Top Ten Reasons I Hate the Laundry Mat

I had to hustle over to the laundry mat after work today and after doing the arduous work of shoving clothes into the machines I took stock of my surroundings and…well…just read below…

1.      Leaving the comforts of home

2.      Avoiding ‘hustle man’ tryna sell me questionable DVDs while simultaneously asking for my number which leads me to wondering what on God’s green earth makes him think it’s even possible for me to say yes

3.      Looking at the hideous array of pajamas worn at all times of the day. I went to laundry mat after work today; arriving around 5pm, there were several chicks wearing too-tight pajama pants…WTF have you been doing all day that you couldn’t be bothered to even put on, say, sweatpants?!

4.      Avoiding the corner pocket crew which today consisted of 2 tall skinny black gentleman, a mid-height peroxide blonde white woman, and the piece de resistance the middle-aged  black women who looks like life has literally beat her down into a stooping position, no really she literally never stands up straight, she looks like what the locals call zombies (heron addicts) and unfortunately resembles one of the ‘flying monkeys’ from The Wiz. Together they hold down one little section of the laundry mat, I never see them actually at the washing machines. They watch the too-loud television, drink what appears to be beer in clear plastic cups, go outside to take cigarette breaks and dine on cheap greasy Chinese takeout or today disposable Dinty Moores.

5.      Avoiding being hit on by toothless wonders who also ask me for change (see #2)

6.      Discovering your quarter only buys 5 minutes of dryer time; I remember when a quarter bought a whole 15 minutes…as I write this I wonder how long ago that was…

7.      Fighting off fury when your clothes have been drying for 30 minutes and still have the nerve to be damp! Note: I absolutely positively DO NOT overload dryers, so you can see why I get furious

8.      Figuring out what dryers are the ‘don dada’ of the crew aka the ones that dry real good!

9.      Washing delicates in a separate load: unlike home washers these public spots have no load settings so I can choose an extra-small load and avoid wasting money and water on the side load washers or risk the top load washers becoming unbalanced because there are too few articles of clothing.

10.  24 hour laundry mat bathroom which I try to avoid but which is sometimes impossible…need I say more?

Reading over this makes me feel like it’s time to step up my life because this is plain unacceptable! I’ve been so negative about the public laundry mat that I feel perhaps sharing something I like about it might make me feel like less of a loser for having to use it, so here goes…I like washing multiple loads at one time and being able to wash rugs and blankets. There you have it…I can’t muster up anything else. For those who are blessed to have an in-house washer and dryer mazel tov! For those who either have to lug their dirties down mad stairs to a basement laundry shared with the building or for those like me who have to lug them to a laundry mat you have my deepest sympathies.

Note: For those who may ask why do you continue to go to this laundry mat, I say to you because it is close by, well-lit and well-manned (you’d be surprised by the plethora of dimly lit seemingly unsupervised laundry mats around Baltimore), is across from the cheap gas station which also sells my orange American Spirits, and there’s a Dunkin Donuts which comes in handy when I want a cup of coffee or my favorite glazed donut. The End.


Shit Sarah Lawrence Kids Say

Well kids-this video just made my night-I have never seen this before and I geeked HARD! As a 1997 grad alllll of this is so true and the only piece I never experienced was the sports side…I think that was my fav line “…we just got beat by the culinary school again!”. My other fave was the conference paper/project idea to gather paper and film it being lit on fire…oh my wow…I’m going back in to watch this again and will be sharing with all my SLC peeples straight away! To whomever created this…endless thanks for the full-belly laugh!

Valentine’s Day Cautionary Tale: Fellas Got Opinions

So before I get into it a couple of things:

  • The Google Valentine’s Day skit on their home page is so cute-love the song
  • I just saw a young lanky stylin guy riding down a hill against traffic on a bicycle-in the one and only hand wrapped around a bike handle he had about 5 or 6 of those shiny heart shaped helium balloons in his grasp while the other was holding his cell phone to his ear -the sentiment was there but so was the imminent end to his hallowed career as riding against traffic, in the rain,  down a hill, during rush hour with only one hand steadying the bike holding a full conversation raises the chances of an accident.

