The laundromat is a people-watching paradise,
and a germaphobe’s worst nightmare.
I found myself pleasantly uncomfortable today at our nearby “Stuff A Sock In It.” I thought I’d write down my observations. Warning, these are first impressions and likely to be mis-interpreted as prejudices. Nope, they are just surface level observations. I love the character I find in people.
First off, I have to say that the hispanohablantes in my area know what they are doing. (Once again, not prejudiced and no this is NOT sarcasm, they really do have this down.) They were all together enjoying each other’s company, listening to music and doing everyone’s laundry all together. They took up a quarter of the laundromat and shared the jobs of folding and hanging and chasing the children until it was all done. It was just beautiful. I really wanted to go hang out in their corner. I did my laundry nearby instead.
Secondly, there was a guy who intimidated me at first. (There were actually quite a few intimidating people in this intimidating place for me. I do great in unusual surroundings where I’m supposed to feel different, like a foreign country, but unusual surroundings where I ought to be familiar make me very uncomfortable.)
Back to the guy. He looked like he might have been in prison once, but he could have also blended in with your average blue-collar worker or anyone from the Georgia side of my family. He was rough and jaded and his skin was dry and seemed calloused against the world. And he kept watching me. He was an observer, just like I am. Other observers also make me wary. Later he was on a bluetooth headset telling someone, “Well, you didn’t get nothin’ out of it. Look what you learned. You learned about human nature. Everyone always wants somethin’ newer and better. No one is ever satisfied. Just look at Hollywood.” Guess he was consoling a friend who lost his girl. Speaking of which, this guy was washing little red thongs along with his blue collared shirts. I wonder how long he expects his own relationship to last.
Thirdly, there was a woman a little older than me (I assume) who had a four-year old with her. This child was just as outgoing and friendly as mine and gave me a look at how delightfully exuberant my future Bug will be at that age. She was red-headed, and full of questions, which her mom actually answered. I like to hear moms conversing with their kids. Most of the parents at the laundromat actually seemed to be that type. You know the kid that lets their kids participate and learn instead of the sit down and shut up style. I was pleasantly surprised.