Thursday, February 4, 2010
OT Princesses and Laundry
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Princess of the Laundromat
It’s really wonderful to still have my grandmother here to remind me that the princess crown hasn’t fallen far from the throne in our family.
Yes, at one time, I was the princess.
I was the tomboy version, not much into fashion, but certainly in charge of my own little fiefdom. And my throne was: the laundry cart.
When I was growing up, my grandparents owned a Laundromat. It was the best place in the world. It always smelled like a cross between powdered detergent and freshly dried clothes. When I get to heaven (presuming a fairly forgiving criteria for entry), I imagine the entire place will smell like that.
There were so many great things for a kid in the Laundromat. First there was my grandfather’s rolling padded board. It was what he used to roll around on the floor to get the money out of the machines and to do work on them when they needed it.
I was a holy terror on that thing, zooming up and down the linoleum, barely missing running down half a dozen people every lap. Yes, it was a precursor to my injury filled days on skateboards.
I also had the coolest job in the place – giving change. I remember standing on my tiptoes behind the counter with four fingers each holding down a quarter. I’d take the dollars then carefully slide the quarters across the counter.
But nothing was as fun as the laundry cart. My grandmother would dump in a nest of warm, dry towels and blankets and put me right in the middle of them. I’d play in this royal chariot for hours, periodically being rolled from place to place. Sometimes I’d just fall asleep in there, the hum of driers all around as a sort of lullaby.
When customers would inquire about wresting away the cart to do their own laundry, my grandmother taught me a very important lesson about life’s priorities.
Grandparent first, small business owner second.
Yes, I got to keep my cart. My grandmother would help them fold clothes, soothing any irritation at a spoiled young granddaughter hogging up a laundry cart.
My grandmother reminds me to keep this in mind when my daughters are hogging up the TV, the couch, and the attention at Grammy’s.
After all, they are really just continuing a family tradition.