Sunday, 18 March 2012

I need a new hangout. Maybe I'll try the park

Last week, we finally broke down and bought a washer and dryer.
And frankly, I felt a little guilty about it.
You see we've made friends with the Laundry Lady of Elmvale Acres who runs perhaps the nicest laundry facility in the city. Unlike most mats which are dingy and dreary and make you feel like a loser just walking through the door, The Elmvale Laundramart has pristine, expensively tiled floors, a big screen television and a play area for children. The washroom are immaculate and are decorated with a little whimsical sign which reads "please be kind with your behind".
The Elmvale Laundramart is a hub of neighborhood activity with an eclectic crew of characters some of whom suffer from mental illnesses. I remember a conversation with one bloke who came in and cosied up to me. He announced that he'd been hit by a car and had lost his short term memory. He wandered around the mart with his laundry. He returned to my table to tell me the story over and over again. He never did his laundry.
I met Gerry, the bartender from the Airforce mess who told me about his sad life caring for his sick wife. Gerry eventually left the 'hood when his wife was put into a home. Despite his unfortunate life, Gerry was always perky and happy. I miss him.
Being a writer and a shut in, I rarely go out in public anymore unless I'm cleaning my delicates or shopping at the dreary little Elmvale Loblaws. So my weekly visits to the Laundramart were an important milestone in my socialization.
Since baby Skylar has arrived, we've realized we couldn't afford to go to the Laundramart anymore. It made no economic sense to pay $50 a week for our household. Might as well put that money into home laundry, so that's what we did.
I'm afraid to tell the Laundry Lady. She's struggling to keep her business going and the $200 we spend every month was money she could count on.
I'll try to stop by, now and again, to feed the machines doing comforters.
Throw her a bone.
But I'm going to miss the old place, that's for sure.
I need a new hangout. Maybe I'll try the park.

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