Thursday, December 15, 2005

Washer and Dryer in Unit

When I saw the listing a couple of months ago for our apartment, there was a long list of upscale features and amenities, but I couldn't read past the words "washer and dryer in unit." It was like the words were a roar in my ear: washeranddryerinunit, jumbling all over themselves in tumble dry low.

Up until now, I had to take our laundry out to the local laundromat where Brian and I would meet up with a group of other non-washeranddryerinunits. We are the Laundry Gang, as if making a name for ourselves makes us more cool and exclusive. We would drink coffee and lament our washless, dryless station in life as we looked enviously at other individuals who were obviously doing shopping, laughing, enjoying life and definitely not doing laundry.

These are people who put their dirty, soiled clothes directly into units in their homes when they are otherwise unoccupied: watching tv, washing dishes, crank-calling their grandmothers. They probably have so much time, they are the people that chat with those pesky telemarketers. I mean, somebody must talking to them otherwise, there would be no money to be made in telemarketing.

They probably have no use for a gigantic laundry hamper, needed to store a weeklong pile of soiled clothes. We have three. They are blue, cylindrical and made of a tough vinyl cloth. If you tip all three of them on their side, it makes our place look like a hamster habitrail.

But ever since I moved in with the washer and dryer, I no longer had to hang out with the Laundry Gang, those pathetic, deprived individuals. But I will anyway; I like to feel smug.

I felt like I was the United States and they were the Third World, their mouths hanging and their eyes round as if our new appliances were hot, buttered loaves of bread. I want to tell them about all the advanced features just to be cruel. I'm just human.

The first week, I did laundry every night. I separated the cold wash from the hot wash, the delicates from the perma-press. I got excited at the sorting possibilities, I no longer have to throw everything in the same load to save money at the laundromat. I grew creative with my sorting: work clothes, formal attire, casual sex clothes. I sorted whites, colors, my glow-in-the-darks (which are perfect for the backroom at The Ram).

I remember once, I had thrown in a single pair of white briefs with the colors because I had already started the load of whites. I could make a joke about white loads here, but that's why the briefs needed to be washed.

Anyway, the briefs must have decided to elope with my red sweatshirt while it was in there because when it came out, it was pink.

I still wear that pair of now-pink briefs as a reminder of my folly, my ineptitude, and because it was quite lovely. You could never buy pink briefs because they don’t make 'em that way. And even if they did, I wouldn't have the nerve to buy them.

I wish I could 'accidentally' drop my red sweatshirt along with a white silk handkerchief and a doily into the washer and it would magically come out as a pair of lacy, pink silk panties. I would be so giddy with joy.

But even if I don't need to go to the laundromat ever again, I don't think I could stop going. These poor washeranddryerinunit-less people who I hang out with have become my good friends. Our weekly laundry sessions are just a reason for us to get together, enjoy each other's company and to be friends.

For that, I would gladly trek across town to do laundry, have coffee and pretend to not have washer and dryer in our unit.

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