Sunday night. Laundry night.

Anyone who has ever lived in a complex with shared washers and dryers knows that it’s all about strategery. Nothing is more frustrating than dragging that basket of dirty clothing to the laundry room only to find that every single machine has been taken… and you have exactly zero pairs of clean underwear left. What’s worse is that I happen to live in a complex with only two washers and one dryer. One working dryer. Hence, I do my laundry super late at night even though the landlord declared no washing after ten o’clock. I have a system, too. Sure, I always make sure to separate my whites from darks, but I also line up my cleaning products on the table in the order in which they’ll be used. I also group my quarters together so that I can grab exactly how many I need each time I make that trip downstairs.

I might have OCD but it works for me.

Anyway. On this particular Sunday night I finished washing my first load but had purposely grouped those items together because they needed to be air-dried. I then removed said items and put in my second load. I then checked the clock to make sure I would be back in twenty-five minutes to throw everything into the dryer.

Twenty-five minutes later… I entered the laundry room only to find that during that short interlude, somebody else had swiped the dryer. What the what? It was almost midnight. Who does that? They must have heard my washer in progress. Plus, who uses the dryer without first using the washer? Plus plus, they definitely knew that they were taking the good dryer.

I was furious.

Stomping back to my apartment, I assumed they would also be leaving their stuff in the dryer all night since it was so late. Jerks. I then jumped in the shower and tried to calm down; maybe their stuff would be gone by the time I was done. Though as I was sudsing my hair, it suddenly occurred to me that I had already loaded that dryer with quarters for my own laundry.

OMG! They had stolen my quarters!

Okay, perhaps it was a bit nearsighted of me to have loaded those quarters before actually needing the dryer, but it was late and I had done it numerous times before with no problem. So now not only was I irate that my neighbors had taken the good dryer, but also I was enraged that they had misappropriated my quarters for their laundry. In fact I was so angry that I was thisclose to jumping out of the shower, shampoo still in hair, just to run downstairs and throw their stuff out of my dryer. Instead I proceeded to rinse while determining a more rational course of action.

Here it was: I would return to the laundry room and one of two things was going to happen. Either their stuff would be gone and I would have to come to terms with the injustice of this situation, or their stuff would still be there and I could attempt to shame them into giving back those quarters. I wrote them a note:

“Hello! Four quarters were on this dryer before you used them for your own load. If you would like to reimburse me those quarters, you can drop them off at Apt. 7. Thanks!”

I didn’t really expect them to pay me back the money, but at the very least I wanted them to think about what they had done and hopefully feel bad about it. Throwing on my pjs, I then made a beeline for the laundry room. The dryer was silent. I opened it to see if their items were still in there. Empty. And that’s when it happened… You know those flashback moments when someone suddenly recalls a traumatic childhood memory or war experience? Now I get it because I had one, too. Nothing traumatic, though, just pathetic. As I stood there, staring into that black hole, it all of a sudden dawned on me… I had started that dryer.

After years of honing my laundry routine into a science, I now go through the motions without even thinking about it. So rarely do I not use the dryer for freshly washed clothing that I automatically loaded it with quarters anyway and pushed the start button; I only had forgotten that I did until that very moment. So basically I wasted a dollar on nothing. And I got angry with some thoughtless neighbor who didn’t exist. And I raised my blood pressure for a good hour. And I felt like a total idiot.

The end.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to “Full Of Hot Air”

LOVE IT! That is awesome.
I know what you mean about getting the timing right. I do my laundry on Sunday morning. It used to be if I got up and in the laundry room before 10 I was good to go. Now there’s a lady who beats me in there. So now I have to start to get up earlier on Sunday’s so I can be the first one in the room. I can’t wait for the day when I have my own washer and dryer.

September 16th, 2011

OMG, I know! The day I own my own washer and dryer = the day I will have finally made it in LA. 😉

September 18th, 2011