The Blonde Roots Run Deep
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I went to the dry cleaners the other day.

I don't go to the dry cleaners very often, in fact, pretty much never. The Hubby used to run his own shirts up there, because he is very SPECIFIC about how he likes his shirts pressed and starched. Almost as specific as he is about his food.

But, he's been having some trouble with his dry cleaner. They're breaking buttons, under-starching, wrinkilng collars, not cleaning them very well. I told him, it's just like the waiters in the restaurants who are spitting in his food. The dry cleaner people are most likely breaking his stuff on purpose, the same sort of passive agressive revenge as the spitters.

It happens to him a lot.

Recently, though, he found a fabulous alternative to the dry cleaner: Brooks Brothers No Wrinkle shirts. Not only are these shirts beautiful, they don't have to be dry cleaned. You just throw them in the wash and hang them up the millisecond the dryer buzzes, and Voila! You have wrinkle free, beautiful dress shirts.

Lucky, Lucky Me! I'm the luckiest girl in the world!

Like I don't have enough laundry issues.

That dryer dings like an annoying, whiny two-year old every freakin' five seconds, if I don't come running to meet its dryer needs the moment it beckons. I hate that dryer so much. I have enough needy creatures in my life. I don't need a bunch of dry clothes screaming to be folded, hanging like an albatross around my neck.

I've got enough albatrosses.

I never get the clothes when the dryer dings. It's a rebellion thing. A smug, "Screw you, you sniveling, bullshit dryer" attitude takes over me and I grow even more stubborn with each urgent, "ding-ding-ding." A battle of wills- man vs machine and I am proud to say, I ALWAYS win.

Well..except for those damn Brooks Brothers shirts.

I mean, I can't have the doughnut maker going off to make our doughnuts in wrinkled shirts. It's the least I can do since a hot-cooked meal is something he gets as a rare treat.

The dryer wins only when the precious Brooks Brothers shirts are involved.

I'm still ahead.

But, I had some precious things of my own that needed a dry cleaners' care. I could have washed them myself, but they would have gotten all wrinkly and since I don't iron...heck, I don't even know where my iron is, I sent them off to the dry cleaner.

I went to go pick up the delicate goods on a busy day full of errand running and stress. I drove into the dry cleaning drive-thru, one of the great inventions of life. It's up there with the TV remote, as one of the laziest, lovely inspirations in slacker history. "What, you want me to walk from the parking lot to get my laundry? I think not!"

Victoria was next to me, on her cell phone, chatting away to one of her friends.

I waited my patience limit at the drive-thru window, which is about ten seconds on a good day, five on a stressed one. The dry cleaning lady wasn't appearing and we were almost to thirty seconds and all I could think is, "What is she DOING?"

Seriously, what is there to do back there. Since they send the clothes out, it's not like they're in the back, all flushed with clouds of steam enveloping them as they're hunched over operating an industrial steam press.

When she finally arrived from who knows where, my patience was quite strained. She didn't seem too appreciative of me, either.

She slid the little door open and said, in what I felt was a very snarly voice, "Number?"

Not a Hello. Not a Hey, sorry you had to wait while I was doing unmentionable things in the back. Not a smile. Not even a nod.

I shot back with, "I don't know my number," in a tone that suggested I am too BUSY for trifling details like my number.

She raised her eyebrows and said, "You don't know your number?" All judgey and such.

I grew even more annoyed because I was the one waiting over twenty seconds on her, for whatever weird thing it is that she does in the back of the dry cleaning shop to amuse herself in between drive-thru customers.

And she was going to have the nerve to be all mean when I didn't know my number? Please!

So I said, I confess, a little snarly, "No, I don't know my number! Can't you just look it up? Hmmm?"

She sighed like this was something ridiculous to ask and snapped, "Name?"

I gave her my name with as much venom as her snappy little attitude and sighed dramatically.

At that moment, Victoria shut her phone, noticed the nasty look I was giving the dry cleaning lady and asked warily, since she knows me and knows how I like a good scrappin' every once and awhile, "What's happening?"

I rolled my eyes and hissed, "This woman's all incensed because I don't know my number. Like I can keep track of those things. I am very BUSY."

Victoria gaped at me with an incredulous, open mouth before gasping, "Mom, she wants your PHONE number! Please, tell her your phone number, so she doesn't think you're an absolute moron!"

And I was all, "Ohhhh, my phone number!"

I leaned out the window as the woman is searching her computer for this imbecile's phone number. I bet you she was wondering if I was also vastly ignorant when it came to my address. I said with a conciliatory smile on my face, "Scuse me! I didn't know we were talking about my PHONE number because I know that. I'm serious, I do."

And she raised her eyebrows at me again, like she couldn't wait for me to drive away, so she could call all the rest of the dry cleaning shops and tell them about the mentally disabled woman who shouldn't be allowed to pick up dry cleaning, not to mention be behind the wheel of a car and in charge of children.

I shot out my number in rapid-fire speak to impress her with my phone number skills. But, she wasn't too impressed. I could tell when she said with some careful trepidation, "OK, then. Thanks." Like she was talking to a deranged, homeless person who was accosting her on the street.

She handed my my dry cleaning as I gushed with gratitude.

As we drove away, Victoria said, "Mom, you're like, super embarrassing."

And I said, "Well, great then I'm doing my parenting job in just the right fashion."

Next time I go, I'm reciting all the numbers I know, phone, cells, social security digits, just so the Dry Cleaner Lady knows, I am UP on things, man.

Today's Definite Dowload: Amos Lee's "Careless." Nothing to do with the post. I just couldn't find anything that expressed my extreme doofus ways, so I just wandered through my library and picked this gorgeous song. I love me some Amos. Try out his soulfully sweet songs. You'll be glad you did.

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