Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Laundry Machines And The Quarters They Demand: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

One of the final things Ramona and I did before we got married was create a joint account, with the short-term intent of a) paying for some of the wedding stuff, and the long-term intent of b) saving up to buy a house one day. A place of our own is something we're really hoping for, so we can have a backyard, pets, more room, a place for our future kids to call "the house we grew up in"...

...and our very own washer and dryer.

Our very own washer and dryer. Admittedly, until I moved into my own place a while back, I didn't realize what a luxury that was. See, like most boys, my mommy did my laundry growing up. :-) I lived in a house during most of my formative years (with a washer and dryer in tow) and even when I lived with my mom in an apartment for a few years, she continued to do the laundry so I never struggled much with the concept of having to share a common laundry room.

And then I got my own apartment and the pain became my own.

Let's start with quarters. Every time you're ready to do the laundry, you realize that all the quarters have somehow mysteriously fallen off the face of the Earth because they are nowhere to be found. Prior to your search for these coins, you have an ambitious goal of doing two loads each of washing and drying.

The cost: 20 quarters.

But early in your search, you realize that finding 20 quarters may be problematic, so you say to yourself: "Well, I really can get away with one load of drying." So now you only have to find 15 quarters.

Midway through your search, when you've found only two quarters and are starting to look underneath cushions, you decide that one load of wash and drying will have to do because the search for money has really gotten annoying and you're now willing to take the risk of jamming every article of clothing into one machine and hoping it doesn't overflow.

So now you're down to having to find 10 quarters.

And then, after 90 minutes of futilely searching and coming to the conclusion that the quarters are probably hiding in a dark corner of the closet, mocking you for not being able to find them, you say to yourself: "Screw it, I'll do one load of wash, I'll dry the clothes out on my dust-infested patio (because I haven't swept in four years) and the rest of the clothes will remain in a dirty pile in the bedroom that I hope against hope will miraculously clean themselves."

Even then, you're sometimes short 1-2 quarters and you find yourself staring at the laundry machine longingly, wishing that it took dimes.

Ya know?

And then there's actually being able to use the machines. There's nothing like finding the quarters you need, packing up your dirty clothes and detergent, marching triumphantly down to the laundry room, only to find out that all the machines are in use.

It's a chess game, really, trying to figure out when the machines will be free. Sundays are definitely out; that's the universal laundry day. Saturdays are off-limits too, because that day gets a "Oh man I better do my laundry today because on Sunday it will be a madhouse" traffic. Mondays suck because it's the day that everyone who didn't do their laundry on Saturday or Sunday do their laundry. Fridays are bad because you find yourself being more willing to put a loaded pistol next to your head than to start the weekend doing laundry. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, all the good TV shows are on. And on Thursday, you're so excited that you only have one day left in the work week that you don't want to lose your euphoria by whipping out the Tide.

So if you're like me, you put off doing laundry until you find yourself completely out of socks, down to one pair of surfboard boxers, and are seriously pondering whether you can get away with wearing your high school gym shorts to work the next day because that's the only thing you have left that's clean.

And then, and only then, do you do the laundry.

At 3 a.m. on a random Tuesday.

Because that's the only time the machines are free.

So when Ramona and I eventually get a house, I plan to celebrate with a nice dinner, a bottle of chilled Diet Dr. Pepper, and a basket full of laundry that will keep me in bleach until the sun comes up.

I can't think of a more beautiful, happy image.


And now for this week's:


A friend of mine recently sent me this video link about a school answering machine in Australia. It's hysterical and, one way or another, will change the face of public education as we know it. :-)


Amber said...

You know, when I lived in an apartment and didn't have my own washer and dryer, I discovered an easy way to end the quest for quarters.

The laundromat.

No, not to actually wash my clothes. Instead I would run over to the laundromat, use their change machine, and get out of dodge. It was an epiphany that forever changed my apartment laundry-ing experience.

Oh, and having a washer and dryer of your very own is everything you dream it could be... and MORE.


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