Personally, I hate doing laundry. In Colorado, I was able to go 6 weeks without doing laundry. When I married Jeff, laundry day got pared down to once a month as he didn’t understand my mounds and piles. To keep the peace, I sacrificed two weeks and did my laundry once a month. In a camper you have to do laundry every week. There’s no getting around it. For one, you don’t have enough space for the dirty clothes; for two, I couldn’t bring my 6 week supply of underwear with me so once a week laundry is now the standard.
For the past 18 months, we’ve been able to use a washer/dryer provided on-site. That is now gone. So Saturday found Jeff and I at the local Washeteria, AKA laundromat.
I had successfully remembered to get a roll of quarters from the bank the previous Thursday, an accomplishment I was quite proud of. After scoping out several washeterias that looked a bit too geto to attempt patronage at, we find “The Laundry Center”. While still a little geto, it appears to be the least threatening option available; they have a nice sign at least. Quarters in hand, we bravely ensue on our task.
Upon entering, my first realization is Saturday may not be the best day to attempt laundry at a washeteria. Everyone and their brother appears to be there. Jeff has successfully scoped out three washers and I’m instructed to stand guard while he retrieves our baskets from the truck. While on guard duty I begin to observe our surroundings. Washing machines: while front loading, they appear quite small. I’m not sure our loads will fit in them. Across the way are larger washers, perhaps those will work; I’ll need to claim one for myself soon. Next, signage: all are in Spanish, unfortunately without English interpretation. One of particular interest seems to be saying that you only need to use 1/4 of the amount of detergent in the machines. Unfortunately, I can’t tell if they mean for powder detergent or liquid. The graphic looks like the powder scoop so I decide to ignore the warning. Finally, I notice prices. Holy smokes! Prices have inflated a bit since 1999, which was the last year I actually had to use a laundromat. A small washer is $2.25; Large washers $3.00. Dryers are $1.00 for 20 minutes. My $10 in quarters are not going to cut it.
I then realize quarters are not going to cut anything at this place anyway. Everything is card operated. The card costs you an initial $2.00. From there you can load money (dollar bills only). Great.
Jeff is sent to retrieve the said card with the remaining $8.00 of our money loaded onto it. I begin loading the first basket into our staked out washers. Whites fit. Whoowhoo. However, I quickly realize our other two loads will not. I spot an available $3.00 washer. I pounce. Light colors taken care of. Unfortunately, darks are our largest load. Another $3.00 washer is located on the other side of the washeteria. I try with everything in me to stuff everything in. No success. Another $3.00 machine must be procured.
Finally, with all of our loads washing, we have used up our $8.00 and then some. Drying still needs to be done. It’s at this point I begin to get stressed out. There’s no place to sit, annoying cartoons are playing on the TV and a bunch of languages are being spoken that I can’t understand, English included. AND washing three loads of laundry is going to cost us close to $20.00. At this point, Jeff decides it’s a good time to head to PetCo with the pooch. I’m left to fend for myself.
Washers end their spin cycles and I begin the transfer process to dryers. After 3 trips to the money card loading station, two dryer transfers to conserve my 20 minute cycles and a fight for a wheeled cart, our laundry is finished. We have survived the wilds of the washeteria with only minor scrapes and bruises… mostly to our pocketbook.
On the way home, I’ve calculated that two months of laundry at the washeteria would buy us our very own washing machine. Sheesh.