Before this week, I can’t remember the last time I stepped into a Laundromat. I have a vague recollection of waiting in one for what seemed like an eternity with my mom when I was young. If memory serves me at all, I think we were on vacation. Can there be a worse spot for a kid on vacation, let alone on my day off this week?
I was dragging my feet that morning, wavering on the question, “Should I go to the Laundromat or not?” Our new wash machine wasn’t due for another 10 days and we had a pile (a VERY large pile) of wet towels. My mother-in-law is kind enough to let us use her appliances in the meantime, but those towels were getting rather nasty. When the flood of water came rushing across my feet while doing laundry earlier in the week, every towel within grasp went on the floor to mop it up.
I had many other things I preferred doing that morning than sitting in a dirty, crowded Laundromat for hours. Besides, I had no idea where one was located or exactly how they worked these days. (Brent reminded me later that I should have asked Siri!) And so I dragged my feet and went about doing other things on my list. When I ran an errand, I drove past a Laundromat just a few blocks from home. I’d never noticed it before. Never needed to. Hmmmm. Seemed just too convenient not to seriously consider now. Drat.
It would be a new adventure, right? So, I piled up the mountain of wet towels, grabbed some soap and gathered enough activities to keep me occupied for hours.
When I arrived, I first noticed how clean the place was. There were about a half dozen other women there
and once the mom with four energetic sons left, the place actually became quite peaceful. I was pleasantly surprised to see how HUGE these washers were. Could I do the entire, overflowing pile in one load? I started buying into the whole Laundromat thing at this point.
New to the scene, I read and re-read the instructions to the commercial-size wash machine, filled it with towels (all of the towels!) and soap in the dispenser, and then inserted $5.75 in quarters. (I’ll bet my mom didn’t need that many quarters!). I shut the door and sat down. The best news was that it took just 27 minutes! This one load would have required about three loads in my home wash machine. I was almost disappointed because I didn’t get to finish one project in my bag.
What had I been dragging my feet over? Yeah, it’s a bummer to be without a wash machine right now and sitting in a Laundromat for even a short time still doesn’t rank high on my list. But here’s the good news:
• I’ve wondered where to take some of my larger loads, including things like comforters and blankets. Now I know a nearby spot that’s clean and easy to use.
• The towels were done in one load vs. three at my mother-in-law’s place.
• I pretty much have the system down when I revisit. It’s really not difficult. Just remember to bring:
– LOTS of quarters. I used the commercial-grade washer which seemed to indicate it could handle 4X the normal load. There were also small units that may be less expensive. And then there were a few mongo-size washers. I wonder if I’d need to stop at the bank before loading up one of those.
– Something to pass the time. Have a grocery list to finish? A good book? If you have a smart phone or iPad, you’re taken care of. Maybe some headphones in case the four energetic boys arrive.
– Need I say it? Your laundry, soap and whatever else you use in the whole laundry process.
– A friend? Next week a friend of mine has agreed to join the adventure. We’re going to pick up some lunch on the way. This could actually be fun!
Most importantly, this all seemed to be yet another reminder on a larger lesson in life. What else am I dragging my feet on that probably isn’t that big of deal and, in the end, would provide huge benefits that I’m missing out on? What are you dragging your feet on that may actually not be as big a deal as you think? Is it time to jump in and give it a try?