March 5 – Another SOL about Laundry

Armed with my 2 rolls of quarter from the bank, my jug of Tide detergent and my overflowing laundry basket, I pulled into the coin laundry mat. Both the washer and dryer at my house were acting up and with no time to call/meet a repair man, I decided to do what I did back in college – visit the coin laundry mat.

As I entered, I noticed it right away. The people inside were mostly Latino men. They were either watching soccer on one of the four flat screen TVs or chatting in Spanish to a friend while folding laundry. There were just a few women, also Latino and a few young kids. I was the only mid-aged white lady doing her laundry.

As I added 12 quarters and detergent to a washer filled with my whites and then to another filled with my darks, I thought about my life and the life of those around me. I own a single family home in a neighborhood outside of Washington, DC which has both a washer and dryer in the basement. Due to my teaching schedule, I haven’t been able to call a repair man or be home to meet him if I did. So for now, I’m just a visitor here and not a regular. Yet, around me are the regulars.  I admit, it surprises me that they are mostly men. The TVs are a great draw for this crowd.

I wonder which came first..Latino men at the laundry mat or the flat screen TVs?!

6 thoughts on “March 5 – Another SOL about Laundry

  1. Lisa says:

    I like this slice! I actually sliced about the laundry mat last year. It is definitely is an interesting place – and I think the men inspired the flat screens. There were no men and no flat screens at mine… : )


  2. Marilyn Miner says:

    I need to take our quilts and big blankets to the laundromat. Whenever I go, I feel a little jealous of the community feeling there, the shared work of women doing their laundry together. The children running around feel free and safe with lots of mothers near. I, too, have been the only white woman in the laundromat and I wonder what they think of me. I often wish I had someone to share the “woman's work.” It would make the time much more fun.


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