Saturday, December 6, 2008
"I've always wanted to do that..."
I say it all the time and rarely do I find myself actually doing it.
Skydiving. Surfing. Horse-back riding. Sex (just kidding Mom).
But maybe the thing I've most wanted to do but never done is go to the laundry mat/bar in Carrboro.
What a cool concept I thought, I hate waiting for my laundry to finish. But I love watching sports and having a drink.
At Super Suds, you can do both. (No, they did not paid me to say that.)
And every time I went to the Food Lion next to Super Suds, I'd say to the person (male) I was with, "Man, I've always wanted to do that..."
...when I did that.
Before I launch into a long and drawn out tale though, let me give you a bit of background.
Bit of background:
I hate doing laundry (if you don't agree, please let me know and maybe we can strike a bargain). It's the same thing every time and it takes forever. You dread it all day and when you finally decide to suck it up and do the damn thing, you're best friend asks you if you want to go to see that new Bond movie.
You of course cannot and instead go back to loading everything into the washer. Then, after sitting around for 30 minutes, you go back to change everything into the dryer only to realize that you forgot to load that one dirty sock, craftily hidden beneath the dryer sheets.
Now you may be thinking, So What? It's one sock? You have plenty. Just wash it next time.
Well it's not one sock. It's bigger than one sock.
I know, you're thinking again:
It's two socks because you can't wear its matching sock, right?
Wrong. I solved that problem a long time ago. But more on that later...
The only good thing about doing laundry is finishing doing laundry.
I can't begin to describe the feeling of accomplishment I get when I gaze into a perfectly empty laundry bin...
So clean. So pure. So natural. And I don't have to do laundry again for two/two-and-a half weeks...
But that one sock. That one effing sock. It ruins everything. And the accomplishment is replaced with frustration, regret and maybe even doom, leaving nothing but a deeper dread of doing laundry the next time, and the next, and the next...
End B.O. Background. (Pun semi-intended)
So when I finally decided to do it and make the trip to Super Suds, because I can't do anything by myself, I sent an email to my Fraternity listserv begging someone to come with me.
I masked the selfish, pathetic invitation with something like, "We spend too much time having the same shallow conversations over and over again. How are we ever going to get to actually know each other if we can't talk about important issues, who we are and what we believe in? Well here's an opportunity for me and one of you to spend some quality time together. Call me if you have a couple free hours this afternoon and want to just hang out and chat..."
Luckily for me, someone fell for it, a guy named Daniel.
So I picked up Daniel, laundry in hand, and we headed to Super Suds.
When we got there, we were overwhelmed.
In the foreground were hundreds, maybe thousands of washers and dryers spinning complacently, rumbling softly, like the purr of a kitten. In the background was a full bar complete with TVs, vintage Pacman arcades and pool tables.
I quickly exchanged a $20 bill for quarters, threw my laundry into four washers and headed to the background...
There, Daniel and I caught the second half of the Duke-Michigan game, had a drink and discussed life. All three were great.
When the basketball game ended, I went to check on my laundry only to see it waiting to be switched to the dryer.
As I began scooping the first batch from the washer and loading into the dryer, I glanced over at my laundry bin and saw that (bleep)ing sock almost-hidden beneath it.
I muttered a few words that I will have to repent for next Yom Kippur and grudgingly went back to scooping and loading.
When I was done, I angrily walked back to the background and tried to explain the sock situation to Daniel.
He didn't understand but offered to buy the first round of pool and I felt a little better.
After four games, I went back to the foreground to check on my laundry and again, found it dry and waiting to be folded.
And that's when it hit me.
Super Suds is the answer. When I'm at Super Suds, I don't wait on laundry. Laundry waits on me.
I was thrilled. I tried to explain my discovery to Daniel and again he didn't get it.
But that doesn't matter. What matters is that I no longer have to fear doing laundry.
I unloaded the clothes onto a table and began folding with an energy that I haven't felt since my Mom did my laundry for me.
Everything went perfectly. None of the shirts were inside out, the pants folded at the seams on the first try and the socks well, let me tell you about the socks...
When I came to college, I made what I believe is the best decision of my life. I threw away all my socks...
...and bought 50 of the same sock.
Everyone hates matching socks. It takes forever and when you finish, there's always 5-10 unmatchable socks and you wonder, Where the hell are all the other socks? Then, if you've got some spare time, you start fishing in your pants pockets hoping to find a single, matchable sock to no avail. Then you look at that one dirty sock you forgot to wash and think about how it's going to be another two weeks at best until you can wear that pair.
All in all, very stressful.
But that's you.
I never have more than one leftover sock because all my socks are the same. I know. Genius.
Anyway, once I'd folded the shirts, pants and unmentionables (do guys call/not mention them that?), Daniel walked and I trotted to the car.
We got in, realized it was near dinner time, unanimously voted to go to Wendy's and drove off into the sunset...
As my time in college is coming to an end, I think it's important to actually do the things I've always wanted to do. Who knows if you'll be able to next year and it may even change your life.
I know it did mine today...