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I recently went to the laundromat for the first time–ever. I’d never needed to go before. I was either in a house or in a dorm that had laundry right downstairs, so I never had to leave the building. When I moved into my new apartment last month, though, I knew that our building didn’t have a laundry room and I would have to venture out to a laundromat.

When I moved at the beginning of November, everything I owned was washed (with the objective of putting off the laundromat as long as possible). I have a lot of clothes, so when my sheets and towels ran out, I got to the dreaded point where I needed to do laundry. I don’t think it’s over-exaggerating to say that I was anxiety-ridden over going to a laundromat. The idea of taking all of my dirty laundry, walking outside, loading it into random machines, paying (in quarters?!), waiting there (to make sure nobody stole my clothes), folding them, and then lugging them all back to my apartment–well, it all sounded quite tiring.

So when all of my sheets and towels were used, I really only had two options: 1. live in filth and avoid the laundromat or 2. suck it up and be an adult and go do my laundry. (I briefly considered option 3. paying a little extra to let someone else wash and fold my clothes, but I realized I shouldn’t be throwing my money away on a task that I am perfectly capable of doing and the thought of a stranger touching all my underwear kind of weirds me out.)

So, my roommate and I ventured out on a Sunday night to do our laundry (don’t judge me for my inability to do this by myself!). We went to a 24-hour laundromat about a ten minute walk from our apartment. When we got there, we had to buy $5 laundry cards to work the machines. Instead of that $5 going toward the initial balance (which would make sense), it was actually $5 just to GET the card, and then you had to add money. And the machines cost about $4 for the cheapest ones.

After I unloaded all of my dirty clothes from the expensive machines, we trucked our way back toward and past our apartment, now in the other direction to another 24-hour laundromat that was coin-operated and turned out to be much less expensive. A few hours later, I was no longer a laundromat virgin, successfully back in my apartment with my clean clothes that I washed and folded myself thank you very much. Until we meet again.

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