I thought the Laundromat was one of the places you were supposed to meet men?
And at two fifty a wash…rich men at that!
I arrived at the Brite ‘N Kleen in Truro. There to move Bones out of residence after attending a week long volleyball camp where the athletes would then load busses and head to Eastern Elites in Moncton…I thought I’d throw a few loads on so she was fresh as a daisy before the big competition. Apparently, I was the third mom that day doing the exact same thing!
I’d never been in a Laundromat ’til then, and Willard, the owner of the shop for 21 years, was all too happy to show me the ropes.
With no front end loaders or special spot to put my fancy high efficiency liquid detergent, Willard patiently helped me get my money lined up in the right slots then pushed in the button, added the powdered detergent and lowered the lid to let the water fill up before adding my clothes. (Honestly, he had to instruct me the entire time as if it was my very first time doing a load of wash which in fact, felt like my very first time doing a load of wash!)
Willard watched on as I unfolded dirty socks and skanky camp clothes before re-closing the lids and settling in at the front of the shop…to enjoy my tea.
As one person after the next came in, they were greeted with some friendly chatter…all seeming to know one another.
“Here comes trouble!” Willard yelled out as a thirty-something ran in with her clothes then laughed and joked about what trouble really was before scooting back to her car again for her next errand.
“Morning!” bellowed the next customer as Willard and her then chatted about the biopsy she’d had one her foot that week. The two of them, joking back and forth about the necessity of a foot…filled with laughter and camaraderie as the machines continued to do their thing.
Eventually, as customers left and I continued to sit there, peering at the run down decor and dinginess of the shop, Willard joined me for a bit of a chat. He talked about the hard times in Truro. How one never knew from day to day how many customers would pop by. How quiet it was this week with Stanfield’s shut down on their yearly two-week maintenance…while many went off for vacation. He talked of the multiple Laundromats that had shut down in surrounding towns…unsure when he’d be ready to retire and call it a day.
Willard chatted about his love of hockey…how he’d played nets many years before and how he attended the Junior A games in Truro as often as he could. He asked what I did for a living then chatted about his feelings about computers…how he’d never touched one and didn’t see it happening any time in the future.
Within no time, the clothes were washed, dried, folded and packed away neatly in their duffle bag to be delivered back to my daughter as she headed on to her next adventure.
Me…having never been to a laundromat before…I felt like I’d had an adventure of my own. I walked into this tired and worn out little spot…unsure of my surroundings…and left feeling rather brite, while my clothes were pretty kleen!
And much to my surprise…I had indeed, met a very lovely man.