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Think back to when you were a child and the only thing you had to worry about in regard to your laundry was putting your socks and underwear away in the top drawer and placing your t-shirts in the one below it.
Your mother, father, or housekeeper did the laundry back then, carefully separating whites and colors and maybe even using different detergents for each load of laundry.
Now things are a little different. It’s college “no parents” times one thousand. New job, new clothes, and a phone call back home to mom and pops once or twice a week to check in.
Look at you in your spacious, criminally overpriced studio apartment with in unit washer and dryer.
If your mother was sitting in your kitchen watching you do laundry right now she’d be ashamed. I know my mom would scold me for ever being so cavalier about what I’m throwing in the wash.
Once a week, I do my laundry in the basement of my apartment building. The washer, which is coin operated, costs one dollar per load and tears up my clothes because it’s well over fifteen years old. The dryer, of which I believe is the same age as the washer, is free to use.
This has been a point of contention between other tenants and I, but I’m under the impression that the dryer is free because our landlord is simply too lazy to install a coin operated apparatus on top of it.
The other people in my building believe our landlord allows us to use the dryer for free out of the kindness of his own heart. They are a bunch of suckers. If they’re reading, kindly remove the bowling alley that you seem to operate one floor directly above me. I can’t hear myself think. Fuck you guys.
Whatever the case, the dryer is just as bad as the washer. It takes an hour longer than most dryers to finish the job, it regularly shakes, rattles, and moans, and to top it all off it’s incredibly small.
A load from the wash usually has to be split up into two loads when it’s being transferred to the dryer. Every time I do laundry, I ask myself one question: “Well….what are you waiting for? Aren’t you going to split those into whites and colors?”
“Absolutely goddamn not,” I say to myself. “Who has the time for that?”
The answer is very clearly not me. Not with the current washer and dryer I’m working with. No matter how many times I accidentally turn one of my white shirts into a pink shirt I will never under any circumstances split up my laundry. Far too lazy for that. Laundry detergent, by extension, is also far too expensive but that’s a conversation for a different day.
Now I know that this is probably not of any interest to the prim and proper who do their laundry like civilized human beings, but there have to be some people out there who can sympathize with my plight. Separation of whites and colors would take upwards of ten minutes.
And to think that all of this bitching and moaning is coming from a person who identifies as “one of the lucky ones” here in Chicago.
Most people in cities have to put their dirty laundry in a rucksack and haul it a few blocks to the nearest laundromat. I lucked out.
Even if it does cost me a buck per load, it’s better than schlepping my stuff to the laundromat around the block from my place. It takes like three hours from insertion into the washer and exit out of the dryer for my linens to be done but hey, that’s life.
I should be separating my whites and colors. Then again I should be doing lots of things. So as I sat at the foot of my bed the other day looking at a mountain of dirty laundry I said out loud to myself that this should be the day I start separating. Doing laundry like a real live adult.
I glanced at my phone. Glanced back at the laundry. Back at the phone for a minute. And then I threw a cornucopia of clothing traversing the color spectrum into the wash. Most of my white t-shirts are a pinkish hue now but fuck it. In the laundry world separation is simply too much work. .
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