I definitely saw a pair in there yesterday. Under those socks. Definitely. Am I losing my mind??
Frantic searching in top drawer for elusive knickers. Where the FECK ARE THEY???
No sign. I look to overflowing laundry basket and silently curse New York for its lack of civilization. Having a washer - dryer in your home is as common as having a front door in Ireland and considered a basic human right.
Quick fix tactics. Is it socially acceptable in the modern age to think about ‘recycling’ a pair of knickers with strategic use of a pantyliner?? I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever toy with this idea. Then I remember about the obscene knicker shorts that I bought for a yoga retreat a few years ago but could never actually wear in public. I knew they’d come in handy one day!
There are officially no knickers. But plenty of (faux) fur coats. Laundry status has exceeded emergency levels. I can no longer avoid the inevitable.
Laundry detergent. Fabric softener. Color catchers. Whitening sheets. (Because if you haven’t discovered either color catchers or whitening sheets yet, get on it! They will change your life.) Giant suitcase to feck everything into and transport to laundromat. Next, laundromat outfit. And there’s nothing else for it - ADIDAS X Jeremy Scott oversize sequined football shirt and ASH wedge sneakers. Because laundromats deserve glamour too goddammit!
Arrive at laundromat. I wheel my case through the aisles and scope out machines. I’m going to need at least five to get through this lot. I feel smug at my (at this point) mid-morning excursion because there’s nothing worse than making the laundry pilgrimage only to find that all the washers are in use and you want to kill everyone there.
Why now? Why me? Aren’t there 23 other hours in the fucking day they could choose to do laundry???
I line up machines that have been smell tested (you know the smell I’m looking for), separating everything out as necessary - colors, whites, delicates, sports wear, miscellaneous. Tide comes out, Woolite for the delicates. I lash the washes on either cold or warm only - anything else will DESTROY my beloved belongings forever.
Laundromat lady approaches.
“Are you doing a photoshoot?”
“Yes, but I’m also doing laundry.”
“You can’t leave your suitcase there, it’s a sorting table.”
She walks on.
Lady at the machine beside me asks who I’m doing a shoot for. I reply with the standard.
Suitcase is positioned in a less conspicuous corner area and it’s time to go.
Laundry cart. Tide bottles. Drying machines. Sitting. Standing. Climbing. Twirling. Laughing. Having the time of my life.
Being pushed around in the laundry cart is the highlight of my day. But not anyone else’s.
“Ma’am, that is not a toy.”
That’s me told.
Washing is complete. I remove my clothes from the many machines and pile them into the laundry cart, rolling it past the eyes of laundromat lady as I head towards the dryers.
The trickier part of doing laundry is not so much the washing (once you’ve figured out the rule of cold and warm settings only) but the flipping drying.
It’s not about lashing everything into a machine on full blast and getting out of there as quickly as possible (as you see people do). Having put MAJOR investment into my wardrobe both financial and emotional, it’s become a case of carefully considering each item individually and asking important questions such as ‘how long can I feasibly leave my slightly elasticated and mostly synthetic sexy knickers in on a medium heat before they start to melt?’ and ‘how long can I leave my cotton t-shirts in on a high heat so they will actually dry but not shrink versus a medium heat where I’ll be here all night they’ll end up drying in my apartment with a mildly damp smell.’
Then decide wisely to put them in with the towels to offset intense heat-activated shrinkage.
It’s not my first rodeo.
All clothes loaded in, I discuss grabbing a coffee (but I really mean tea) with Sherpa.
Vogue lady appears out of nowhere.
“You know why I don’t leave my laundry unattended no more?”
Of course I don’t, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to tell me.
“I’ll tell you why. I went out to the store and came back in five minutes. FIVE minutes. I went out and came straight back and I took out my laundry outta the dryer and I was foldin’ and foldin’ and I got to the end and I was like ‘where’s my bra?’ My bra. Was gone.”
She stares at me rather unsettlingly, almost accusingly, allowing the information to resonate.
I wasn’t sure if she was telling a story, genuinely concerned for the safety of my bras or sending a message.
In any case, I thank her for the information and decide to scratch the coffee.
Folding all into my suitcase, I count my bras. One, two, three. Yep they’re all there. I have as many pairs of clean knickers as I do faux fur coats. (That’s is a lot by the way.)
As I trail my bulging suitcase up the street, I conclude that doing your washing and laundromats kind of suck (unless you bring a friend). And that I should really buy more sequins, not only for their mood-enhancing properties but also because of their bonus low-maintenance laundry status.
I see a line of sequins-only knickers (amongst other things) on the horizon. Watch this space!
GLOSSARY OF TERMS (in order of appearance)
1. Knickers - Irish English for women’s underwear - pants. But knicker pants, not trouser pants.
2. Feck - Irish English word meaning to ‘throw’ or ‘put’ in this context. It’s a highly versatile word.
3. Lash - A rather dramatic Irish English slang word meaning to put in this context - so basically I put on the washes. NBD. Not to be confused with 'going on the lash' which is a completely different scenario.
4. Flipping - Irish English for ‘damned’. Generally used to add drama. ‘Fecking’ or 'bloody' would also work in this context.
5. Lashing - This is either the present participle or gerund of ‘lash’ (see no. 3 above). Grammarists please advise.
6. Sherpa - Irish English and also American English for 'Friend / photographer / helper of friends in need / explorer / human trip advisor / lifecoach / performer'
7. Washing - Irish English for 'laundry'. Us Irish are bit more literal in this context anyway. We just wash our clothes.
Sequin Oversize Shirt Dress: Adidas Originals X Jeremy Scott / Sneakers: ASH / Gold Rosette Necklace: India Hicks