he and i

There are not many things that I hate more than doing laundry, which is why I drop it off and have some slender Asian man do it for me.

Every time the pile of clothes in the apartment approaches a size large enough to scare me in the middle of the night because the sock dangling from the jeans looks like a Strange Man’s hand about to strangle me, I undertake the task of bringing it to the laundromat.

While I don’t actually have to do anything other than bring the man my dirty crap, it is always more dramatic than I ever want it to be.

I understand that the two of us – the man washing, drying and folding my laundry and I – enter into a relationship that requires certain degrees of humility and respect.

Me, being the Bringer Of Smelly Objects, must at all times act with extreme modesty when presenting my items to the man.

I know that he knows that somewhere buried in that white sack is Something Unfortunate, and it is better for both of us if I keep my head low when I hand off my laundry, because there is certainly nothing to be proud of in that bag.

The man sees that I am going about my business in a humble way, so he displays the amount of respect I deserve for not caring that another man touches my boxer briefs more than I would like him to.

The dance goes like this:

I go into the laundromat, place the bag on the floor, and step back slowly – keeping my eyes to the ground in a manner that says, “Yes, these are mine, and I am sorry.”

He gives me a nod and a grunt that I think means “Your undershirts should be burned” and places the bag on the scale.

I wait.

I watch.

He calculates the cost and I give him the money.  I let him keep the change out of fear that if I don’t, he’ll “accidentally” bleach my t-shirts.  Again.

I turn and leave knowing that I must return several hours later to pick the clothes up.

This is how our relationship works.

There can be no detouring from this path, because I know that one mistake by me and suddenly my favorite Larry David t-shirt won’t be mine anymore.

It’ll be his.

 

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54 Comments

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54 responses to “he and i

  1. Deutlich

    I forget that you New Yorkers have such things at your disposal. My laundrymat? It’s 10 feet away from my bedroom.

    Score.

    Although – i fucking hate laundry. HATE IT. I’d still rather have control over how each item is washed.

  2. Ben

    I had a cute Irish lady do my laundry while I was over there. She was more the, I’m-a-former-mom-who-just-wants-to-nurture variety, so our dance was much less shameful and much more jiggy.

    Irish jiggy. Not Will Smith jiggy.

  3. You have a Larry David tee?!? I want it! NOW!!!

    PS. You twittered your ass off this weekend man… good job!

  4. How much do your clothes weigh? Is this including jeans? I’m fascinated by this concept of someone else doing your laundry. Or is this dry cleaning?

    If it’s dry cleaning my bubble was just popped.

  5. I drop mine off too, and it’s is unnecessarily awkward. Although definitely better than doing it myself.

  6. Hahahaha am still laughing at Ben’s comment! Give me a moment….

    ..okay. Now. My only response to this is that to the best of my knowledge I have never taken a single item of clothing to the laundromat. Nor do I know how to operate a washing machine.

    And no, I don’t only wear each item of clothing once.

    I have a mother, whose main thrill in life is washing clothes. It all works out!

  7. I so wish I could get someone to do my laundry for me! Everytime I decide it’s finally time to do some laundry I have about 8 full loads to do.

    People wonder why I have so many clothes – it’s because I fucking hate doing laundry. What does something like that cost? I wonder if they’ll outsource someone to Canada?

  8. It’s funny, every person I know that lives in the city brings their laundry to an Asian laundromat to have it done. Every single person. Is it just crazy expensive to do your own there?

  9. I would never, ever, ever let a stranger wash my unmentionables.

    Never.

    And this post is exactly why.

  10. idontliketoread

    I know you miss you’re good friends at “So Fresh n So Clean Laundry” up here in the Boggie Down!

  11. No matter how bored I am I can’t make myself fold laundry until 8 hours after it is done drying and has so many wrinkles it was actually a character on the Golden Girls for two seasons.

  12. ken

    just go commando, sidestep the whole issue.

  13. Well, if you were trying to get blogrolled you’ve done succeeded. But I must warn you: get ready for a shit ton of new traffic. And by “shit ton” I mean “very likely just myself.”

    You’re welcome, baby. You’re welcome.

    P.S. You make me laugh.

  14. matt

    I agree with Ken…

    just cut the boxers out of the equation all together.

    That should lessen the humility.

  15. Why don’t Americans have washing machines? Every film/sitcom/whatever you see of America = people lugging their dirty laundry somewhere else to clean it. Why not just take it to the washing machine in the kitchen and do it?

    Or am I being very simplistic about the whole thing?

  16. I can’t let other people wash my clothes (as much as I wouldn’t want to wash other people’s clothes) so good for you for being able to get past that. Seriously … one day I hope to get to the point where I pay people to do all the cleaning in my life and be okay with it.

