My laundry bag wasn’t going to hold out for much longer.
I hadn’t done laundry in more than a week and I was starting to simply throw dirty clothes onto the closet floor instead of hiding them in my laundry bag where they belonged.
So I finally ventured out to find where the laundry room was. One of the girls from my floor accompanied me so she could also discover the whereabouts of the laundry room.
It wasn’t too hard to find. The girl who came with me went back to her room to do homework while I dumped out the contents of my laundry bag and began sorting my clothes into piles.
Whites. Darks. Hand-washables.
A girl name Symphony was doing her laundry at the same time and we began to converse about how our moms taught us to do laundry.
First, sort the laundry. Then, wash the whites in hot water and the colors in cold water. Make sure not to let the clean laundry touch the floor. And hang up certain items of clothing instead of machine drying them… etc.
We found that our technique was close to being exactly the same; each of us had been doing our own laundry for years.
She helped me figure out the basics of how the machines worked and I was off to the races, relieved to finally be cleaning my things.
The laundry room was a calm place with the two of us so I decided to grab my laptop and try to finish the rest of my essay for film class. I carried my quarters back to my room and mindlessly put them away, forgetting entirely that I would have to pay to dry my clothes as well.
I returned with my laptop in hand and began to work on my essay.
There is something calming about a laundry room when the machines are turning while washing or drying. The clink of zippers against the insides of the machines, the sloshing sound of water, and the smell of detergent settled my senses and allowed me to focus.
The laundry room was a simple and comfortable place to be. I was content and finally relaxed after a hectic weekend.
Then the washing machines with my clothes finished spinning and I began to transfer them into a dryer.
That’s when I realized I had put my quarters back in my room, so I quickly ran to retrieve them.
When I returned the laundry room was a flurry of motion.
Symphony was finished with her laundry and on her way out, but in her place were six or seven other girls doing various things throughout the room.
Some of them were trying to figure out how to make the machines work, while others were busy dying something in one of the washtubs. Yes, they bought something white and decided to dye it to match their room. Why not buy it in the color you want in the first place?
I paid for my laundry and the dryer began; one of the girls by the machines then started to ask me questions about laundry and how the machines worked.
For some reason I thought sorting laundry was common knowledge and I thought everyone knew how to do it.
My conception was immediately smashed into the ground as I had to explain to all of them how it would be wise to sort their clothes and what cycle they should use for what type of clothes and so on and so forth. Apparently none of them had ever done a load of laundry in their life, and apparently that is the case for a lot of people, especially boys.
After I explained they system of laundry as well as I could I went back to work and continued writing. The laundry room wasn’t so quiet anymore, which was disappointing, so I turned up the volume on my headphones.
The minute my clothes were dry I put them back in my laundry bag and carried them to my room; I was more than ready to escape all of the commotion caused by the appearance of so many people.
I’m not sure I can express how thankful I am that I’ve known how to do laundry since I was 8 or 9. My mom taught me and all of my siblings the basics at a young age and I can’t exactly remember how long it’s been since I’ve done it completely on my own.
It was one more thing I didn’t have to worry about learning in college.