Things I’ve Learned at the Washateria

After years of being the master of my own laundry domain, I’ve recently become reacquainted with the world of mass laundering, better known as the washateria (or, if you prefer the fancier term, laundromat).  There is no other place like the universe of public washing-and-drying. After weeks of being part of this unusual menagerie, I’ve had a few revelations certain to shake the modern world. Here are a few of them:

1. On every trip, there is at least one person who uses the 40-pound, $4.50 machine to wash less than five items of clothing. These machines are designed to hold several loads of laundry — like, four. Yet there’s always someone who uses it for one pair of shorts or one dirty bathroom rug. Why? Why, why, why?

2. Men often do not measure their detergent, which results in oversuds.

3. Women typically measure their detergent very carefully, which results in the right amount of suds.

4. Both men and women are prone to overstuffing the machine, which results in floods.

5. When there are floods, a woman appears with a mop as if from nowhere.

6. Quarters are heavy.

7. Quarters are valuable.

8. I can sit and stare at nothing for much longer periods of time than I previously thought.

9. Other people can sit and stare at nothing for much longer periods of time than I previously thought.

10. For some reason I am always convinced that it will only take four quarters — i.e., 24 minutes of time — to dry my clothes. I am always wrong.

0 Replies to “Things I’ve Learned at the Washateria”

  1. I enjoyed this little spin, however I did hit a clog in this cycle. Washateria is a much more snazzier term than laundromat. I can see the whole laundry vs. wash thing, but when it comes down to it I feel “teria” really classes “wash” up, while mat just drags laundry down–really almost soling it in a way.

  2. See, in my opinion, ‘teria’ makes it far less classy, whereas ‘laundromat’ sounds more polished. What about ‘laundromateria’?

  3. “Mat” is so wah waaaaaah. “Teria” provides a little glamour and a little mystery, we could be takling bacteria (yikes) or an air or heir of wisteria… Laundromat is so functional. I don’t know if I can accept “laundromateria” it feels forced, still like a chore and maybe is cut short like you’re waiting for laundromaterial. I’m sticking wiht my orginal stand. ;)

  4. Yesterday I made a big discovery at the local Target: Squirt bottles of laundry detergent–classified as “green,” and four squirts does a large load in either cold or warm water. Suds are not the overflow kind. Inform those poor men. We miss you, Erin. When are you coming back?

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