Living the Dream: Laundry

Every now and then I’m going to write about the pitfalls of #livingthedream here in LA, so those of you who don’t live here, can feel good about your life choices. Ha. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA. There are just some minor differences between my old life (big house in suburbia) versus the life I live now.

First in this series: LAUNDRY

If you don’t own a home in LA, you lease. (And nobody owns, so there you go.) When you lease, you’ll be super lucky to find a washer and dryer in your unit. Kind of lucky if it’s in your building, and not so lucky if it’s somewhere in your complex.

Basically unlucky if you have to go to THE LAUNDROMAT.

Right now we are in the unlucky camp.  We go back and forth between two apartments (thanks to Airbnb and our freelance income). One is fancier than the other, and therefore is “cha-ching” — way more.

Since we’re currently in the “not so fancy one,” (ahem, the sacrifice of making your first feature) I get my exercise done for the day simply by going to THE LAUNDROMAT.

Imagine, if you will, loading up five IKEA bags in your car, full of clothes, sheets, towels, blankets, poopy mistakes, etc. WITH YOUR TODDLER. You take these five loads to the laundromat (which by the way, is in a shopping center that has limited parking) and park yourself fifty yards away from the front door of that dang mat.

You unload THE TODDLER and strap her into the stroller, then somehow manage to carry the five bags in increments ACROSS the parking lot. Beware of the homeless folks along the way, all of whom need medication for their mental illnesses.

Once inside the laundromat, you better have come prepared because the owners of these hole-in-the-walls are stuck in 1989.  No credit card machines are available to obtain cash, so you better not have forgotten those dollar bills baby! (The quarter machine doesn’t take twenties either so good luck with the ATM if you choose that route) If by chance you DIDN’T BRING those glorious dollar bills, then you must leave those bags (the ones with with the precious clothes that the homeless folks would like to have) and trek back through the parking lot to the grocery store, WITH THE TODDLER.

By now THE TODDLER is antsy and wants to get out, so you let her. Since it’s been raining, her energy levels are off the charts, and the puddles are now calling her name. You manage to survive the puddle zone (remember you have to hustle because your five bags of laundry are still back at that mat, waiting for someone to go through them, or for someone to “borrow” some of your detergent) and make it inside the overcrowded grocery store. (Everyone shops on Saturday, because they’re overworked Mon-Friday like unpaid interns, all for the hashtag, #livingthedream)

Once inside you MUST NOT get distracted. No food purchases allowed, even though you are proabably starving. THE MISSION is to get those BILLS. Finally you get the bills and manage to distract the toddler from the candy at her eye level (which should be illegal btw) and head back to your favorite place of all time.

Back at THE LAUNDROMAT you feed the bills to the coin machine, and of course the machine spits them back, causing you to become very anxious because your TODDLER is now making friends with the homeless folks, as well as a lot of eclectic people in the room, including one guy who doesn’t know the meaning of personal space, but your TODDLER thinks it’s awesome because he’s so friendly. CUE the quarters spitting out of the machine; Ding, Ding, Ding! And THE TODDLER running over, screaming, “Oh wow!”

She grabs as many quarters as she can, holding them in her tiny hands, not understanding why they keep slipping out. Unfazed she walks over to the machines, fists full, while you are shoveling those FIVE LOADS in as quickly as possible, hearing the sounds of quarters dropping and rolling all over the place. YOUR PRECIOUS, hard to obtain, QUARTERS are now being picked up by the lovely friendly people, which your TODDLER thinks is absolutely terrific, never mind all the germs she’s collecting from them.

“Here mama,” she says.

By now you can feel everyone watching you in your frazzled state of mind, including the actor dude who is into you because you’re not wearing a wedding ring. CUE THE TODDLER putting a couple quarters in her mouth and spitting them back out again. “Thank you Lucy, thank you so much,” you say to your little helper as she puts the $3.50 worth of quarters into the slot, one by one, which takes a bit because the little boss inside her insists on doing each one HERSELF. (Notice the price tag on 5 loads of wash.)

CUT TO twenty minutes later.

The soap is in, the machines are on, and your timer is set. Better hustle though, otherwise when you come back your clothes will have “kindly” been moved elsewhere, which is okay, until four days later when your only pair of designer jeans, that fit you, are missing. Off you go, to run those errands, and repeat the steps all over again, next for the dry cycle, and then again for the load up, all of which happens, remember, WITH THE TODDLER.

Back home now and too exhausted, you leave your precious laundry in the back of your SUV because the thought of carrying them, WITH THE TODDLER, two blocks to the apt (because parking is non existent in LA) is just too much. Alas! Pop open a Stella and throw some fish sticks in the oven and tell yourself it’s all good, because hey, you’re #livingthedream right? See, I told you we were going to be inspiring around here. Treatment and outline are caalllinnnng …

What did you accomplish today? Hopefully you are living your dream. 🙂
x and tales,
AEJ
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