Friday, March 6, 2015

Writing Prompt: Laundry Day

There are some things you have to do no matter how much you hate them. She would sadly admit that she was one of those people who procrastinated taking care of her laundry. In her opinion, doing laundry was the worst. To maximize her non-laundry-doing time, she would give every garment the sniff test several times and would wait in a comfortable state of denial until the last possible moment before finally having to convince herself that it was time. Then, she would dedicate an entire day to washing, drying, folding, and putting away all of her clothes.
And now, after almost a month of postponing and promising herself that she'd do it next weekend and re-wearing the shirt with the mustard stain on it, it was finally time.
She was ready. Nearly every single piece of clothing that she owned was neatly sorted into baskets, and the baskets sat waiting in the order she planned to wash them.
She armed herself with a basket of towels and rode the rickety elevator all the way to the basement, where there was a damp, ill-lit room with a couple of coin operated washing machines and a coin operated dryer that was broken so that it no longer required $2.50 to tumble your sheets.
Then disaster struck. Apparently the building manager had finally caught on to the fact that the dryer was giving it away, and there was an out of order sign on it. Only, “of” had an extra “F,” so what the sign really said was “out off order,” but she got the gist. But that wasn’t the disaster. The day already sucked; she was doing laundry. She tried the top secret get-the-dryer-to-go punch-and-kick move, but nothing happened. She resigned herself to having to hang dry her clothes in her bathroom. Oh well.
Then she turned around to plunk her towels and a handful of quarters into a washing machine. That’s when the disaster struck. Not one, but both of the washing machines sported very stylish handmade signs, in a similar state “off” misspell to that of the one stuck to the dryer.
Worst day ever.
No, it wasn’t that bad. She was already doing laundry. Go big or go home.
She rode the elevator back up to the fifth floor and got to work. She knew that it would take a while, but figured that washing everything by hand would be easier (and cheaper!) than hauling it all off to a laundromat. And she was right. Well, at least the part about it taking a while. After about half an hour, the tub was scrubbed clean and everything washable was in it, including the scruffy t-shirt and the basketball shorts from high school that she’d been wearing earlier. She stepped back and surveyed her hard work. The first stage was over, and there was no sense in putting off the next.
She leaned on the sink and absorbed herself in a badly written novel while she ran water over her clothes. A chapter and a half later, she put the book down, shut off the tap, and grabbed a soggy pair of jeans to get to work.
She picked up a nearby bottle without thinking much of it, but when she looked at it, she laughed at herself. There was no way she was going to clean her clothes with shampoo. She put down the jeans and went to the hall closet for her laundry detergent.
But it wasn’t there.
The only thing that was there was the joke gift her brother had given her two Christmases ago: her very own bear themed one piece footie pajamas.
“It might be worth it to invest in a laundry service,” she thought as she walked down the street to buy more laundry detergent, wearing the only piece of clothing she owned that was still clean. “But really, it could be worse; at least the little bear hood is keeping my ears warm.”

A Writer's Relief Writing Prompt from March 2, 2015

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