Saturday, September 18, 2010
Ballroom dancing in the coin laundromat.
Today I gathered up all my laundry, tore the duvet and pillow cases off my bed and decided to go to a coin laundry to get it all done in multiple washers quickly. I thought it might be an adventure so I took my camera along. It stayed in the car while I washed and dried but I wished I had taken it in with me after all. The place was owned by an oriental couple and as I spent the couple of hours there, I learned a little bit about them. When I first met I wasn't so sure we were going to get along. As I loaded my carefully sorted items into 3 different washers, the fellow who owned the placed spyed me up. He was watching that I didn't overload, told me he would turn on the machines and his head just about spun around when I turned one of the dial settings to hot instead of warm. Alright, I am paying for the machine and I wanted to use hot water. He said I musn't use these particular machines unless I had liquid soap AND that I was putting too much in anyways. A capful? Isn't that the measuring device anyways? So, I get these things up and running, and pay him $5.00 per machine. He seemed happy to get the money from me and was now a little more personable. I popped into the liquor store to get a bottle of wine as a gift and then I walked over to Starbucks to get a tea. I stopped at Cobbs and got a lovely pumpkin scone for a treat and grabbed a magazine (Artful Blogger) to read while I waited. Once I got back the mister was eating dinner at the counter while his wife was doing laundry for some one else. He seemed to be boss. Got annoyed with her for telling me to put bleach in the fabric softener slot. Honestly. Anyways, once the washers were through and I had loaded my stuff into the big dryers, the wife comes over to me and says she would like to know where I got my lace tights from?
She starts to talk about how her and her husband ballroom dance and she would like them for under her dress. So cute. Now this couple are in thier early 60's and she goes and gets her long black flared skirt to show me. I can now imagine her swirling on the floor and her dress splaying up to reveal what's going on underneath. She also shows me the little pair of shorts she uses as "underthings" now - and which apparently don't work as well as she would like them to. So, I promise her that if I see some I will come and tell her so she can get a pair too. We talk about classic fashion and how not showing as much skin is sexier and the whole thing strikes me as quite funny. I fold my towels and it looks like it's about 20 minutes till closing. I finish up and as I am getting ready to head off, I see the mister and the misses (who is now dressed in her ballgown outfit) swaying and dancing with each other in the open area in front of the washing machines in the laundromat. It made me smile to see them. Here's a couple who own a little laundromat where he eats his dinner at the front desk. There are rubber gloves drying on a rack and the back door is open to the alley. It's Friday nite and they are dancing in the laundromat ! !
Enjoying each other and smiling while they move thier feet back and forth and sway to the sound of the dryers spinning through the cycles. No music. I can't help myself of course and I tell them that I think it is the sweetest thing I have seen. In that moment I knew I had failed to capture something so special because I left my camera in the car. Darn it. A real Life Magazine moment.
That's what photojournalism is all about. Captured moments that express something about life that words cannot.
I like it when you do something different in your life and you are rewarded in these ways. It just makes life interesting.
I know one thing for sure... next time I am taking my camera in - just in case life happens right in front of my face again. I wish I could have shown you the picture.
It was definitely a keeper.