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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Laundromats and Neighborhoods

Every day that I work at The Shop, is another day that I get to know my neighbors. I no longer have anonymous trips to the laundromat, which is fine with me. I run into other shopowners and customers. We are all in the soup together, trying to get our laundry done. It is a little embarassing for all of us, while we normally see each other in our work clothes, for that hour we are in laundry day clothes.

Tonight it was an old (early college) green tank top, black shorts, and flip flops. My granny underwear peeks, no climbs over the waistband of my shorts. It is laundry night, so anything of value is in the washing machine, including every pair of underwear that wouldn’t climb out of the waistband.

The laundromat is instant community, where I’ll have a conversation with a regular I’ve never really talked to before. Where a regular will point me to a recently emptied dryer instead of hogging it to themselves or pretending to be an island in the city. The laundromat is where Michelle and I realized that we are members of the same gym and that we should go together.

Why don’t I use the facilities in my building? Community. People watching. Effective use of my time. Why spend two more hours alone in my apartment, when I can chance a great conversation with a stranger or get to know a regular a little more? Perhaps find a friend?

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