Texas does many things very well. Laundromats doesn’t seem to be one of them. A fellow gate guard found one in her town to be so awful she reported it to the local Chamber, or the BBB, I’m not sure which. And that was after she’d rejected the best Nixon has to offer. We have two laundromats in town Both have one chair and no working air conditioning. When it’s already 104 and the dryers are going, it gets pretty warm.
I know all you 5th wheelers are gloating right now. I’ve learned some lessons from my laundromat days, though, like always make sure the top is screwed on tight on the liquid Tide and you can get change at the car wash when the coin dispenser at the laundromat doesn’t work (which is surprisingly often) since the bank charges a dollar for a roll of quarters.
I’ve learned it’s better to fold clothes at home unless I take cleaning products with me since there isn’t really a clean surface to put things on. The floor is like a movie theater floor where your shoe sticks to invisible residue. This is especially challenging for me since I’m remarkably clumsy and always seem to be leaving a trail of underwear and washcloths.
I’ve learned it’s important to take my own reading material since, in our laundromats here in Nixon, there isn’t a single magazine or even a bulletin board where you can look for kittens and car parts and garage sales and Friday night Karaoke specials.
Some of the more convicting lessons I’ve learned at the laundromat, I learned in Oregon. I wrote about this in the blog I maintained for about 3 weeks in 2009. If you’re one of the 3 people who read it, you can just skip the rest of this post.
In the laundromat in Port Orford, they had a rather extensive selection of reading material.
The Holy Bible (KJV)
Our Daily Bread
and the following magazines:
The American Legion
Allen Brother’s (The Great Steakhouse Steaks)
ACLU: At War with America
The New Yorker
Handy: The Handyman Club of America
The Progressive Farmer
Voice of the Martyrs
Looking at the display, my first thought was, I’ll bet the folks who donated these wouldn’t much like each other.
(It’s always easier for me to make obvious, or even profound life applications for others)
There are some folks I know who read The Daily Bread that think the ACLU is the great left-wing conspiracy headquarters and believe AARP is its evil twin.
I also know folks who order from Cabala’s and have nothing but scorn for anyone who would read Popular Science.
I don’t know anyone (as far as I know) that reads The Progressive Farmer, so I don’t have any idea how they might feel about Allen Brother’s Steaks.
But the small-minded, bigotry just jumps right out at you, doesn’t it?
And there I stood, thinking that exact thing. Thinking about what type of person would have donated each item and deciding if I liked these imaginary people based on my stagnant pool of stereotypes.
How often do I find myself drowning in the misconception that other people should want to be like me – at least share my enlightened views. And if not, well, possibly they wouldn’t make very charming dinner companions.
Funny that I remember feeling that way at 25 and 35 and 45. Since I’m not 55 yet, maybe this is the time for a change.
Here in the melting heat of southern Texas, I find myself in the most unlikely environment I could ever imagine. This is possibly the last place I would have thought I would ever choose to live, working in a most unlikely industry, doing the oddest job I can think of. Even after just 6 months, I’ve changed. I developed admiration and gained an appreciation for so much and so many.
I’m old, but there may be hope for me yet…