Clareified

Where does the good go

I’m poor but I’m happy?

February 1st.

It was a big day for me. This is probably my last month of steady employment for a while. I’m terrified, but kinda excited too. There have been some big changes in my life lo these past few months. But the biggest one is yet to come and well, it’s going to mean going from earning some sick money to earning no money. (Clareified now welcomes advertisers.) So, I decided that starting February 1st, we were on a strict budget. We were going to live frugally. First step, do own laundry.
Now, I’ve never been a spoiled Nancy Pants who doesn’t know how to do a wash of clothes. Nay, I was doing my own loads by the time I was nine. (And I figure it started the way I started doing all the chores at my mom’s place in the ECB. Me at five or six following her around saying ridiculous things like “why, won’t you let me iron, mommy?” OR “come on I’m big enough to wash the dishes!” And she would bide her time and then one say she’d say, with a happy congratulations tone in her voice “okay, Dawn I think you’re old enough to mop the kitchen, what do you say?” And I’d go “YAY!” And mop away, until I was like…huh…okay, that looks way more fun than it is. I’m going to watch TV now. And my mom would be all…oh, no. You’re not done, and by the way this is now your job every Sunday. Newman.)
So, it’s not that I couldn’t do my own laundry. It’s just…I am lazy. And I used to be rich. So I’d spend a hundred bucks a week getting my clothes clean.
And they’d come back all downy fresh and folded.
I kept putting it off all day Friday, until around 2, I finally grabbed the whites, a bottle of bleach and some detergent and went downstairs.
My laundry room is pretty nice as far as laundry rooms go. It’s inside my building, there are about fifteen washers and dryers and people leave magazines there to keep you entertained.
I dumped in the clothes and then remembered I left a white towel in the guest bathroom. I trudged back upstairs to get it and headed back down.
And then I remembered the washers cost money.
So back upstairs we trudged.
When the whites were finally all washing along, I went back upstairs to figure out what to do with the rest.
Everything else either fit nicely into piles of lights or darks…except this one red towel. I finally decided it was better off with the darks, rather than spoling my nice pink pajamas.
Pajamas. I still love that word.
Anyway, I stuffed them into plastic bags and took the bottles of detergent and fabric softeners and placed them on top. And then I learned something about the amount of stuff a plastic bag can hold.
Answer? Less.
I sternly frowned at the pile of not so separated dirty clothes on my floor. “You guys need to shape up or you will stay dirty,” my face said in no uncertain terms.
I went and dragged out my shopping carts and stuffed everything in there. I remembered the quarters and we were off once again.
I know my doorman must think I’m building some kind of fort down in the basement given the number of trips in the twenty minute time span.
I got two washers and set them awashing.
Crap…the whites are going to be done in 12 minutes…and then I’ve got to come back again for these…nuts to that.
I went back upstairs and figured I’d just let the whites stew while the others finished.
It’s funny because this is a decision Dawn would never have made in college or law school. I used to wait until every article of clothing I owned was soiled beyond health code standards and then spend a day in the laundry room washing. I wasn’t afraid anything would get stolen, but I was afraid someone would touch my newly cleaned clothes with filthy hands or –heaven forfend–take my clothes out of the washer and pile them in a damp heap on top of the dirty countertops. So, I’d sit on the washer and watch the entire 25 minute cycle for all ten loads and then do the same watching them dry. This is the only time I did any of the reading for my classes.
The day after laundry day I was a veritable genius, my hand shot up at every turn. I could explain Plato’s theory of the cave and contrast it with Aristotle’s like nobody’s business the day after laundry day…any point after that, I was asleep in the back of the class, drooling on my Yale sweatshirt.
Anyway, I went back, everything was still in the washers as I had left them. The day before I had gone to the bank to get a roll of quarters, I only had 24 quarters left. These I now dispersed evenly(ish) among three dryers and went back upstairs to wait.
An hour later I went back, hoping everything was dry…or else I’d have to scrounge for coinage.
Happily they were done…except for one ghost dryer that would stop and then start up again without warning…it sent a sock or two flying to the ground.
I didn’t do quite as good a job with the folding as my dry cleaners do…and they are still all in a bag in my living room floor…but hey, one step at a time. All my laundry is clean and dry for 1/7 what it used to cost me.
Why I managed to spend six times that much on poker later that night…is beyyyooonndddd meeee.

4 Responses to “I’m poor but I’m happy?”

  1. Karol Says:

    Very quickly you’re going to start to calculate how much your time is worth and how much you’ll pay to not be doing laundry.

  2. Casca Says:

    Fascinating… I eagerly await the no-more-valet-parking post.

  3. dawn summers Says:

    hahahaha, casca, i wrote that post last year.

  4. Karol Says:

    You are not alone: http://shawnmacomber.typepad.com/primitivereturns/2008/02/and-your-little.html

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