BELIEVE it or not but there is an unspoken etiquette in launderettes, though you wouldn’t have known it today in my local.
I went down with the week’s washing and was lucky to get two machines at once so I loaded up the washing before going to get dinner in the supermarket.
This is a weekly routine which I have off to a tee, I put in the washing and by the time I am done in the supermarket, the washing is also nearly done and ready to go into the spinner which takes off the excess water before going into the tumble dryer.
When I got back after the supermarket I had a couple of minutes before the next stage so I sat down and started to read one of the Sunday tabloids which are bought by the launderette.
The washing finished so I put it into the spinner, as I was taking it out an older man came in with a wash he obviously did at home which he then proceeded to load into the only free dryer.
Rule number one broken, you cannot come in with wet washing and take a dryer which is about to be used by someone who has spent the afternoon washing in the place. I learnt this many years ago in the same place by one of the women who worked there.
He then proceeded to sit where I was sitting and read the paper, despite my coffee sitting on the table, my cardigan over the back of the chair and being surrounded by my shopping and the suitcase which I carted the washing down in.
I told him ‘I’m sitting there reading that’ and he looked straight through me. I wasn’t trying to be rude I was sitting there reading. He thought I was mad and continued to flick through the paper.
So I stood waiting on a dryer and picked up the Indo. Not content with having usurped me from the window seat where I was, he would flick through the paper and look up at me every now and again. He then came up to me and said with serious attitude ‘are those your newspapers, or do they belong to the shop’. And he was certainly being far from nice he was being narky and trying to make some point that I was mad to expect to sit where I was sitting and continue to read the paper I was reading.
Incrediously I replied ‘catch yerself on’ and went back to the Indo. He went back to his/my seat and glanced at the ads you get at the back of the tabloids for adult dances at Barry’s Hotel.
I ended up going over, lifting my coffee and left him to it.
Then another cardinal launderette rule was broken, he proceeded to watch as I folded up the clothes which I wasn’t putting into the dryer. Ehm STOP. Specifically men should not watch women fold up their clothes, it is a private moment in a public place and it is regarded as pervy. Nick Camen and I heard it through the grapevine it is not.
His final blow against the mad woman (me) in the launderette was when he returned the newspapers to me with a flourish. Ah gee tanks!
I finally got a machine, got my clothes dried and got out of there.
Other cardinal rules while doing laundry include not touching others’ washing unless you absolutely have to, coming in the door and taking a machine before paying for it (when busy those people at the counter are actually paying to use the machine you have just taken). There are more but I can’t think of them just now.
Or maybe I am becoming even more grumpy!