The other night, after going out with my friend Vanessa to a local bar, and trying a Mojito for the first time; which is item # 42 on my bucket list, I headed to a 24hr laundromat near my place. Why, you might ask, would I go to a laundromat after midnight, on my own, and wearing uncomfortable high heels? Here’s the reasoning I used that night to convince myself that this was a good idea:
Due to a recent back-to-back run of viruses in my household that prevented me from keeping up with the laundry we had loads upon loads of clothes needing a wash.
Since I also wanted to clean all the winter coats and comforters, there were about 10 huge bags of washables. My old washer at home can’t handle such a load in a few hours. It would have taken me the whole week to get through it all at home.
I had plans to take care of this mess the next morning so I had already loaded the 10 bags plus an assortment of laundry detergents into the trunk of my van; how convenient!
My friend Magalis had stayed overnight and was taking care of the children. Her kids and mine had a sleepover at my place and she volunteered (after I begged, pouted, and reminded her how many times I had kept all the kids overnight) to keep an eye on them so that I could go out that night.
Since I was not sleepy or tired, but rather wired and cheery after the Mojitos, and I had an all night babysitter; it would be such a waste of time to go to bed; plus, think of all the things I could do with my free time the next day. I was sold!
I was surprised to find a decent amount of dedicated laundry goers washing away their belongings at around 1am. My first mishap occurred as I retrieved the bags of laundry from the trunk of my van. Let me just give you a hint. DO NOT EVER go do your laundry while wearing fashionable high heels! I grabbed a couple of bags and dragged them inside. They were heavy and my feet were not as stable in those shoes. Once inside I found a chair to park the bags, then I grabbed one of the carts that are meant to help transport the laundry from your vehicle. Well, those carts only held 2-3 loads at a time so it took a few trips forth and back before all of my stuff was inside the laundry facility. My tortured feet were very angry at me.
Once I was settled and had started to sort my belongings into several machines I was approached by the attendant. He asked if I needed any help and I told him no thanks, I was all set. Less than 5 minutes later he returns and hands me a little piece of paper with his number and asked if he could have mine. Are you kidding me??! NOOO. He wanted to know if he should expect a call from me. NOOOOO. Apparently this is not a word he comprehended very well, as he proceeded to follow me around and tell me his life story and misfortunes while I sorted my stuff. He even told me all about his mother’s theories of why he had not yet been able to find his Dulcinea. I gave him the “I am not interested look” but he did not get that one either.
Luckily I had packed a book to read. I plopped my behind on a chair (my feet were so happy about this) and started to read the book. ” This should keep this guy away for sure” I thought. That didn’t work for long. He kept coming back to let me know how beautiful I looked, what a pleasant person I was (regardless of the fact that he’d never seen me before in his life and my conversation with him consisted of about 5 words, 2 of which I’m sure were no and never), he went on and on with a list of virtuous adjectives directed towards me, apparently not minding the fact that my face was buried in the book.
Finally, I was saved by the bell – the tone of my cell phone that is. My dear friend Alejandro could not sleep and had gone for a walk. I had texted him recently so he decided to call me. Great! We talked for a couple of hours while I got each of the washed loads through the drying cycle, a few times each. This kept the weirdo away.
Eventually our conversation ended and I got to folding. By then, there were 2 sets of couples also folding their clothes, and 2 girls of about 18-20 still drying theirs, and planning their “after we get out of here” fun. The creep reappeared with the same cheesy lines he had used before. I kept folding away and avoiding him. One of the young girls suddenly got a call from another friend advising her that someone, apparently someone she liked very very much, was in town and that she needed to go see him right away. Both girls started a giggly and disorganized chat, the result of which was them grabbing their clothes from the dryers, stuffing them in bags and rushing out of there still giggling away.
You would not believe how many foldable items can be packed into 10 huge trash bags! I thought I was going to be there ’till the sun came out. There was a point when I looked up and guess what; I was the only customer left there – with the weird attendant. This is when I panicked. He was doing some of his laundry attendant tasks but never missed the opportunity to come around asking for a date, my number, a chance… you get the idea. He had cuckoo eyes too. Every time he went near the doors I thought to myself “He’s going to lock the doors, rape me and then kill me!!!” Yes, I planned many escapes routes; the last 30 minutes in there seemed endless. I finally got all my stuff packed. As I headed out the door creepy guy takes my cart and insists on helping me load my stuff into the trunk. Luckily outside was a very well-lit and busy street. Once the last of my bags was inside the trunk I jumped in my car and shut the door; as I drove away, the cuckoo attendant was still yelling out for me to call him. I vowed never again to accumulate that much dirty laundry. So far I am right on task.