more laundry room diplomacy

This is a different girl than episode one.

This one lives right next to the laundry room and today is doing laundry at the same time as I am. She’s in her late twenties, wiry, doesn’t speak english. I come down with some dirty clothes, her wet clothes are still in the washing machine. I consider whether to knock on her door, move her clothes to the dryer, or put them on top of the dryer. I decide on the second option and then put a load the washing machine.

45 minutes later I come down and her clothes are finished, and I want to move my clothes over. Faced with another set of socially charged options: pile the clothes on the table, fold the clothes on the table, wait, or knock on her door. I knock on her door and ask her to deal with her laundry, which is she happy to do. She’s very friendly but speaks french with a thick quebec accent, so I can’t communicate with her beyond the basics.

She piles her clothes into a basket, smiles at me, thanks me for something I don’t understand (perhaps for alerting her that her clothes were done), and returns to her room. I start moving my clothes from the washing machine to the dryer and find

a pair of her undies.

Cute undies. Hello Kitty undies. When I moved her clothes from the washer to the dryer, I missed a pair of her undies. Now what do I do. Options:

a. Knock on her door and give them to her. If I do this, I run the risk of her thinking that I’m hoarding her underwear and trying to generate a pseudosexually charged situation by knocking on her door with them in my hand. It’s weird. I can’t do it.

b. Leave them in the laundry room. Unlike anonymous clothes that are often found in washing machines, we both know that I know that these are her clothes, and also that I know which door is hers. I can’t leave them in the laundry room.

c. Toss them. This felt like a very good option, except that I would be throwing away her perfectly good clothing.

What would you have done?

And then the right answer came to me:

d. Dry them. When they’re dry, I can knock on her door and give them to her pretending that *she* was the one who left them in the machine.

I’m so proud of myself.

3 thoughts on “more laundry room diplomacy

  1. Stephanie LaDrell

    Why do you make up episodes that are are so embelished to tell a story? Is your life, at the heart of it really so dull? Are you aware of your own strangeness?

  2. Rachel

    And what exactly is embellished or exagerrated in this blurb? The story seems to be told simply/matter of factly.. I tend to enjoy Reuben’s recounts of life’s small quirks and his well executed methods of sifting through commonly encountered, insignificant, awkward situations. Strange? — well that’s obvious, but I must say with Reub there isn’t a dull moment.

  3. Eric Carlisle

    Reub, I’m not sure you really avoided a “pseudosexually charged situation,” since you still handed her a pair of her panties. It seems that the asexual way to deal with this situation (not to suggest you should take the asexual route) is to carry your entire basket of dry clothing to her door, point out that her underwear is lying amidst your clothing, and allow her to retrieve them. Eric

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