Frosh-cessities: Laundry day

It’s a whole new year, and it’s time for a whole new set of frosh-cessities. Don’t worry, Sam didn’t stay back a grade (we’re pretty sure that’s not even possible anymore). The BlogDH just found a new guinea pig staff writer to blunder through freshman year. So check in every other week or so as Jason attempts to figure out the dos, don’ts and DIYs for surviving dorm life at Brown.

Finding an empty washing machine on a weekend is rather hit-or-miss, just without the hit. Chances are, all the machines are running, and if one isn’t, some random jerk decided to use it as a drawer for wet clothes. It’s rather like a game show at times. What’s behind door number one—excessive amounts of Brown swag? A really cute sweater you’re tempted to steal? A set of sexy underwear that always awkwardly seems to be at the top of the pile?

Laundry is the procrastinator’s chore. Sweaty underwear and stained shirts (or the other way around, depending on your week) pile up in the corners of our dorms until everything smells like feet, or until we’ve run out of sweatpants and dingy t-shirts to wear to breakfast.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Either way, two weeks into school and approaching the risk of musky nudity, I finally made my way down to the Keeney laundry rooms. You wouldn’t have noticed, but I was nervous—heart-pounding, sweaty-fist nervous. It was time to lose my laundry virginity.

Alright, which cycle do I use? Is baby blue a “color” or a “bright color”? Oh god, I just put my hand in something sticky—I really, really hope that it was just spilled detergent. What in the world are fabric settings? Maybe I should ask the pretty girl next to me how to do the laundry. Crap, was that sexist?

At least I knew to put the clothes in the big barrel thing.

I did, in the end, manage to start the wash cycle without incident. The nice girl next to me explained (without chauvinism on my part) everything I needed to know. Baby blue is a bright color. Use the delicates and knits cycle. Your detergent cap is a measuring cup. I listened eagerly, like a disciple studying from a grandmaster.

I was so happy I almost broke out into song.

Two hours later, I still couldn’t believe I had just cleaned my clothes. That grass stain from rolling around the Main Green? Gone. The spill from last Friday night? As if it didn’t even happen. The coffee I shot from my nose while that really cute guy walked by in the Ratty? Well, the stain is gone, but he still gives me funny looks.

As I buried my head in the warm goodness of a fresh load, I realized doing laundry is more than just a chore. I didn’t just feel clean and washed up. I felt like an adult. I was a big kid now. Because now that I had the power to wash clothes, no stain, splatter or spill could stop me. I could confront the world head on. I could do anything …

… except maybe use a drying machine. Damn, I really liked that wool sweater. If anyone has a baby brother who needs winter clothes, give me a call.

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