Back in the day, I was a slob. (I know, I know. Incredibly hard to believe, but it’s true.) Some people would say I still am, but they have no idea how massive the depths of my messiness was. I’m sure there is photographic evidence around somewhere (no comment from you, T) but for now, I will just let you create your own visual. There was always a constant clutter, a mountain of debris. And then there was the pile(s) of dirty clothes. At a few points in my 20’s, the pile became large enough to provide cushion for future nieces to propel off the bed, secure in a soft landing. And, I married my true laundry soul mate. Sky King WAS about as bad as me. We have improved somewhat, partially because we have a working washer and drier, and probably partially because with 4 bodies in the house, it is way inefficient to purchase new socks and underwear every week or so.
I’m not saying that having the washer and drier on site has been the deciding factor. Much of the deciding factor is definitely reserved in the “motivation” column. And if our early 20’s, there was waaaaay too much beer to drink, to be bothered with laundry.
Many times in my early adult life, way too much free time revolved around the Laundromat. These places are filled with sad people with unruly children. And college students. And the homeless looking for warmth. And possibly people with lint fetishes. Anyhoo….
This one time, at band camp…..oh, wait. Different story. This one time, my boyfriend/roommate/future hubby extraordinaire and I stuffed every dirty garment in the house into the car. We rode down to the Laundromat with the intent of scavenging for change in our pockets of all our pants and shorts, in order to actually DO the laundry. Not the wisest plan, but it was all we had, and we both had to wash our aprons and uniforms for our shifts that night. Fortunately, we both worked in a restaurant, and the chances of a few pounds of loose change was high.
We began digging. Soon, the pile of ones and change was growing. We would even occasionally find a fiver! At the end of the search, we had come up with no less than $90+. Total jackpot. We crammed everything into a few machines, set it all on “extra long soak”, and headed a few doors down for sandwiches and Long Island Iced Teas. We were loaded with cash, and had AT LEAST 3 hours before work (sorry, Herman and Sharleen…).
Also back in the day, my boyfriend/roommate (same one from before, we were soooo meant to be together-or maybe this just meant we needed a maid?) and I were living in Tulsa, while Sky King went to school to become a pilot. I was waitressing at night in a pool hall (not as seedy as it sounds) and working as a social worker for the county (WAY seedier than it sounds) by day. Money was tight, and every available dollar was spent on entertainment, beer, name-brand smokes-I had some self-respect. (Back in the day when I didn’t know better-okay, I DID know better, but I totally did not care.)
Tulsa had one of the most awesome businesses in the world. No, not the drive-thru liquor stores (which were SUPER handy, by the way). I’m talking about the Suds ‘n Brew. Brews ‘n Suds? Wash n’ Drink? Smoke, Drink n’ Fold?
Anyways-it was a Laundromat/bar/greasy diner/arcade/pool hall all rolled into one. Brilliant, right? So you go in, turn over your paycheck, get 7 pounds of quarters, order some tater skins and gravy-soaked fries and a pitcher of beer and schlep home 6 hours later, forgetting half your laundry AND the number of the guy who borrowed a Bounce sheet.
This is exactly what we would do-go in, start all our machines, grab a bit to eat while we got tanked, and played some Mortal Combat. Or pool. Or darts.
In thinking about both these times, I realize now that I spent a lot of time wanting things to be different back then. I was waiting for my life to begin, my career to begin. What I didn’t know is I was spending so much time worrying about the future, I missed some great moments. And not just because I was drunk. Although there were plenty of those, too.
Luckily, my beer-soaked brain remembers some of them.