Friday, July 5, 2013

Vacation Surprises

One of my favorite benefits of vacationing in a hotel is the opportunity to use the guest laundry room. Yes, I enjoy catching up on some wash before I get home. I know, I know, vacation is for relaxing. Getting laundry done relaxes me. If there’s a chance to throw a load in during my time away, I see it as a great way to get a head-start on my chores back at home. It’s a good day when it’s just me, my coffee and the Zen-like pulsing of the washers and dryers to start the morning. The sounds of productivity and the reward of clean, fresh-smelling laundry make me smile.

There were some added surprises in a recent laundry experience. Instead of my preferred solitude, another woman was in the laundry room using one of the dryers. We nodded, acknowledged each other’s presence in the polite way strangers do, and tended to our own machines. As I loaded my wash, though, I couldn’t help but notice as she opened her dryer door, looked inside, closed it again, and then stood there as it ran, while holding the door closed with her hand. She then repeated this process every few minutes.

I simply couldn’t resist and had to ask. “Something wrong with the dryer?”

“No, ma’am,” she drawled, “except that the sneakers sometimes fly outta these things, y’know?”

Puzzled, I watched the spinning sneakers for a few seconds to process her comment. I thought that maybe since I was from Pennsylvania we had different laundry customs. Perhaps flying sneakers are as southern as grits.

“After the rain last night, I decided to throw our sneakers in here,” she continued, “but the door won’t stay shut. The sneakers keep flying out and I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

All I could visualize was a perfectly enjoyable vacation being knocked upside-the-head by being, well, knocked-upside-the-head by a flying sneaker. Vacations can be full of surprises, and so can laundry rooms.

I thought about getting myself some grits. Sometimes a change in routine is a good thing.