Quality Laundromat Conversation
I Lugged my stuff into the mat, loaded up the machines, threw quarters in till they started running, and sat down to read my book. A youngish Mexican guy pulled a chair up right in front of me and started talking, even though I hadn't looked at him or turned my attention away from my book. I kinda glanced up, half aware that someone was sitting way too close to me, and said, "huh?" He asked, "Do you have a very many kids?"
ME: Yes! How'd you know? I have a whole SHITLOAD of kids!
HIM: Are you for somebody?
HIM: You are married?
HIM: Why not to have a ring?
ME: Why *TO* have a ring is the real question here, don't you think?
HIM: Do you have affair?
ME: NO NEVER
HIM:How old are you?
HIM: Ohhhhh you funny, so funny girl!
ME: ha ha ha..yeah that's me
HIM: How old you think I am?
ME: 14 going on 10?
HIM: Awwww, you don't mean!!
ME: Hey, ya know what? My head really hurts today, I just want to read my book for a while, okay?
HIM: How old are your kids?
ME: Perhaps you misunderstood me. I want you to stop talking, and go sit somewhere else, okay?
HIM: You are having some sisters, yes?
Laundromat Drive Thru
Always something strange at the Laundromat. On this particular day, I loaded my seven loads of clothes in record time, and set the washers washing. Went out to my car to smoke, listen to the radio, and wait. Following close behind me was a really nice, handsome black man. He walked right up to the open window of my car.
HIM: Were you just getting ready to leave?
ME: No, just having a smoke, waiting for my laundry. Why?
HIM: Do you mind if I come out and talk to you when I'm done with my laundry?
ME: *shrug* I spose. Why?
HIM: I'd just like to introduce myself to you. My name is Michael.
ME: I'm Helga. Nice to meet you, Michael.
HIM: Likewise. So can I come out and talk to you when I'm done in there?
ME: *shrug* I spose. I have a boyfriend.
HIM: That don't matter.
ME: Already then, Michael.
Michael went back into the mat, and I nearly choked myself trying to hurry through my cigarette. Hell. Even on a good day, I dread ackward conversation with someone I already know. Plus..I don't think it was my stunning intellect or finesse with Laundromat facilities that drew him to me. I just didn't see any purpose in having a conversation with him.
Strange Laundromat Encounter Part Two--
A white woman had been lingering around my car while Michael and I talked. As a testament to the random nature of my memory, I can tell you everything she was wearing, head to toe.
She was 40-ish, plain-featured, maybe 5'6," couple inches taller than me, dressed in a slippery looking, new jogging suit. It was black, with pale pink stripes up the sides of her legs. Anyway, after Michael excused himself back into the mat, she walked up to my window. I was starting to feel like a drive thru.
HER: Hi. Do you live around here?
ME: Pretty close, yeah. Do YOU live around here?
HER: *pointing somewhere over the treetops* Yes, I do. Right over there
HER: *twisting an Avon catalog in her hands* Would you be interested in buying or selling Avon?
ME: I might be interested if I had a dollar to my name, but I don't.
HER: *standing there in ackward silence and looking harmless and lonely*
ME: It's not easy work, is it?
HER: Oh it's not too bad. Not real time consuming. Course I just started, and I have blisters on my feet. (hahahaha)
HER: Yeah..they really hurt and two of them won't scab over for anything!
ME: Hmmmm. Sounds pretty bad.*quickly getting out of car* Okay, well, a woman's work is never done, right? Gotta get my laundry!
HER: Okay. Sorry for wasting your time.
ME: Who said you've wasted my time? Don't be silly! (hahahahaha) Good luck, and go rest your feet!
HER: Thanks! Nice meeting you.....I didn't catch your name?
ME: Ruth. And you are..?
HER: Anne. Good to meet you, again.
ME: Uh-huh. Likewise.
And Anne trotted off on her gimpy feet. Her shoes were brand new. I felt like I was targeted for a mugging, and I went back inside and watched someone else's laundry tumble in a dryer. From the corner of my eye, I saw Michael looking out the window. Then he turned my way, saw me not looking at him, and he left.
I wish I was more conversationally inclined at times, but I think today's encounters with strangers went well. What could Michael possibly have wanted to talk about, other than the "getting to know you by the deafening hum of laundry machines" chat?
So maybe I'm better off being a stick in the mud.