Seduction at the Laundromat
I had to go to the laundromat today. The experience was rather uneventful except for the fact that I bumped into a familiar face from a previous excursion to the same location. Stupid small town. We didn’t speak. Perhaps he remembered me as well. Here is what I wrote last year regarding said experience:
Seduction at the Laundromat
I don’t have a washer and dryer in my apartment. I don’t even have the hookups for a washer and dryer in my apartment. It sucks, but it is part of life right now so I go with it. Honestly. What can I do? However, we do have a laundromat onsite at my apartment complex … one that has been shut down for unexplainable reasons for the last 3 weeks. As I am not willing to let the laundry pile any higher than Mt. Longonot, I finally caved in and hauled my mountainous baskets (with children in tow) to another laundromat before they collectively reached the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Luckily, my kids are used to "going with the flow." I guess that’s part of being my children. They think anything beyond the ordinary is a great adventure. And, in typical childhood fashion, we arrived and they immersed themselves in their Nintendo DS game systems coming out of their electronically induced comas only long enough to realize two other boys in the laundromat also had DS systems and (courtesy of the built in wireless connectors) they could all play together even though they had not met prior to this day. It’s so easy for them.
Apparently ~ I looked like I was vulnerable prey. I’m not sure why. I was sitting near my kids with book in hand and iPod on ears minding my own business and not paying attention to anyone else in the vicinity of the waiting room. Oh … it is habit for me to "check out" everyone coming and going. Call it paranoia if you wish. I call it being aware of one’s surroundings. In my search for "awareness" this middle-aged gentleman with crazy "Dr. Frankenstein" hair, plaid "I think I’m a golfer" shorts and a pale yellow shirt came in with only two laundry baskets. He loaded his washers and then glanced about, no doubt surveying everyone else in the room as I had, before deciding that I needed company and plopped himself into the seat next to me.
I ignored him. In fact, I didn’t even look up or acknowledge that anyone else was there. Let me take a moment to mention that I am not always so rude. In general I love people. But, being a professional people watching hobbyist has its benefits. I can read people pretty darn well.
He spoke to me. I chose to pretend that I couldn’t hear him because of my headphones. There is no way he could know that I keep the volume at a manageable level so I can hear what my children are doing. He spoke to me again. I ignored him again. At that point, the jackass leans forward into my line of site, practically knocking my book out of the way, and proceeds to ask me my name. I shot him a definitive "go to hell look" before getting up to check on my laundry. I returned to find him talking to my oldest child. One look from me ended that conversation abruptly. I dropped back into my chair and picked up my book. My iPod headphones had never left my head.
He proceeds to speak to me again. "What is your name?" he wants to know. I hear Big K, my 12 year-old, giggle. He’s a smart and intuitive boy. He knows what is going on. Hoping it will shut him up; I mutter "Beth" and resume reading my book. Of course, at this point, I've read the same sentence about ten times. I don’t ask him his name and I don’t attempt to draw him into conversation. "Beth’s a hot name" is the next thing I hear. At this point, I actually wonder if I’m hearing voices. He couldn’t possibly be that stupid, could he? What kind of pick up line is that anyway? Lame. So lame.
Then … more giggles from Big K in the corner. Yep, I’d heard him correctly. This time I shoot him the, "you really are that asinine go to hell" look and proceed to move my clothes from washer to dryer. He follows and begins asking questions regarding the laundromat like, "Which dryers work best?" and "Is this the best laundromat in town?" I’m a patient individual when it comes to the complete stupidity of other individuals, but at this point I’m just pissed. Maybe, just maybe, if "Beth's a hot name" hadn't crossed his lips I might have found need to be cooly polite. I didn't.
"I don’t know," I respond. "I don’t know which dryers work best. I don’t know if this is the best laundromat in town. I do know that I’m simply trying to finish my laundry. I do know that I’ve ignored every advance you have made in trying to gain my attention. I do know that if you speak to me again I will be forced to give you a verbal lashing far surpassing this little reprimand or any other you have ever received in your life. Don’t speak to me again. Don’t speak to my children again. If you do I will have the cops on your ass before your laundry makes it through the rinse cycle." While angry, this is the best I can do with children nearby. Ever the parent, the strongest profanity I let slip was "ass" and I figured my kids would get over it.
Silence …. followed by a giggle from Big K in the corner. I shoot him a warning look and return my attention to said middle-aged idiot who has taken a step backward for each punctuation mark of my tirade. No response. I rendered him speechless. Yes! He blinks at me a few times while I stare him down before finally wandering over to another area of the laundromat. I return to my book, smiling at Big K, and finish my time at the laundromat without further interruption.
“Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.” ~Dolores Claiborne, Film (1995)
I do notice as we are loading baskets in the van to leave that Mr. "I'm going to find myself a woman today" is chatting up some twenty-something woman in the corner. She's already beginning to take steps backwards. It seems that I was not the only one wary of the weird middle-aged man that day. What a seductor he must think he is.