I have a running date with the laundromat and the grocery store every Sunday; three loads to wash, dry and fold, a grocery list to write while clothes tumble and then a trip to fill the few empty spots around the clothes in the car trunk with food.
It fills a lot of my Sunday and this running date is getting old – well, the laundry part is at least. The whole process: hauling laundry down stairs and into my car, out of the car and into the laundromat, sorting, loading, waiting, folding…and then reversing the process to get the clean clothes home again – it’s all getting quite old. And it will make me appreciate owning a washer and dryer one day, I know.
Still, there are things that I like about the laundromat trips.
Especially, the people-watching and conversations of total strangers.
I’m folding towels when a woman and her mother come back into the laundromat to transfer clothes from the washing machines to the dryers. The older woman smiles at me and my stacks of laundry on the sorting table. “You look like you’re a pro at this!” she tells me.
I smile in return and not wanting to get into specifics, simply said: “I have lots of experience with this!”
I’m not the most giving in conversations with strangers, but she doesn’t mind. She laughs and says, “I’m helping my daughter with stuff today. The last time I helped my son, on the other hand, we did about 20 loads of laundry and it took us 5 hours to fold it!”
I didn’t think it was possible for someone to own that many clothes and I laugh as I tell her this. She laughs, too, and nods. “I mean, I had nine kids and we never had *that* much laundry either!”
Camaraderie here now, my friends. “Yeah, I’m from a big family, too. I have ten siblings and we never had that much laundry at once either!”
“You’re from a big family, too?” she says. “Yup, I had nine kids, but I was one of thirteen, too. Twelve boys. I was the only girl…”
We had an interesting conversation and parted our ways, without even knowing each others’ names, but a bit of camaraderie was there just the same. Yup, I don’t meet other people from large families at the Big Family Convention – I meet them at the laundromat and a million other ordinary places. Because (surprise, surprise), we’re not all wacky, strange and not all of us wear matching clothes. 😉 We actually live normal lives (gasp!) and do things like, well, wash clothes at the laundromat.