It’s been awhile since I’ve told any tales from the Swedish Laundry Room, primarily because we’ve had something of a monopoly on our preferred weekly time slot. In the 3+ years we’ve lived in our building, there just hasn’t been much demand for Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon. And even if that were the case, there are three laundry rooms to choose from…all located in the basement which connects our building to the one next door.
We prefer the laundry room directly under our building (oddly designated No. 5 even though it’s one of three) because it’s closest to our apartment, and these days, it also happens to have the newest washers and tumble dryer. This was not always so. The first two years we lived here, No. 5 had the oldest, slowest and least efficient machines of the three laundry rooms…which is one of the reasons why so few people used it. Plus…it’s a pretty good hike for folks living in the other building.
Since the arrival of the new equipment, however, No. 5 is in much greater demand, but not at 7:00 on Sunday mornings. The two laundry rooms down the hall under the adjacent building are rarely booked on Sunday mornings either. Swedes may have a reputation for not being big church-goers, but it’s not because they’re doing laundry.
Two Sundays ago I went down to the basement to pull our last load of sheets and towels out of the tumble dryer and reserve the same time the following week, and I was really surprised to find the 7 a.m. to noon slot already taken. I shrugged it off as a one-time thing and reserved the time slot in one of the other laundry rooms in the adjacent building. But then the same thing happened the following week…our trusty No. 5 was already claimed for the following Sunday by the same person. (I know this from the number on the locking peg used to reserve the slot on the calendar board.)
So now it’s pretty obvious this isn’t just a rare glitch in my weekend laundry ritual, making it officially annoying…especially since the usurper lives in the other building where there are two laundry rooms routinely available on Sunday mornings. It was maddening! Even the unwritten-rule loving Swede was peeved. We had to get our laundry slot back!
But in order to do that we had to claim it *while* the poacher was actually doing laundry…hence his/her locking peg is in the laundry room door rather than the calendar board. This is more challenging than it sounds because we’re doing laundry at the same time down in No. 3, so our locking peg is already occupied insuring that no one runs off with our socks and undies. (It could happen!)
Which is why this past Sunday morning I actually sacrificed the extra hour of sleep I could have had courtesy of the switch to Winter Time and started our wash at 6 a.m. Four hours later, with the interloper still in the middle of the rinse cycle, our peg was locked back into its usual slot in No. 5 for next Sunday.
Let the games begin.