“Well,” you said to yourself with a sigh, glancing over at your heaping laundry basket of dirty clothes. “It’s about that time again.” Ah yes, laundry day. Being a junior in college and living off campus, you were neglected the necessity of owning a washer and dryer for yourself, so you always had to do your laundry at the Laundromat. It was only two blocks away so it wasn’t like it was a bad thing. In fact, it was almost refreshing…in more ways than one. You get clean clothes and a nice walk outside.
Standing up from your bed, you grabbed your laundry bag and dumped your dirty clothes into it. Digging in your closet, you found your detergent and dryer sheets and threw those in the bag as well. Tying the top off, you tossed the bag over your shoulder, grabbed your purse, and then proceeded to walk out of your house like Santa Claus…except the only thing you would be delivering would be your dirty laundry…and no one wants that.
After locking up your house, you began your ten minute trek to the Laundromat. Usually during these walks, you people watch because it’s the best immediate attention taker that you can think of. Surprisingly, though, there wasn’t anyone outside to watch. This allowed you to think about the random things going on in your life lately. Like your love life.
“If my love life were an aisle in a department store…there wouldn’t be anything there,” you mumbled to yourself. It was true that you’d never dated, but you’ve always wondered what it’d be like. And now that you’re a college student…actually almost done being a college student, you could start taking classes that you actually liked and focus more on your social life. Going back to your want of a relationship, you thought back to what your friends had told you:
“Just be yourself! Everything works out when you do that!” You’ve always been yourself though…so how come nothing has happened to you yet?
“Get out and see the world! Being cooped up in the house won’t get guys to see you!” Yes, you already knew that, and so that was what caused you to start going to the recreational center to work out. Being around those guys was just another plus to getting into shape and getting out to the public. Yet still, not a single guy there seemed to have the hots for you either.
“Start the conversation with them! Guys are pretty shy themselves and they love it when a girl is confident enough to strike up a conversation with them! Less work for them…guys are just lazy that way.” That was the only method that you hadn’t taken. Mostly because you yourself are quite shy around the opposite sex. You never seem to have anything witty to say to them…actually you never seem to have anything to say to them. In your opinion, it almost always feels like a one sided conversation when a guy starts talking to you. It’s pretty sad when you think about it.
Shoving that confidence clincher to the side, you noticed that you’d made it to the Laundromat. Entering through the front door, you heard the door chime, signaling that a new customer, you, had just walked in. Noticing that quite a few people were in there today, you began looking around for an open washer when you suddenly noticed an extremely cute guy working on throwing some of his wet clothes into a dryer.
“Oh my…” you mouthed to yourself, bringing a hand up to stop yourself from actually saying the words. Eyes wide, you started to do what you would normally do in this situation…panic. Abruptly moving your gaze towards the floor, you walked over to an open washer and started tossing your clothes into it. While you were doing this, you noticed the guy started his machine already and was sitting in the waiting area reading a random magazine. Your friends’ words suddenly came rushing back through your head, causing your body to shudder in disapproval. You could practically hear one of them yelling at you now.
“You know what you want, so just go for it!” Nervously, you threw one more sock into the washer, poured some detergent into its small compartment, and paid the $1.00 fee to get your clothes cleaned. Realizing that you now ran out of things to make yourself look busy, you looked over at the guy once more and decided to go take a seat next to him…you didn’t really have a choice since the two other chairs were already occupied. You grabbed your stuff and walked as calmly as you could towards him, hoping he wouldn’t notice you, but at the same time, that he would.
“Excuse me,” you said quietly. The guy looked at you from the top of his magazine. “Is this seat taken?” you asked, pointing to the open chair next to him. You knew it wasn’t taken, but you just wanted to prove to him that you were polite, even as a stranger.
“No, it’s all yours.” Without another word, he returned his attention back to the magazine.
“Thanks,” you mumbled, reverting back to your shy ways once more. Placing your laundry bag and other things to the side of the chair on the floor, you started rifling through the magazines attempting to look busy once more. Out of nowhere, you seemed to get a burst of confidence and decided to at least strike up a few words with the cute guy.
“Hi,” you said sweetly to the guy, hoping that he’d think you were cute.
“Hello,” he responded lazily back.
“Well, so much for my confidence,” you thought to yourself, slipping lower into your seat in pure embarrassment. Truthfully, you didn’t want the conversation to end right there. So while looking around the Laundromat, you couldn’t help but notice all of the different kinds of detergents sitting around the room on various tables. They all gave you a witty idea. You couldn’t believe it. You got a witty idea! Feeling excited and confident, you started to flirt for the first time.