Now back to my little ditty about Valentine’s Day. If I’m not in a relationship I actually could care less about Valentine’s Day because it wasn’t practiced by my parents. My paternal grandfather would give my sister and I a heart-shaped box of Russell Stover chocolate candies, most of which we would poke and prod to try to guess what mystery awaited us just below the waxy chocolate surface. I happen to be one of very few women I personally know who is not fazed by chocolate. Typical me (champagne tastes/kool-aid money), I really like dark chocolate truffles from Godiva, which are of course a bit pricey, however all I need is a nice little 3-pack anything more and it’s a wrap. I’d actually rather have fruity candy like Haribo gummi bears, Mike & Ike’s or Swedish Fish…something fun like that. So what is my point exactly; basically that I’m always torn when it comes to my views on Valentine’s Day. I betcha I wouldn’t care if I didn’t have to go out into the world, thanks to DVR all those saccharine commercials touting the latest talking stuffed animal, musical card, or candy can be fast-forwarded.

This year I’m in a relationship and knowing we are currently on a tight budget I wasn’t expecting anything, but typical chick despite what you know and what you discussed, you still hope that your man  will  do something that doesn’t cost a thing to show ‘his love’ like wash the dishes, write a nice heartfelt note and leave it for me to discover when I get home from work, or cook a quick breakfast just something low key yet thoughtful. Well ladies and gents, no such thing happened BUT I will not lament the day because in reality I know what I have and that is emotional support, we’ve really gone through some tough life experiences so I won’t succumb to the side-eye that can be brought on by watching women you work with get flower deliveries, show you their new piece of  jewelry and talk about their fabulous dinner plans. In reality my guy is busting his ass at work tonight so I’ll leave him alone…for now…

While at work today we had several inappropriate yet interesting and hilarious conversations; I’ll focus on one here and that is men’s answer to Valentine’s Day entitled Steak & BJ Day. Yes ladies, you read correctly and if I have to spell out what BJ is then you clearly are in need of some help that I can’t provide or you are underage and should not be reading this.  So my girl was chatting with her homeboy when he brings up this ‘delightful’ faux holiday…I say faux because unlike the merchandise-friendly Valentine’s Day, Steak & BJ Day has not been incorporated into American mores as of yet. Nevertheless my friend swears she was told this, problem is we were at work so we had to save our research for after-hours. Here are the facts as outlined by the official website (see link below):

  • What: Steak & BJ Day
  • Who: This holiday is specifically set up to celebrate the men in your life as you expect them to celebrate you on the more widely known Valentine’s Day
  • When: March 14th; ladies notice it’s a full month of Valentine’s after-glow before it’s time to warm up those knee-pads
  • Where: Wherever you are located; I’m guessing if you don’t live stateside but would like to adopt this holiday in your native country it is quite alright (note: please check with your country’s embassy before adopting-you don’t want any ‘trouble’)
  • Why: Per home page of the website“…guys feel left out. That’s right, there’s no special holiday for the ladies to show their appreciation for the men in their life.”

All my fellas, please note that you can’t just celebrate Steak & BJ Day without putting in work (not talking about financially) and celebrating  Valentine’s Day as well. That being said, when discussing this earlier with my homegirl I told her I wish my man would try to play me on Valentine’s Day then pull my card on Steak & BJ Day cause for real, you wanna play games? I’ll change it to Steakums and a Lick Day. We collectively roared over that one and she shared that info with her homeboy, his response was priceless and a cautionary tale for us ladies since he said if we mess up we’ll get a “…a dandelion and  a hot pocket” on Valentine’s Day! I hooted and hollered to that one. So the moral of the story is this, if you celebrate the Hallmark version of this holiday then fellas you better do it right and ladies, if you expect your fellas to treat you to a fabulous evening on the town replete with flowers, candy, and lovemaking on a bear-skin rug in front of a roaring fire ala the bodice ripper novels then you best to be the first one to buy a good cut of steak and some knee-pads!

