I’m very grateful for laundry machines. I’m glad I don’t have to go out and break ice in the Providence River to wash my clothes. I can afford to have a machine do that for me. But that doesn’t mean laundry is a perfect experience.
Here’s how an ideal laundry load goes:
- Put laundry in washing machine. Add detergent. Start.
- Wait 34 minutes.
- Transfer laundry from washing machine to dryer. Clean the lint out from the screen — fun times! Add dryer sheets if you’re one of those people. Start.
- Wait an hour.
Here’s how it usually happens at Brown:
- Put laundry in washing machine. Add detergent. Realize you don’t have enough Bear Bucks.
- Run in your pajamas through the freezing cold to the nearest Bear Bucks machine. Because it is far too much to ask to just have one of those in the actual laundry room.
- Shit, you don’t have enough cash. Now to an ATM. You could have run an entire load of laundry with the withdrawal fee.
- Then back to a Bear Bucks machine. Still freezing. Still PJs.
- Return only to find that some douche-nozzle removed your clothes from the machine even though there are two others available.
- Collect apparel from floor.
- Load into another machine. It runs. Good.
- Transfer from washer to dryer. Run dryer. Who gives a crap about the lint screen?
- Dryer finishes, but the machine next to it was also running and the day of the month is not divisible by 13 so your clothes aren’t actually dry. And maybe neglecting the lint screen wasn’t such a good idea.
- Give up.
- Wear moist clothes.
And speaking of excessive moisture, what is with the gigantic rubber lip? That thing had to have been designed exclusively for sock-eating. During every single laundry load, one gets stuck in there without fail. It remains slimy and soggy and in many other atrocious fluid-related states. What am I supposed to do with that?
This brings me to the next horrible aspect of the laundry experience: laundry etiquette.
For those who leave your laundry in for too long: there are no more excuses. We emerged from the stone age of quarters long ago. We have LaundryView. You can literally watch the load timer tick down on a little online Flash rendition of the laundry room. From four different angles. And if you’re too lazy to do that, you can have the thing text you when your laundry is done.
But there are still those people who somehow forget about their laundry. I confess, I’ve been one of them. Mea maxima culpa. But we’re still people, so if you must remove a person’s clothing to make room for your own, do unto others as you would have them do to you.
- place the laundry on a relatively clean surface (on top of a washer or on a table).
- remove all of the laundry…
- …including the sock that will inevitably be stuck in the rubber thingy.
- pick up items that may, by some mishap, have made their way to the floor.
- be a dick in general. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
- leave a soggy sock in the rubber thingy.
- throw it all over the floor. The point of doing laundry is to clean the clothes.
- “accidentally” allow it to fall on the floor (no, you can’t get away with technicalities).
- allow socks to fall off the back of the washing machine to join many of their brethren in untimely death.
Moral of the story: There are many aspects of doing laundry that suck. Some of these are out of our control. But if we all work together and take as much care of the next person’s socks as we would our own, laundry can be a more pleasant experience for everyone!