“So…um,” you began, grabbing the guy’s attention once again. You stood up and walked across the room to grab something. “I just wanted to say that you’re ALL I’ve been thinking about since I got a LOAD of you,” you stated, holding up a jug of ALL detergent and pointing at the swirling clothes in the washer. You then noticed a jug of TIDE detergent and held it up just to say, “In fact, I’ve been fantasizing about walking along the beach with you and watching the TIDEs roll in.” The lady who that jug belonged to came over to you and appeared to be ready to throw an onslaught of profanities your way, but you quickly gave up the container with a petrified look on your face that practically screamed ‘Please don’t kill me’. Out of the corner of your eye, you could see the guy chuckling to himself but trying desperately to hold it back.
“Wow, he even has a nice laugh,” you thought to yourself, trying to keep from blushing. Seeing him stand up from his chair, you imagined him coming up to you and saying how he’d like to go on a date with you. Instead he walked right past you and dug his clothes out of the dryer. Feeling nervous once again, your thoughts scrambled around in your head trying to come up with something. Noticing some DOWNY detergent, you thought of another phrase. Tapping him on the shoulder, you tried again.
“I’m sure you put the GENT in detergent.” You then ran over and grabbed the jug of DOWNY. “Let me know if you’re DOWN-y to come talk with me.” The guy laughed as he gathered up his stuff and proceeded to make his way towards the exit. Following him, you found a jug of GAIN and held it up. “I’d like to GAIN more knowledge about you,” you stated, trying to get some other reaction besides laughter from him. If he didn’t say something soon, you felt like you’d start crying. Once you saw him walk out the door, you slowly placed the container of GAIN back onto the table nearest you.
“Don’t leave me to hang up and dry,” you muttered sadly to yourself. The environment around you seemed to all but shut up…even the machines. It was like the whole universe pitied you at that moment.
“Guess I was never meant to date anybody,” you mumbled, looking down at the floor once more. Before you could turn around to go sit back down, you heard…clapping? Cheeks flaring red, you just realized that you did all of this in a public Laundromat.
“That spectacle was truly something mademoiselle.” Turning around, you noticed an even more handsome guy standing in front of you, causing you to blush that much more. He had sparkling blue eyes and medium length blonde hair that, for the love of God, shimmered in the light that poured in through the windows. You also couldn’t help but notice that when he talked he had an accent that sounded…French. “Normally someone would’ve just given up once he started walking away…but you. You were very adamant on getting him to like you. Perseverance is a trait that not too many have.” He gave you a small smirk and then winked. “You should be proud of yourself.” You gave him a sad smile.
“Thanks.” For a brief second, you noticed that you were actually comfortable around this guy. You’ve never been comfortable around guys before! But before you could begin wondering why that was, he started talking again.
“You are new at this, aren’t you?” When you tilted your head and gave him a confused look, he elaborated. “Flirting. You are new at it, no?” As much as you wanted to tell him that you weren’t, you didn’t want to lie to this man.
“…Is it that obvious?” you asked the man shamefully. He gave you a smile in reassurance.
“Only if someone has been around love for a while.”
“Say what?” you asked, perplexed by what exactly he meant.
“Can I take you out to get some coffee?” he asked quickly yet smoothly, as if trying to cover something up. You, however, didn’t think anything of it because you were too busy ogling at the fact that this beautiful man wanted to take you out on a date. Your first date!
“Um…o-okay, yeah. Sure! I’d like that,” you stuttered out, smiling giddily. Hearing a beep, you realized that your clothes were done in the washer and ready to be dried. Walking quickly over to your machine, you opened the door and began grabbing clothes from within it and transferring them to an open dryer right above. While you were busy, the man calmly walked over to you as if he had all of the time in the world. He stood to your right as you continued to work.
“My name is Francis,” the man, who is apparently named Francis, told you tranquilly with a small smile playing on his lips. “What is yours, mademoiselle?” You froze for a moment to look over at him. After a couple of seconds, you gave him an answer.
“___.” His smile seemed to grow even more.
“What a beautiful name. You wear it well.” Mumbling a shy thank you, you turned back to your laundry and shoved the rest of your wet clothes into the dryer along with a single dryer sheet.
“Francis seems like a nice guy,” you thought to yourself. “This could be the start of a wonderful friendship.” Upon closing the dryer door, you heard the man talking again, but missed the first bit of what he said. “I’m sorry, what was that?”
“Oh I was just saying that I love your creativity! I believe that is the first time I have ever heard those pick-up lines before. If we don’t become a thing, I may just have to borrow those for myself,” he stated with a wink. Whoa, hold up.
“Become a…thing?” You blushed furiously at the thought. He nodded in response to your question, granted you hadn’t even meant to ask him. Perhaps this was the start of something more than a beautiful friendship. You smiled at the thought as you paid another dollar to dry your clothes.