conversations with strangers #124


me: *arrives in laundry room as washing machine shuts off* *inventories dryers: 1 is out of order, 1 has 37 minutes left, 1 is at 0 minutes* *waits*

me: *still waiting* *anger level at 5* *pulls clothes out of washing machine and sorts into those to be machine dried and those to be air dried* *wonders what the limit is on waiting? In high school and college, a teacher had 15 minutes post the start of class to show up before class was automatically dismissed. It’s been 25 minutes* *continues waiting*

me: *STILL WAITING* *anger level 8*

me: *ponders if I should remove the person’s clothes from the 0 minute dryer.* *I don’t really want to touch those clothes / what if they arrive after I’ve started using that dryer and they do something weird to my clothes* *continues waiting*

me: *dryer which was at 37 minutes when I arrived finishes up*

Three minutes later, a lady comes downstairs and pulls stuff out of the dryer.

Her: Were you waiting long?

Me: Yes. With that one machine broken, it limited my options. That other machine’s been at 0 minutes the entire time I was down here.

Her: I don’t know how people do that. I always try to come down immediately after my laundry’s finished.

Me: I know! Me too. I set an alarm.

Her: I wouldn’t want someone to touch my clothes.

Me: Me neither. Plus, this is a common laundry area. People need the machines.

Her: How long were you waiting?

Me: 40 minutes. That one dryer’s been done this entire time and I kept thinking, “Oh I’ll wait a little longer” and then 40 minutes later, I’m still here. Thank you for coming down so quickly after your machine finished.

Her: Could you have moved the clothes out?

Me: I could have but…

Her: I guess I wouldn’t really want to touch someone else’s clothes.

Me: Yeah and then I wondered if that person would then come down, see their clothes moved, and do something in retaliation? So I just left it and kept waiting. I’m so glad to see you here.

Her: The other day, one of the washing machines had a note on it saying people should remove their laundry as soon as it’s done.

Me: An important note! It’s too bad people have to be told that. It’s common courtesy in a shared space like this.

Her: Okay, it’s all set. All yours.

Me: Thank you!

And thus my dream of having a washer/dryer in my home remains the #1 thing I want in adulthood. I want it so badly! So so so much.


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