Laundry Mat Love Affair

June 06, 2013

(rad chairs at our local laundry mat)

It's been a goal of mine here recently to try and capture more pictures of everyday life. I really want to capture everything around me, be more aware to the beauty in things that seem mundane (could I sound more like my college art instructors?).

Whenever I was younger, we lived in an apartment and we didn't own a washer or dryer. I was so young, that I didn't really notice the difference. You can't miss what you never had - right? My father and I took regular visits to the laundry mat and as a kid it was a blast. Now, being much older, it's hard to fathom not having a washer and dryer directly at my dispense, especially given Jack - the messiest child in the universe. My parents worked and continue to work hard, so can I just say 'go parents! you rock!' My father let me delicately load the coins their slots and turn the machine on. As I watched the clothes whirl round and round, I was enthralled. Not to mention my Dad used to sit me on top of the washers and spin quarters around for me - the most fascinating thing in my life. It was some serious bonding time for the two of us.

As we purchased a house and a washer and dryer, these trips to the laundry mat came to a hault (not that I really cared or noticed at the time). Over the course of many years we've had the dryer break down at regular intervals and during those times we'd retreat to the local laundry mat in town, just until we could either fix our current dryer or purchase and install a new one. At age fifteen or sixteen, our dryer broke down for the nth time and I remember Mom and I pulling up to the laundry mat. I was slightly embarrassed to be there, but the more I was there - the more charmed I became. The people watching was prime and the quietness of the place, the only sound coming from tjhe whir of machinery, made it a desirable place for me to want to work (this was a time when my parents were badgering me to get my first job). When I told my mother that I thought working at the laundry mat would be right up my alley, she was certainly taken aback. It was such an odd thing for me to say. I didn't end up working there, but the laundry mat became somewhere on the edge of town that every time I passed, I looked at with a certain fondness.

Now, to present day. A few days ago, the whole family decided it would be the perfect time to strip the beds and wash all the comforters, sheets, and pillow cases. To mitigate the large laundry load, we decided to take it to the laundry mat instead because we'd get it done twice as fast and much more effectively. We pulled up and I walked in. The place that many consider a necessary evil, I found more charming than ever. The seventies wood pannelling, the rows of machines, the Mrs. PacMan arcade game in the corner, and the raddest chairs lining the walls - what was there not to like?

So, as we washed our comforters I was reminded that the beauty and interest is really in the eye of the beholder and that the most mundane objects and places can be the most fascinating ones.

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