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.