Thoughts at the Laundromat


Because at the laundromat, you really have some time to reflect on this random day filled with sunshine and my own spider paranoia among the limitless options of washers and dryers and clothes going round and round. 

Today has been the kind of day where I'm here but my mind has been elsewhere. I just feel more paranoid. On edge. More out of my element today.  

Which, you know, is kind of sad for me. I had this whole thing where I was getting so accustomed to working in dirt and with the bugs that are helping our ecosystem. I had a silent truce with them that I respected their space and their purpose and we can work in peace and without paranoia together.

And those truces include spiders. Lizzie even showed me a wolf spider while we were harvesting the other day that was carrying babies on her back! It was kind of strange because I didn't even know spiders did that — I thought they all laid eggs and the babies hatched and flew away on their own (pretty much my positive spider knowledge and memories come from "Charlotte's Web" and a tarantula we had in our kindergarten class). But I didn't even have nightmares about it. Or drop everything and run away. 

My mom talks about how she'll never forget the first time she saw "The Exorcist" movie and how it still freaks her out today. I avoided that one. But my equivalent is "Arachnophobia." I attribute my really active imagination of how spiders can multiply and harm, or you know, kill me — even though most spiders wouldn't (as Lizzie says, they usually don't want anything to do with you) —  to this movie.

It's too bad too, because insects, including spiders, are really intriguing to me.

So really guys, I've been surprisingly zen about spiders. Relatively anyways.   

So anyhow, the sun came out this morning. And it seemed to bring out and inspire multiple organisms to work as one today: including spiders. 

The sun was actually glorious. It lit up the porch slowly. Lizzie and I conquered our morning run and did EIGHT laps — our most yet! — before trying some more workouts inside.  

But then, we went to move the ducks. Who, as I mentioned, are some of my favorites. All the sudden though, as I searched for some duck eggs, this fear started to creep into my mind. I saw a spider web and I was immediately unnecessarily super cautious and slow. Every movement was measured, checking to make sure I wasn't stepping or about to step on a spider or into an unseen web. I was really trying to overcome the fear. Really really.

When all the work was done for the day, and I felt better knowing I had survived and wouldn't have to face the potential of being in the same environment as the spiders for a little (sometimes you just need space from certain things like spiders, you know?) I realized that not everything is up to me. As I walked to my car to go to town I almost had a breakdown when I noticed that there were multiple spiders on my car and it was covered to a certain extent in webs.

And ok, I'm probably being a tad dramatic. I mean, it wasn't Halloween-webs-everywhere thing. Although — 'Tis the season! But it was just enough to make me feel like every hair that brushed my neck or arm was a web, and every slight tingle might be a spider crawling on me.

This is not the first time I've had my car outside. So this whole spiders invading my just-washed car and wanting to tell me how much they care about me by being part of my car and traveling with me is a rare phenomenon. Either way, I stood looking at my car for five minutes trying to observe how the heck I was supposed to get in without spider contact. 

In General Conference this past weekend, President Monson stated that faith and fear cannot live in the same place. So choose faith.

I tried to overpower my fear of spiders not only being on the outside of my car but also on the inside and replace it with faith — and maybe the actual reality — that they would not climb on me and wrap me in their web and suck my blood or something.

I got somewhere in-between. After reassuring myself the passenger door was safe, I got into the passenger seat and climbed over to the driver seat (the drivers side seemed to have more web-running-into potential). It was a good compromise. 

After having a few set-backs — like being so flustered about the spiders I couldn't figure out why the car wouldn't drive  (are the spiders blocking a mechanism of some sort?!! No. The car just isn't on), and almost running over a puppy wandering on the road, I was finally on my way. 

Next stop: Walmart. My new favorite place. But not really.

This was Walmart SUPERCENTER. Which must mean that you need a map to navigate it. It took me ten minutes of walking around to figure out that the laundry detergent was not placed in the laundry section but near the grocery items. 

And then the Laundromat. Honestly, I've never been to a laundromat. So as a first timer, who is also not confident about what temperature to do laundry at or how to separate the clothes (the uncertainty in this process makes me weary every time) I had to ask multiple people at various steps how I was supposed to be doing this. Because in a spirit of clarity and non-confusion for slow people like myself, someone decided to make the washers look like dryers and vice versa. So as I was scrutinizing one of the machines trying to figure out where the detergent goes, a lady nearby informed me that that was in fact the dryer.

Got it. 

And then once you distinguish dryers from washers, there's options to do the maximum load washers which are $10 worth of quarters or your standard which is $2.50. Or the in-between which is $5.50. SO MANY THINGS TO CONSIDER.

After finally sorting it all out, I came to the sad conclusion that I only had enough quarters for one load for the standard washer to wash. And two quarters left for ten minutes of drying.  With three loads of laundry, I realized I would need to come back. With a lot more quarters.

I was so happy when I successfully finished my first load at the laundromat (no surprise pink shirts!) and my car didn't have spiders on it after (because, much to my horror, when I returned to my car after the Walmart venture, I discovered one spider had survived as indicated by a web connecting my car to both cars next to it — this was either a super efficient spider or it tells you something about how long I was lost and wandering around Walmart).

I finally got to go to House Brew, my new favorite place in Dickson that I always get a banana chocolate muffin and relax and relish in the free wi-fi. 

And now, I'm back at the laundromat. Watching the laundry spin around hoping tomorrow I'll be a little more fearless and helpful to myself and Lizzie and Jesse. 

Because there's a lot worse things in this world than insects that are actually good for this earth. Pretty sure spiders don't even make top ten right now.

...Laundry's done! 

PS. There is a washer and dryer at the farm but it is temporarily out of service and I've been putting off the laundry thing for awhile so I figured it was time. Also, I was actually really interested in what a laundromat was like. And now I know.