Surely there were better ways to spend a Saturday night.
But here I was pulling my whites out of the triple load washer and dumping them into the cart that would transport them to the giant dryer. I congratulated myself on finding a fine specimen of a cart with not even so much of a tiny spec of rust that might endanger my poor little white “wife beater” that I loved so much. I am quite sure that I take far too much pride in my ability to wash, dry and fold 3 loads of laundry at once, but everyone needs a special talent I guess. I’m not artistic enough to draw a stick figure nor could I finish a Suduku puzzle if my life depended on it, but I can fold a button-down Oxford Polo shirt with such deft precision you’d think I’d been raised in a Dry Cleaner my entire life.
I was the younger of two children raised by two Anglo-Saxon non-practicing Protestants who live in a split level duplex on a nice, pretty street in a quiet, little suburb paid for with a middle-class income from only mildly interesting jobs that were gained by educations paid for by their parents. My folks met in a study group their sophomore year of college, got married the Spring after graduation, had a son and a daughter and got a cat and a dog. They don’t ignore us and don’t try to be our best friends either. Pretty run of the mill stuff
I’m okay with my looks. I’ve got dark hair that I’ve managed to grow past my shoulders making it long enough to curl at the ends, which I rather like. I have green eyes I am told don’t exactly match my dark hair, which I personally find rather exotic. I have a splatter of freckles across the bridge of my nose that everyone tells me are cute, which I don’t very much appreciate and I have a slight frame that I think makes me look like a boy, which my mother tells me I should appreciate since I’m not bigger. I’ve never been turned down by a boy, but then, I haven’t tried either. Just the thought of talking first, initiating the whole , “Hello” sequence makes me nervous, and I think this pretty much explains why the back corner of the Laundromat might be my favorite spot. Back here, I can watch everyone come in, load and unload, fold and load again, and then finally leave without ever having to move from my own chair with the exception of changing my own laundry between cycles.
This also allows for prime viewing of Plaid Boxer Boy.
I have tried to find a more distinguished nickname name for Saturday’s brightest highlight, but Dude with sometimes holy knee jeans just doesn’t sound as good to me. I almost decided to change it the day I noticed him folding a pair of gray Jockey boxer briefs but decided against it based on the fact that he, a) only did it once, and b) well, wasn’t a) enough?
Plaid Boxer Boy wasn’t as methodical as I was; in fact, he barely even folded his clean clothes yet instead sort of wrapped them around his arms like a bandage and then slid them off in this messy little heap. At times, it almost hurt me to watch him and I won’t even lie and not admit that some nights I had to fight the urge to run over screaming, “For God’s Sake, what did that pair of pants ever do to you?!” but I knew Plaid Boxer Boy well enough by now to know that unless I was willing to fold his pants for him, he could give a shit less how they made it to the pile that rested inside his laundry basket. He also didn’t separate out his colors. I watched him remove load after load of his laundry from the dryer and found the lack of pink swirls and new gray blue mixed hues fascinating. His way was wrinkly and potentially color altering, but most definitely effective and less time consuming, I’ll give him that.
“Do these belong to you?”
Plaid Boxer Boy was standing right in front of me. How did I not notice him cross the room?
“Sorry, did I startle you? I, Uh, found these in my washer, sticking to my socks. Are they um, yours?”
Plaid Boxer Boy was staring at me. While holding my panties.
“Hey, listen, I’m really sorry, if these aren’t yours…I just always see you in here so I just assumed…” he was stammering a bit now. God, he had such great eyes. Awesome dark pools of chocolate.
In all of my daydream musings of what Plaid Boxer Boy might someday say to me should we, you know, accidently crash our laundry carts into one another’s, in not one of them was he holding my panties.
What? What did you just say?
“Oh. Well, ok, sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you…”
“Wait! I meant yes. Yes, they’re mine. I don’t know why I said no.”
Plaid Boxer Boy’s face relaxed a little, and he let out a laugh, “You sure?”
“Yes, I should hope so, considering, I picked them out and all. And my name is on them.”
“You put your name on your undies?” He was really having fun with this now, beaming with a full face grin.
“Yeah, so? I put my name on all my clothes. In case I lose them during a load” I could feel my face burning up. It definitely didn’t go this way in my day dreams. I am totally going to have to switch to another Laundromat now. Damn.
Looking tentatively at me, then at my panties in his hands, then back at me, Plaid Boxer Boy reaches his hand out to give them to me, “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Astrid, I’m Patrick”, and he flashed his brilliant smile at me.
Right at me.
I might’ve started beaming at him then.
Surely there couldn’t possibly be a better way to spend a Saturday night.