college, the dorms had a laundry room, but it only had two washers and two dryers – I quickly learned that going off campus was probably my best bet. I also heard way too many horror stories about cute guys in the laundry room seeing co-ed underwear or whatever. I wasn’t having it.
There was a place just a few blocks off-campus called “The Soap Opera”, and to this day, that still has to be the best name for a laundromat, ever. It was on the edge of campus, near an area that was a tad rough.
But whatever, I showed up with my quarters, powdered soap, and one of those collapsable hampers full of my dirty clothes. I followed the directions printed on the washing machine: add clothes, add soap, add coins, start.
I waved over the attendant; an older, thin woman with graying hair.
“I don’t know what happened,” I said. “The water just isn’t coming out.”
She opened the lid, looked inside, and let the lid drop with a loud “thud.” Then she slammed her fist onto the lid, and with that, the water started.
“Sometimes you just have to give it that extra somethin’,” she said.
It was a moment I’ll never forget, and I continued washing my clothes there until I found a washer and dryer elsewhere – usually at a sorority sister’s house who was willing to share.
Once I got my own apartment, I enjoyed the luxury of having my own washer and dryer, but when I was looking for apartments, I decided that a washer and dryer was something I’d be willing to give up (on top of other things) in trade for a lower rent payment.
Currently, my apartment has a big closet housing a washer and dryer hookup, but I use it for storage (a filing cabinet, Christmas decor, and a crafting table). I told myself I would simply go to the laundromat for as long as I could stand it, and if I really started to hate it – I could look into renting the appliances or be watchful for a sale.
But, here I am almost two years later, and I still am okay with going to my laundromat, “The Washatopia” (leave it to laundromats for the clever names). The place is clean, it takes a little card so I don’t have to worry about quarters, plus there’s free wifi – and there’s lots of TVs. And yes, they show the news, which is enjoyable 25 years later.
Going to the laundromat makes laundry a task that I simply just DO and it takes around two hours from loading my car, driving there, washing, driving, hanging, and heading home. When I’ve had a washer and dryer at home, it seemed to take foreverrrrrr – and I also don’t have to worry about the appliances racking up my water or electric bills, or anything breaking down.
Plus, there’s always a lot of great people watching to be had at the laundromat. It’s really a win-win, so don’t be shocked if my next novel has a plot at a place like “The Soap Opera”.
Hola! I wanted to offer a quick apology for my lack of posts last week — it’s been a crazy few weeks with the move and all. I was really struggling to function, let alone get my five blog posts in. But I’m back in action and ready to roll!
So, life in Austin means life without a washer/dryer. Of course, there were many options for apartments with said appliances, but I went into my search really focusing on finding a place that would be less of a financial burden than places of my past — even if that meant giving up a few luxury items I was used to.
While I’ve had a washer/dryer in my apartment for 8 years, I honestly don’t do THAT much laundry. Maybe a load per week, two if I’m washing sheets and towels. The apartment that I found, not to get too in depth, is $210/month less than my old apartment. So, cya washer/dryer, I’m onto the laundromat!
So, Saturday afternoon I found a laundromat that offered hi-tech machines equipped with card machines — I was NOT going to deal with quarters. I brought my own laundry detergent and dryer sheets, along with a La Croix and a stack of magazines.
Awesomely enough, the washing machines use soft water so the machine instructed me to use half the normal amount of detergent (more money to save!). So, I set up two loads, and 27 minutes later (plus $3), the loads were done. The dryers at this place are HUGE, so both of my wash loads fit into one dryer and were completely dry in 30 minutes for $2.
All in all, it was $5 for two complete loads, and one hour of my time.
Sure, I’m aware it’s a little bit of an inconvenience… and many of my friends think this new hobby of mine won’t last long.
But, I have to say $5 for two loads of laundry was way cheaper than I expected, PLUS, when I got home, all of my laundry was done, all I had to do was put it away, and finally, since I don’t have the appliances in my apartment, I have a giant closet where the hookup is that I’m now using as a mini office/utility closet. MEGA score (I hate looking at my filing cabinet)!!!
I think I also have this fantasy that I’ll meet a hot guy at the Washatopia (where it’s “Loads of fun!). Think about it: he’ll be there and in desperate need of a dryer sheet, and I’ll be there fully equipped with my all-natural, organic vegan dryer sheets. Right?!
In college, I went to the laundromat (it was called the Soap Opera, best name EVER), each week and I used the time to study. I remember the first time I went there, I was really nervous, as it was on that edge of campus where things go from okay, to really bad.
I put in my detergent (the powder kind) and my clothes and my money… and the water doesn’t turn on. So, I had to consult the attendant, an older woman, and she merely walked over to the machine, closed the lid, and slammed her fist onto it.
Worked like a charm!
Okay, speaking of chores, I do have a little housekeeping to do:
- Remember the quilt I had made from all of my old t-shirts?! I got it back, and it looks FABULOUS (pictured above), and the better news is, you can still use my code to get 20% off your very own quilt! Use this code, and if you’ve got no clue WHAT I’m talking about, check out my previous blog post on Project Repat.
- Tomorrow’s post is incredibly steamy and inappropriate, so just note that the password will be “sexy” (minus the quotes). And yes, I realize I’m putting it right out there, but I’m confident people won’t read this far and actually GET the password.
- You can always follow me on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 to see what’s happening in my world all day everyday — I see all my new followers and I just love it! Hope to see you snapping with us TODAY!