Archive | December, 2014

Suds, Duds, & New Buds

8 Dec

vintage laundromat

I live in a laundering desert. There’s no laundry center at my apartment complex, nor do I have my own washer/dryer set. So, I’m stuck lugging a misshapen hamper to the Pearson Road Laundromat once every two weeks. It’s a dreaded and imperfectly performed duty. Over the course of 18 months, I have caused multiple permanent sock-pair separations, accidentally instigated rug laundromat sleepovers, and transformed sleep tees into sexy tight ones, except with information about my company’s safety record still intact, which isn’t so sexy after all. In its unglamorous, run-down  state, the laundromat is the perfect place for me to perform my degenerate efforts at clothes-cleaning. An added bonus is the oft-times notable, or just plain weird, interactions I’ll have with fellow patrons. We are a motley crew, us Pearson Road Laundromat patrons, ranging from pajama-clad baby mamas to Bible reading grandpas. I thought you might enjoy a taste of my best interactions with the PRL crew thus far:

the great divideThe Great Divide: There I was, crouched over a study book for an engineering exam (which I have yet to take) when my first victim, burly and unshaven, initiated conversation. I assumed he was just being friendly, and answered his question about the book’s content willingly. I would have been colder if it weren’t for the six kids, ranging from infant to adolescent, swarming around him. He chatted me up about his job as a security guard and fathering children from two different marriages, and also inquired about my duties as a process engineer. Judge for yourself, but I self-assessed as out of his league. Nothing other than some inconsequential jabber occurred that first day, so I presumed he, too, understood I wasn’t interested. Several weeks later, I bumped into him and his Brady Bunch at the laundromat yet again. The same chit-chat ensued, except this time, mid-toddler pajama fold, he inserted, “So, would you like to grab a bite to eat sometime?” I was flabbergasted. What was I supposed to say back. Perhaps “Sure thing! I like that you come with ready made children; producing them myself would be such a hassle.  Taco Bell or McDonald’s?” would have fit the bill. When I mumbled something about already having a boyfriend (the truth, at the time), he folded his remaining laundry faster than the Road Runner ever escaped Wile E. Coyote, and bolted out the door. I haven’t seen him since!

The Hoary Hunchback: I admit that his jerky body movements could be comical, especially in combination with the determined look he fiercely maintained. And determined he was, as despite his impaired posture, the old man demonstrated some high-level laundry folds.  He permanently endeared himself to me when he insisted on holding the door open for me, exclaiming “I never did get to hold the door for such a pretty girl!” We had an opportunity for role reversal several weeks later, when I held the door open for him. Lucky for me he gave me the same line! Perhaps I should be disturbed that old men are the most likely to compliment me, but instead I relish in their unabashed homage to my perceived beauty. So what if their vision is likely failing!

The Deer in the Headlights: Literally. The one day I decided not to be standoffish and listen to headphones, the laundromat attendant gushed about his wife’s recent car accident. Prior to this conversation, the laundromat attendant had only enlisted me to ‘watch’ the building while he ran to his house to get (more) food, or went on another grub-related errand. As the unpaid and unqualified “building watcher,” I resented the attendant for his irresponsible neglect of his duties in the pursuit of mostly oreos. But the story of his wife’s brush with death made my posturing towards him more empathetic. She was talking on her cell phone, to him, while driving on I55-N, when a deer ran through her windshield, puncturing her face and neck. Unfortunately I don’t remember the details, but she is likely going to lose function somewhere, according to the attendant. I think next time I’m asked to be the laundromat watchdog, I’ll do so without begrudging him!

While I will always find the laundromat inconvenient, it’s certainly more eventful than would be doing laundry at home. In fact, living alone I’ve learned to appreciate any and all interactions with other people. I was recently holed up with strep throat (yet again! why does my throat insist on such masochism??) and wishing for company. In my wretched state, I turned to food for comfort and developed a delightful, easy snack. It can hardly be called a recipe, consisting merely of three ingredients. But I’ll present it as such anyway!

WHEAT THINS with CHEESE SPREAD and SUN DRIED TOMATOES (Servings: 1)

INGREDIENTS:wheat thins snack pic 2

-11 Wheat Thins

-2 Tbs. light cheese spread (i.e. Rondele ‘Garlic & Herbs’)

-1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces

DIRECTIONS:

Heat small amount of water. Add sun dried tomatoes and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and dry off. Dip wheat thins in cheese spread and sun dried tomatoes. Enjoy!!

CALORIES: 210