Our trip to the laundromat made me feel simultaneously like one of the people, proletariat, working class; and also bourgeois, snobbish, gentry class that we can afford to buy a new washer to replace our old one, and that we have a house with a laundry hookup.
The walls in the laundromat bear battle scars of rolling carts. The ceiling tiles sag with brown water stains. The smell is a combination of chemically scented detergents, disinfectant and the vague burnt odor of textiles left in the dryer too hot for too long. The fluorescent lights aren't doing anyone any favors in the beauty category. Handwritten "out of order" signs pepper the machines. Two giant TVs mounted from the ceiling are mercifully muted with subtitles and one has a grainy picture, but it's showing a cruddy movie with commercial interruptions, so who really cares.
We fold our laundry at the laundromat, not wanting wrinkles to set in. In front of the other laundromat patrons, it occurs to me that my PJs are looking rough. I need some nicer, new ones. Chad folds some of his more colorful skivvies with a hint of a sheepish grin. We team up to fold our king-size, high thread count bedding like we're royalty or something.
Later, back at home, I'm less than pleased to discover that our clean laundry does not smell like the environmentally-friendly, natural lavender and blue eucalyptus detergent and dryer sheets that I love and use loyally, but like the residue of so many strangers' Tide, Gain and Bounce.
I'm thankful that we can afford a new washer. I'm also thankful that we're not above going to the laundromat when necessity dictates it.