Welcome to Adventures at the Creepermat!

I started this blog because I constantly find myself being amused, disgusted, or simply baffled by the things that occur while I am situated at the laundromat.

I'm sure you're wondering why the heck I call it the Creepermat. A few of my friends and I refer to weird people as Creepers. Laundromats seem to be a haven for the weird, the destitute, and the generally entertaining to watch.

I've been doing laundry in public laundromats since I moved out on my own in 2004. I used to loathe it and put it off for as long as I could, often going nearly a month without doing laundry. The past year, though, I've realized what a gold mine of observations I've come up with during just about every laundromat experience, and I've finally motivated myself to kick the procrastination and start a damn blog about it already.

I live in the Ohio Valley; the nearest small towns, and the ones where I usually end up with my 6 baskets of pee-stained kid sheets, grease-smelling Garfield's uniforms, and 79 pairs of underwear, are St Clairsville OH and Wheeling WV. The nearest large city is Pittsburgh, which is over an hour away. I'm sure that information alone is enough to allude to the types of people I encounter on these adventures. I am at the top of Appalachia, before you venture into Wrong Turn territory. Rednecks and the general span of low to lower middle class folks are my usual company.

Enjoy, and be sure to leave comments and feedback for me!


Feb 27, 2010

Six hyper children = worst day ever.

I ventured out to the Creepermat yesterday mostly to wash the man's work clothes and my interview attire. I had a job interview scheduled for 3:30 at a discount clothing store; even though I'd already gotten an offer from a big retail giant, I hadn't gotten the final call to set up my orientation, so I had an interview set up at the other place as a backup plan.

Apparently yesterday was the day for grouchy women with two unruly children to want to do their laundry. Babysitters must take Fridays off. I got my laundry in the washers, only two loads this time, and sat down to start observing, only to realize that I'd forgotten my notebook. I searched around in my purse, which normally contains so many things that I could probably save a human life or disarm a bomb, and found not even the tiniest scrap of blank paper. I went out to my car and found a few hospital bills that I couldn't write on and a piece of junk mail about life insurance. I chose that, figuring the papers inside would be blank on the back. Wrong. I ended up using the back of the envelope to take my notes. Trying to decipher my tiny chicken scratch is almost humorous.

I sat in the end chair on the right, leaving room for one of the many moms or their heathens to sit down if need be. The tall woman directly in front of me using the expensive double load washers was lecturing her kids. "You guys need to start pickin' your clothes up off the floor so the dog don't sleep on 'em." Her kids couldn't have been much older than 3, 4 possibly 5 at the oldest. A blond woman with two kids arrived shortly after this lecture; she nearly slipped as she came in with her bundles. Her furry boots apparently had no tread. It would have been funny to see her fall, but I didn't get that lucky.

A large woman, also with two kids, sat on the other side of the 'mat on the window ledge. I don't know how she fit, but she did. Her kids, who looked to be about 8 and 12, were the ones actually doing the laundry while she sat back barking orders and bitching when they poured in too much detergent or dropped a clean sock on the dirty floor. The younger kid was wearing a pair of pants that completely ate his shoes, if he was even wearing any. I couldn't tell you either way.

Two older gentlemen had every one of the 14 smaller dryers on the right side of the 'mat running, each with only two or three items tumbling around. Nearly everything they had was white.

The blond lady's kids were running circles around the 'mat for most of the visit; she paid absolutely no attention to them. The younger kid kept running over to the gumball machine and staring inside intently, probably foaming at the mouth. I watched him walk over to her neat little $1 stacks of quarters and take one. There was enough yelling going on with the other two women screaming at their demon children; not wanting to hear yet another voice harmonizing with the rest of the chastising, I slid a stack of my own quarters into her collection. No one saw, and obviously the kid didn't even give it a second thought because he never bothered to return to the stacks to try to hide what he did.

The tall lady pulled a list out of her pocket; I wasn't hovering over her shoulder reading it, but my guess is it was a list of phone calls she needed to make, because she proceeded to pull out a stack of papers and making call after call. I could probably give you enough information about this woman for you to steal her identity; I guess it's a good thing I'm not that ignorant. I heard (and could have written down if I wanted to, considering how many phone calls she made) her full name, address, phone number, last 4 digits of her social security number, and about 4 account numbers. If I would have devoted complete attention to her, I could have figured out who she was calling each time, because she did not speak quietly. I was surprised that there are still people who are that careless with such sensitive information. The laundromat doesn't seem like the greatest place to make important phone calls, unless it's empty.

Annoyed with all of the disobedient children and careless parents, I was thankful when my dryer went off. I collected my clothes, gathered the rest of my things, and headed for the door. A cross-eyed girl was walking in as I was leaving. She looked at me and smiled...I think. I smiled back regardless and left to pick up my man.

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