Wednesday, February 02, 2011
(Lack of) Laundromat Love

I'm pretty sure it was in that movie, 40 Days and 40 Nights. There's a scene where Boy walks by a laundromat and sees a Girl doing her laundry whilst rocking out to her music. She's stunningly beautiful, of course, but she's probably also pretty down to earth if she's doing her washing at a place called Monkee Laundry while dancing along to tunes coming out of a Discman. Boy goes in to meet Girl and the love story continues from there*, but I was already hooked on the idea: I wanted to meet a boy at the Laundromat.

Fast forward 8 years. I'm still single and I've just moved into a new place (just a couple of months ago) and though it was small, had no storage (for three girls, that is not a good thing), had no laundry**, and the bathroom was in the kitchen***, I fell in love with it. It had character and we had a rooftop patio (2 of them!) after all. Sure, it's winter, but give us 4 months and we'll have the coolest place EVER. I admit that I first balked at the idea of not being able to do my laundry in-house, but it seemed too late - I was already half-way through signing the lease. I gave a resigned sigh and said we'd figure it out later.

Now fast forward 2 months and I'm starting to run out of socks and underwear. I don't know how I manage, but I've gone two months without doing laundry before. I have a lot of clothes and I wear mostly everything at least twice before washing. It's Sunday and I have a few spare hours in between committments, so I make a vow: Today, I am going to do my laundry. I raise my fists in the air to get myself excited. YEAH! I sort and throw all my colours into bags (whites are for next time). I grab my iPod and a stack of work to take with me. Almost forgot the detergent. When I finally get out of the house I almost get stuck in the doorframe. I look like a pack mule plodding down the street and around the corner.

Inside the laundromat, I make an adventure out of choosing the right washers, getting quarters from the change machine and putting my clothes in loosely enough so that they're washed effectively. I’ve got 3 machines going at once and I'm contentedly sitting on a chair doing some work. In the middle of my reverie, I notice a dude come in with a bunch of stuff and eye my machines. He walks around, comes back, and stands against the wall. I think to myself, No way – he’s seriously going to wait for my machines when there’s plenty of others in this place? Weirdo. I wonder if I messed up his Sunday routine, if maybe I'm the New Girl who didn't know that these washers were HIS. When one of my loads finishes I get up to empty it and ask him, “Are you waiting for these?”

And that was all it took to strike up a conversation! Before I knew it, we were having a full-out strangers-who-just-met get-to-know-you-chat. We talk about laundry and how long we wait to do it, how Sunday is a good day for that kind of stuff (chores), we talk about work (he’s an ENGINEER! automotive – designing electric wheelchairs), school, living in the Junction, we talk about lots of random little things. I tell him he dropped a sock and he asks me if I know about wool. He shows me how to use the dryer and I tell him he dropped a sock, again.

His name is Will, and Will and I chat for an hour. He’s super friendly and nice he tells me that it's really nice to meet me and man – laundry was suddenly very, very exciting. Is this it? I wondered, Is this the thing I've always wanted? He's cute to boot. He says to me, “Have you noticed that there’s a lot of brunch places around here?” Well, of course I have – are you going to ask me to brunch?! I wonder… He doesn’t, but later he does say, “We should grab a beer sometime.” This IS it! This is the thing I've always wanted!! I get all giddy and give him my number. I'm super excited and almost tell him the whole weirdo dream I have of meeting a Boy at the laundromat, but I catch myself: Don't get too crazy just yet, okay? I have the world's biggest grin on my face as I leave. I daydream as I walk home clutching my dry clothes and all the rest of the night about what it would be like to actually go on a date with him and how we'd get along and how I wouldn't be wearing my laundry-day clothes - even though I LOVE a good funky t-shirt and jeans.

The next day at work I wonder how long he'll wait before calling me. Or if he'll call me at all - texting is the thing these days. Sometime in the afternoon I check my phone and see that I received a message from him late in the morning. It was a long text from him explaining that his intentions were just to be friendly, that he has a GF and that he thought I might have noticed from the panties in his laundry, though he joked that they could have been his, haha. (I did notice, and saw the noticeably small sweater as well, but thought they might be a roommates…? Is there ANY ROOM for wishful thinking in this world anymore?) He admits that by the end of our conversation he was too embarassed to say anything. He apologizes for leading me on, but that it was really nice talking to me.

I sigh and close my phone. Well, there goes that.

No hard feelings, I write back. The world needs more friendly people like you! I say. Thanks for making laundry time a little more enjoyable. I thank him for letting me know (he could have been a jerk and never called/texted and just left me to wonder) and tell him that my roomies and I love new neighbourhood friends so if he ever wants that beer... I mean everything I say, but... well, you know - this sucks.

I suppose I still did technically meet a boy at the laundromat. I just failed at meeting a potential boyFRIEND. Ah well. He’s still super nice and sweet, so I hope that maybe we still CAN go for a beer – I would love to have a friend in the neighbourhood and we can tell the fun story of how we met. Maybe he'll swoon over me later...

*Initial infatuation starts as a result of words actually, another idea which I also fell in love with. He looks over her shoulder while she's reading a magazine and notices that she's underlined a few words. She marks them because she doesn't know what they mean, and this way she can remember to look them up later. Paris Boy did something similar and I was over the moon about it....

**I actually found out about the laundry (or lack thereof) while I was in the middle of filling out my lease****. I was signing my name somewhere and nonchalantly asked, "So where's the laundry machines, by the way?" To which the landlord responded, quite matter of factly, "There aren't any." It sounded like he was ready to say a big DUH at the end of his sentence. I looked at my two roommates. "You two didn't think to ask about LAUNDRY?!"

***True story.

****OMG I signed a 1-year lease. I've more or less committed to living in one place for at least a year. AAAHHHHHHH!