Thanks to opticoasis for sharing this brilliant photo. This is my college freshman dorm; my roomie and I were on the very top floor under the eaves in the middle over the front doors. We were a double living in a triple, which means we had a penthouse! Ohhhhh the memories…

Living for the Citay 2: Beggin Bums

Yo-To all my peoples begging for change holding down the same exact block every day please remember who you ask for loot. Here’s why: it’s a recession, inflation is real, I haven’t birthed any chirrun-so I can’t write you off or claim you as a dependant on my taxes. Begging is a charming side-effect of city life, NOT! What I’ve noticed over the years are several people who hold down the same corners for ages and still every time you walk by not only ask for money but tell you the same tired story. Here’s one, let me set the scene: While parallel parking one evening a woman pops up from behind a skinny young tree trunk and tries to ‘help’ me navigate into the space. Of course I already know she’s going to be asking me for something. I don’t have to wait long, as soon as my car door cracks open she’s on me with a story about her and her nonexistent kids needing bus fare to get across town. Now depending on my mood and the creativity of the story, I might pull the Biggie ‘…ain’t no tellin will I fuck em or will I diss em…’ or in my terms you never know if I’ll lace them with some change or give them the stiff arm. In this case I think I gave her the two singles I had in my pocket but I didn’t believe any parts of her story; I might sound harsh but oh well. I’m more prone to give women money rather than men simply because historically men have more inherent opportunities in the world than women; it might be wrong but oh well I’m just being straight with you about my thought process. Don’t get me wrong, just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re definitely getting any paper BUT your chances are higher.

What brought this on you say? Well on my way to the parking garage after work, I was hot-stepping down the sidewalk hustling to get to my car to run my errands when this dude stopped me and asked me for $0.80. He asked me this while slouched over a garbage/recycling can, elbow perched on the lid, dragging on a cigarette and looking out from under his hood-only one eye visible. Right away I knew this was the repeat offender who gets on my damn nerves, mostly because he’s like a friggin magic genie popping out of some hole in the atmosphere in every neighborhood across Baltimore. No lie, I’ve seen him in every neighborhood in downtown and mid-town. I have a hard time with him because it’s clear by his various guest appearances that this is how he makes his living so I really don’t appreciate his begging. One evening I witnessed him ask a blind couple for money, trying to hem them up while they waited for a taxi. I rushed his ass and the husband was like no worries, “…I would have cracked him with my cane…” Unfortunately I’ve seen his whole game for the past five years so there’s no story you could tell me about him or his past that would change my mind.

One of my favorite stories took place in LA. My roomies and I walked over to a local liquor store on a Friday night. After the end of a long work week my roomies and I put our funds together to buy something strong to wash away our worries. On our walk over to the watering hole a guy stopped us and asked for change; we were like ‘nah’ in unison and kept it moving. While at the counter of the liquor store making our purchase, he must have walked by and spied us. He had the nerve to walk in the doorway, throw his hands in the air and say “I thought ya’ll said you didn’t have any money!” He actually sounded incredulous and upset. Needless to say he got cussed out, no need to relay the specifics of our reply but you can pretty much choose anything that comes to mind! In all seriousness I tend to use my gut when it comes to whether or not to give someone money because in your spirit you know when someone’s running game or being real with you.  If I give you money I don’t care what you do with it, you can buy yourself a pack of smokes a pint of liquor, whatever helps you get through, no judgment…but just don’t run a story by me and absolutely don’t post up on my block.

I had to beg for money once…on the streets of NYC back in 1994. I was going to college in Westchester Co. at the time so we would frequently drive to the city. Well on this occasion after tearing up some good grub at BBQ’s (does anybody remember how good that seemed back when we were young and counting our own change?!), we were all walking back to the cars (there were two) and I was walking ahead not paying attention, didn’t turn off on the right side street, turned around and nobody was there! Keep in mind this was pre-cell phone days. After standing on the same corner for what felt like forever I realized I’d been left AND had spent all my money at the restaurant. I had no cash and back then no ATM card. I sat on that corner and realized I was going to have to rely on the mercy of strangers, that’s when I began casing people trying to make the right decision as to who to ask for a quarter so I could use a pay phone. All I have to say is thank goodness I had a Georgetown sweatshirt on…I think that helped. I finally saw a woman who I babbled my story to asking for a quarter. This woman had mercy on me and must have seen the wild look of panic in my eyes at the thought of spending the night on the streets of Manhattan; not only did she give me change she gently advised that calls were more than a quarter and gave the amount needed. Needless to say I made my call and was safely back on campus an hour and a half later. So yeah, I’ve been there too, once!