I pay my landlady $15 a month to use the washer and dryer she has in the basement.  Even though these machines are probably older than I am, they usually work well, and I don’t have to go to the rather scary laundromat a few blocks away.  The dryer is quirky in that after you tumble one load of clothes (usually it takes two cycles to get things dry, three if it’s towels), you have to wait for a bit to let the machine cool down before it will work again.

If it’s not cooled down, pushing the start button will just make a sickly groaning noise that sounds a little like a cat warning you to get away.  Usually, it only takes about twenty minutes to cool down, so it’s not a major hassle, just a slight inconvenience.  Except this most recent time when I did laundry and the thing just would not work at all.

I had a full load of clothes washed, put them in the dryer and tumbled for one cycle.  By the end of that, this stuff was barely dry at all, so I pushed the button for another tumble– angry cat noise. 

I waited an hour– angry cat noise. 

I took the wet clothes out and left the door open– angry cat noise.

I unplugged it, and let it sit overnight with the door open– angry cat noise, and an email from landlady asking why her dryer is unplugged.

By this point, I just draped all of the wet clothes over various pieces of furniture and let them air dry, then I emailed landlady again and asked if she had any advice as to how to make the machine work.  She said she had decided to replace it, but was waiting for a good delivery time.

That was two weeks ago.

We are the only two people who live in this building, and I know for a fact that she has not done laundry in at least a month.  She washed a small load a month ago, and hasn’t even taken to washing and air drying things like I’ve had to. 

What the hell is this woman wearing?

My bedroom is presently a mess of dirty clothes strewn about the floor waiting for the new dryer to arrive so I can tumble and fluff after drying.  My couch/chairs/rustic stove/treadmill are covered with drying towels, underwear, and shirts.  Does she just have a lot more clothes than me, or what?

I hate to sound like a crazy person who constantly spies on her landlady, but I really have no idea how she occupies her time, or how she can get away with doing laundry so infrequently.

After she gets home from work around 5pmish, she goes into her apartment, turns on music, and doesn’t leave the house.  Except for the occasional trip to the Philippines for work, she never leaves the house.  She used to bike a lot, but got into an accident last summer, and now just stays home all the time.  She pays for cable, but I never hear the tv, just the constant music (usually good music, she has good taste).  She’s a very slow responder to email, so I feel like she’s not internetting all the time– I can only assume that she reads, or has some hobby that I’ve never heard of.  Perhaps she’s writing the Great American Novel. 

I just can’t figure it out, but I think the dryer got delivered this morning before I went to work– I hope so.

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