  17. Hmm…I wonder if we have those laundry places where I’m from. I pretty much did the same thing when I backpacked through Europe this summer (except they all seem to be Turkish, instead of Chinese), and it was made of awesome. But now that I’m back home, I, unfortunately, have to be the one to endure all the stinks and smells that come with le laundry.

  18. When I was in boot camp, everyone’s laundry went into a communal bin that was carted off to facilities for other people to clean. After it was all washed, the bins were brought back to the barracks and everyone would grab handfuls of other people’s clean clothes to distribute, walking around the room in a big circle and dumping clothes on bunks. (Your name was stenciled on everything, including your Navy-issued tighty-whiteys.)

    The system worked pretty well, except that you’d occasionally find yourself holding someone else’s briefs, complete with stained-on skid marks. Nice.

    A few people thought it was funny to hang fellow boot camper undies from the corners of their bunks, waving in the breeze like little stained surrender flags so everyone would know that Smith or Jones needed to wipe a bit better next time before running laps.

  19. deutlich – You’re one of the lucky ones.

    ben – I wish mine was the same way. Who doesn’t love jiggy?

    mental – I do, Ari’s brother and wife got it for me and it’s awesome. And thanks – alcohol had something to do with it.

    alexis – It’s real laundry. I dry clean most of my jeans though because they’re expensive and I don’t trust the man to not ruin them.

    shannon – Right.

    kali – Can I send your Mom some of my stuff?

    alice – Hahaha – First, thanks for calling me a “biotch.” Made my day. Second, it costs about $30, but that’s for Ari and I.

    nancypearl – No, it’s crazy annoying to do it yourself.

    kristen – So you’re saying you have LOTS of Unfortunate things in your laundry?

    idont – Damn right I do.

    narm – Yes, I’m the same way. Well, that is when he doesn’t do it for me.

    ken – I just can’t do it. My boys need structure!

    falwless – Yes! That’s exactly what I was trying to do. I’m emailing my Mom to tell her the good news. And thanks!

    matt – I know, but I really just can’t do it.

    nutty – I live in an apartment with no machines, most building in NY don’t have machines. So this is really my only option.

    essentially – It’s great!

    allee – That’s sad.

    justin – Awesome!

  20. I can only think of the Sex and the City episode when Miranda does Steve’s laundry and she sees the skid marks on his tighty whities..merrr…Not saying you have SMs but it’s the first thing that came to my mind…

  21. It would only take one time for the man to dump me….

    “Uh sorry ma’am, but I’m not washing your leather masks anymore….”

  22. megkathleen

    I remember when my sister lived in New York they would always have other people do their laundry too. Four years later and I am still as creeped out as I was the first time I heard about this craziness.

  23. The extreme amounts of uncomfortable it would be for me to have a stranger dig through my laundry far outweighs the unpleasant task of just doing it myself.

    Plus what I really hate about laundry is putting it away, and you can’t pay someone to do that for you.

  24. wow…NYC laundromats are like way more high maintenance than in Boston. Here, people bring their clothes and wash and dry them him or her self. Only dry cleaning gets done by small Asian folk.

    Unless…you get your boxers dry cleaned…? prima donna. 🙂

  25. What exactly is going on with your laundry that you have Something Unfortunate in that bag? Or is that something better left unknown?

  26. Makes you wonder how all those noble men and women dealt with all those servants back in the day. Imagine being surrounded by people you can’t look in the eye.

    Oh wait, you ride the subway, so you know what that’s like.

  27. I’m a fan of having other people do my laundry as well. They fold it better. Meaning… they fold it while I let the washed item sit on my floor until I need to wear it, realize it’s wrinkled and then wash it again.

    Why wash it instead of iron? Because if there’s one thing I hate more than washing fucking shirts, it’s ironing them.

    In short, I sympathize.

  28. I think laundry wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take so friggen’ long!

  29. i love little more than the simple, zen pleasure of doing load after load of laundry. is this the end of iFriendship…or just the beginning?

  30. Rachel

    I would gladly pay $30 for someone to do my laundry…you (and Ari) are very lucky.

    The Asians around here just give manicures and I feel the same humility about my cuticles that you do about your unmentionable stains…

  31. tia

    jealous. i want a slender asian man to do my laundry. all i have right now is a big italian one, and he gets crabby and forgets to separate the delicates.

  32. As a very, very sexy woman, I think I would worry too much about my laundry man stealing my very, very sexy white Hanes-her-way granny panties. That’s why I just do my laundry myself.

  33. Someone else does your laundry and its not your girlfriend?

    Oh, women read this blog right?

    Damn.

  34. I dropped my drop-off laundry habit years ago. Too many favorite items disappeared, and creepily, too many of them were underthings.

    I think it’s easier for a man to do the laundromat dance (even if his unmentionables are nasty).

