September 03, 2012

Laudromats and Labour Day....

I love people watching.  I used to go sit in the food court at the mall to do just that, of course that was before anxiety took it's toll.  I still love going to the grocery store just to walk the aisles and see folks in their natural state.  I like to take in reactions to me depending on what I'm wearing (i.e. tattoo's showing or not), or perhaps to whatever vibes I'm giving off at the time.  I love the mish-mash of faces and children and well, everything.

Our dryer crapped out a few weeks ago, and right now it's not a priority on the list.  It's not the end of the world, but it's inconvenient from time to time.  Neither of us has had to deal with laundry rooms in some years so we're sort of revisiting a bit of our past.  I only go when I have a load or two of small things to dry to save time and hangers.  We don't have room for a clothes line here, if we put it in the back yard the dogs will have a field day with our knickers, and the side of the house isn't the greatest idea either.  So, we hang all that can be hung throughout the house and do a load or two almost every night to space out the washing.  Once I get a large load of socks and undies, I take that to the laundromat to dry for about 75c.  While I'm there I sit and watch the folks mill around me. 

The mama's who are probably tired and have more to do when they get home, the young folks who don't have a laundry at their apartment complex or maybe it's too small or expensive...the dads who are batting cleanup for mom, or maybe handling up on his weekend with the kids.  There's something about the laundromat that creates an even playing field with the races and the lifestyles.  I've seen black folks, white folks, Spanish folks...even a few Asian folks.  I've seen poor folks, middle class folk, some who are slightly higher on the income chain and those like me, hovering between making it or breaking it.  All of us in there for one common cause.  Maybe our washer/dryer is busted, maybe we have huge comforters that won't fit in the washer at home, or maybe we don't even have a washer/dryer at home.  Either way, there's a courtesy, a "we're in it together" vibe while you're there waiting on the "good" dryer, or the washer that spins just right. 

There's also something humbling for me about the whole thing.  See, I've had issues with being....comfortable.  Not that I don't like it, now don't get me wrong, I enjoy having something left over when the bills are paid.  I like knowing I don't have to shop with a strict list and then pray I have enough for that.  When you live tight and basic for so long, it becomes part of you.  You become automatically wary of anything that looks like it's too good to be true...chances are it is.  We don't live "high on the hog", we are by far not trying to keep up with any Jones's.  We do what we can with what we've got.  But, for me there's something about being there, in those little plastic seats with a book, that takes me back to a point in my life when things were simpler. 

Inherently, I'm not a fan of a TV in every bedroom, or eating out more than cooking at home, or buying unnecessary things for the sake of having them.  This being said, I do have things I consider guilty pleasures.  Things such as little collectibles from my travels.  Shoes.  No, I don't have the collection a few of my friends have (lawd knows I'm in heavy envy) but I have more than is practical.  Jewelry, granted most of it is costume, but I have a LOT.  A book, magazine and comic collection that is slightly out of hand, and art supplies-lots of art supplies.  And yes, I do have twinges of guilt when I look around the house and know I need to dust these things or organize them better, or do more than clean the house in those shoes.  Oh, and I like good beer.  Like Really Good Beer....but I do know when to cling to my familiar blue and silver can. 

No matter how great, how easy, how much better life gets for me I will always crave simplicity.  Something to keep me grounded, something to keep me from obtaining the airs of those I tend to look down upon.  Not saying it's good or correct for me to look down on anyone, but I do.  It's a flaw that I continue to work on every day.  I am simply on a quest to make sure I don't become one of those who has forgotten from where they came.  'Scuse me, forgot where they come from.  My weekly trips to the laundromat help secure that in me for now.  Maybe one day soon I won't need that security.  Hopefully one day soon, I'll just know that no matter what happens in my life, I will always be that girl from the backwoods who loves to play c.b. hide and seek, go fishing on Toledo Bend, and run barefoot all day long.  Doesn't matter how long I've lived in a little big city far away from the piney woods. 

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