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?!