  35. your girlfriend – No skid marks, well, at least not today.

    inreallife – And that would be his loss.

    megkathleen – It’s really quite good. You just have to accept the awkwardness of it all.

    maiden – Yes! I completely agree about having to put it away. Worst Thing Ever.

    erikka – This is why NY is better than everywhere.

    stealthnerd – Yes. We will leave the details out.

    noelle – Exactly.

    brandy – I’m glad, and yeah, I know what you mean.

    angela – Maybe…

    gina – Oh it’s the beginning. I’m sending you some clothes. Is that cool?

    rachel – The secret is to keep your eyes down.

    tia – What an asshole.

    mindy – No! You do not own those. I refuse to believe that.

    rs – I know. She thinks she has rights or something like that!

    jessica – Yeah, that’s true. If you see a man walking around with one of your thongs on his head, I’d suggest not even bringing it up.

  36. I have to do my laundry in my horrible dungeon of a basement. I like your way better but I don’t want strangers to see my underwear. Still, sometimes stuff is hanging to dry in the bathroom and people come over. And then people you know see your underwear. Okay, your way is better.

  37. I hate doing laundry but i hate the idea of someone touching my used knickers even more.

    Guess I won’t be setting up a business selling them on ebay anytime soon . . .

  38. “Every time the pile of clothes in the apartment approaches a size large enough to scare me in the middle of the night because the sock dangling from the jeans looks like a Strange Man’s hand about to strangle me….”

    good to know i am not the only one that has experienced this.

  39. oh man i don’t think i could hand my laundry off to someone else, i’m not that trusting. granted it would save me a whole lot of time.

  40. I always found it weird when I was putting away my stuff and I found some other girls underwear in my bag.

  41. Geez, how lazy do you have to be to let somebody else do your laundry??

    (OK, I might actually be jealous.)

  42. Just discovered your blog from the featured section of 20sb. I like what I see and shall return…

    I have no problems with doing laundry. I can grab all of my dirty clothes and throw them into the washer just fine. I can even transport the load from the washer to the dryer in a timely fashion. Once the clothes are clean and sitting in a pile on my bed, however, I’m lost. I just can’t get myself to fold laundry. I’ll work with that pile for weeks then, suddenly, it’s all dirty again and the vicious cycle continues..:-(

  43. nicoleantoinette

    Laundry is definitely my least favorite chore thing. For most of the people I’ve lived with, it has been dishes, so I do dishes they do laundry. Sweet.

  44. You have a Larry David t-shirt?

  45. Well, yeah. Doesn’t everybody?

  46. I think this blog is hot. I am adding you to my blog roll. You give me hope, as I am just starting out. I can only hope my writing will one day be this good.

  47. I would love to have a nice man do my laundry for me but I have too many control issues to let someone else do it.

  48. I would feel racist going to an Asian laundry, so I’d end up spending hours going across town to one owned by any non-Asian ethnic group.

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m better than you.

  49. spedlaw2

    Hi,

    I just voted for your excellent blog for Bloggers Choice awards.

    Could you please return the favor at :

    http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/21620

    Thanks,

    SpEdLaw2

  50. HA.

    I really wouldn’t mind doing laundry if my washer was big enough that I could do all of it at once, but all that walking downstairs…

    You’ve got it all figured out, don’t you?

  51. I kind of love the fact that Strange Man is capitalized… it suggests he plays a regular role in this blog.

  52. Wow, crazy laundry procedure. I have to take mine to the building behind my humble abode. And if you’d like something scary to make you feel better… try finding your psycho OCD lesbian roommate’s bras in the dryer when you’re doing your laundry. Scariest fucking thing that’s ever happened to me.

  53. megan – Yes, it sounds like it. “Leopard print, huh Megan? Rowr!!” Is not something you enjoy hearing, I’m sure.

    paula – I know this is dumb, but it was cool how you said “knickers.”

    dmb5 – I’m with you.

    katelin – Yes, it would. Give it a chance!

    lissa – Yeah, I find random socks and it makes me sad inside.

    cherry – You so are.

    matt – Welcome! Yes, the putting away is the worst part by far.

    nicole – You have been blessed.

    hollywood – Yes, I love Larry David. You don’t???

    kristen – I know I do.

    tammy – Wow – thanks! Keep at it and welcome to the blogosphere.

    jessica – Yeah, a lot of women seem to be echoing this thought.

    pistols – I always knew you were.

    spedlaw – Thanks! Let me check your blog out.

    rachel – I have everything figured out! What else do you want to know about?

    princess – Yes, that’s A Thing I Do.

    phil – I feel bad for you.

  54. I used to bring my laundry to a drycleaner that was DIRECTLY BENEATH my apartment. Then last week, they closed. Out of no where. I was forced to do my own laundry today *shudder*. I did about half of it and gave up. I’ll finish it over the weekend.

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