When I first moved to Chicago, I lived in a studio apartment that would the equivalent of a dog cage in size – but with a park view. So as I would relax on my bed while watching TV, because I didn’t have luxuries like a couch or chair, I would dream about apartment amenities that would help me know when I “made it” in the city.
- Electric stove
- Bedroom (no more studio living)
- In-unit washer and dryer
I’m pleased to say that in my near four-years here, I have achieved three of the five, with the real “crown jewel” aka in-unit washer and dryer still alluding me. I daydream about being able to lounge around my home in only a robe, doing laundry so all of my clothes are being washed at one time. That’s acceptable in your home but not out in public (shoot.)
So if I don’t have laundry in unit, that means I hang out with the rest of the people in my building, fighting for three washers and dryers, doing laundry some times at very odd hours. Normally, doing laundry isn’t an issue, but there are some tough old people in my building who like to make it difficult on me sometimes.
For example, in my building we have the beauty of a “free dryer,” which is a dryer that somehow has malfunctioned and doesn’t require change to dry the clothes inside. It’s like a gift from heaven, except that people purposely wait to use that dryer because they get to save $1 in change. And because I’m ridiculously cheap, the free dyer is the greatest thing ever. Sure laundry takes a little longer but it helps me extend my quarter stash a little bit more. So it’s worth it, except when someone starts hogging it. I don’t like that.
I don’t encounter this woman aka “the hogger” often, but when I do, I have to sigh because I know laundry will not go smoothly. She brings her laundry down in plastic bags, which she also uses as rain boots and rain hat. She’ll do a few loads at a time and make sure everyone knows that she has “reserved” dryers ahead of time. Which you can’t do. And she’ll tell me that she’s “reserved” the free dryer already because she’s put money in it, even though her clothes are in the washer. Really? Put money in the free dryer? I smell a liar. Don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining honey, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.
I recently challenged her on these reservations, saying that she can’t hold dryers and that it’s first come first serve. My laundry was in first so as long as I get down there before her, I get to pick whatever dryer I want to use. She starts getting upset and sputtering at me, telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I try to calm her down, saying I meant no harm (seriously who wants a fight?) but she starts to yell and I opt to back away rather than continue this. Fast forward 32 minutes when my load is done (yes I set a timer in my apartment so I don’t forget or lose my spot for the dryer) and she is WAITING THERE next to the dryer, reminding me that it’s reserved for her. O-M-G are you kidding me?
I realize that she’s older, lives alone and likely doesn’t have anything better to do than to worry about her laundry. I’m sad enough already doing laundry on a weekend night, but you will be proud to know that I was the bigger person….and told her to get the f*ck off the dryer. We were going to do this the easy way or the ugly way.
After a little sputtering and telling me I’m a bad person, she surrendered the dryer and I got to use it for free. A note though, telling me I’m a bad person doesn’t faze me, that’s like telling me my hair is brown. I know that.
Please tell me I am not the only person who had laundry-related issues like this?
Reader note: I really liked everyone’s comments from yesterday. I’m so glad that we’re learning things together. Rebekah’s comment about “save the purse, save the world” made me laugh hysterically and Joy is right, going out with her might melt my brain, but it would be so worth it. I also appreciated the “Sex and the City” movie comments. I really wanted to like that movie, being a huge fan of the TV show, but it fell short for me. Too much product placement, but awesome fashion.