It’s funny how the mundane can take you to a new place. Unfortunately for me, I spent the better part of last night doing laundry. At least it’s done!
I go to a laundromat just a few minutes away from my house, so between cycles I either go home or run errands. For some bizarre reason, one of the medium washers has it out for me. For the past few weeks, whenever I put in a load of whites and leave, I come back to find it not done! The timer stops and there is a strange blinking message telling me to reselect the cycle.
Now last night, I specifically anticipated this problem and waited a bit after starting the machine. It seemed fine, so I left. I rented a video, bought some groceries and figured that I’d be finished within about an hour. I came back and what to my wondering eyes did appear? You got it. That damn blinking reselect cycle message.
I have never been formally introduced to the laundry attendant, but I gather her name is Sheila from the people who were talking to her last night. Sheila is a petite older woman, maybe in her sixties, with a voice husky from years of smoking. She is very friendly, always laughing and chatting it up with the customers. Sheila is frightfully aware of my ongoing battle with the washing machine. Each time this problem happens, I tell her. She apologizes profusely, reports it to management and dries my clothes for free.
Okay, now my wash cycles were out of sync again. The dark load is already in the dryer and I have to wait for the whites to wash and the laundromat will be closing soon. I know that Sheila wants to go home and I feel horrible being late. For some reason last night, there was a bunch of other people there late too. Each person seemed involved in some very long conversation with Sheila. She knows all the regulars. There are other people who work there too, but none of them have her spirit. She is really a hot ticket, as one of my co-workers used to say.
As annoying as the situation was, I couldn’t be angry, she’s just too friendly! As I was waiting for the last of my clothes to dry, Sheila told me a story. Whenever she would get angry with one of her ex-husbands – a loaded statement in itself, she would throw their clothes in the river. One time she got so mad at one of them, she tossed out all of his suits. A few weeks later he told her that he had seen a lot of men wearing suits that they didn’t have before.
By the time I left last night, I was laughing and had been taken away to a place near a river.
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