Sunday, February 25, 2007

City Living Gripe #483

As my friend Arona already noted, we city folk don't always have it easy. Urban dwelling brings with it some surreal protocols and implications we must confront. Here's one that bothers me.

We are lucky enough to have a laundry room in our building (the fact that we don't have to schlep to the laundromat makes this a distinctly NY type of luck) that has five washing machines. Our building has 60 apartments. You do the math.

We're vigilant enough to catch a machine when its wash is done. The washes' owners, however, are not always so vigilant. What this means is that, as per building's consenual, tacit etiquette, we take the other person's clean laundry out of the machine and put it into an empty dryer (if there are no empty dryers, the wash goes on a table in the room). Now I know that these are freshly cleaned clothes we're talking about, but still- I don't want to be handling someone else unmentionables! There must be some evolutionary advantage to being repulsed by others' clothes (a.k.a. xenovestiphobia), but what could it possibly be if we're even disgusted by clean clothing? I'm open to hearing all forms of conjecture, speculation, and MAS on the topic.

We also had to deal with an urban laundry excursion when we were in San Francisco for vacation. Being soon after the 9 Days, we packed dirty laundry to wash at the beginning of our trip. We asked at our hotel and they directed us to the Brain Wash Cafe & Laundromat. We realized we weren't in the tourist part of town anymore when every storefront was a body shop- alternating car's and women's bodies (if ya know what I mean ;). I've never seen such a trendy laundromat; I guess that's the point. Our load was way under the minimum weight, but the heavy-lidded hipster behind the counter, apathetic and detesting of her bosses anyway, didn't even to try and make us pay the higher fee to meet the minimum.

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