A month or so ago, I wrote a post about my impatience with my unfinished home in NM and the Taos laundromat (Feb 19, 2007). Laurie asked what had happened at the laundromat that made me have my plumber rip out my kitchen sink and replace it with my washer and dryer. Actually, it was several things that led to my breaking point, but first you have to understand Taos, NM. It is a beautiful place. It has wonderful tourist attractions and great art galleries, but basically it is a third world country with some of the strangest people you’ve ever met. Every trip to the Taos Laundromat was that – a trip.
As I explained in that post, we were building on to our very small log cabin and for about a year I had to do laundry at the laudromat in Taos, while my washer and dryer were in storage. Being very methodical (I am my father’s daughter) we followed the same laundry plan every week. This is how it worked. I had three large sturdy boxes that I packed with our pre-sorted dirty clothes and took them to the Laundromat. Because we homeschooled, the kids went with me. I usually stopped at the bank to get a roll of quarters rather than having to chase down the keeper-of-the-money-bag and wait upon that person to count out all of the quarters I would need. It also helped to be able to quickly fill the machines with clothes and get them started. The kids and I had it down to an art – get in, get the clothes washed, dried, folded, back into the big boxes and get out. Sometimes things went awry.
One day we went in and placed our clothes in front of the washers we would need. The kids and I were piling the clothes into the washers when I looked up to see an Indian lady move my clothes out of the way and start putting her clothes in my washer. Much to my children’s horror, I confronted the lady. I very nicely told her that I was using that washer - my clothes had been on the washer first. She grunted out something like “so what.” So I got a little more insistent telling her how rude she was being and that it was my washer. More grunting, but no budging. I said a few other things to show that I was the more intelligent, well mannered person, and she was being a moron. The lady ignored me and continued to pack the washer. It was at that point that I realized the futileness of my fight. When I turned around, my son was looking at me with this worried face. He seemed to be horrified that I had gotten in a fight over a washer, but relieved that he had not had to come to my aid (he knows the “all for one and one for all” rule). He was probably glad he did not have to get me by the collar and drag me away from Moronica. I said, “I just got into a fight.” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “I lost. She got the washer.” He said, “Seems that way.” We went on about our business, but I was steaming. It was the principle of the thing.
A few weeks after my fight with the Indian, we were having a fairly normal day at the Laundromat. When we started folding clothes, our boxes were no where to be found. Someone had stolen the three boxes that I used for carrying the clothes. I had used the same three boxes and always put them near our washers and dryers. It was the equivalent of someone stealing my laundry baskets. It was the last straw. I decided that I would rather wash dishes in the bathroom sink than spend another day in the Taos Laundromat.
If you really want your patience tested, just go to the Wal-Mart in Taos. It has to be the worst store in the world - guaranteed to make you crazy. Ee, the stories I could tell.