When you have a family of five and your dryer takes a dump, chances are you’re going to wind up at the laundromat. If you’re like me, and haven’t been to one in a few years, you might want to know something going in…it ain’t glamorous.
When you go to the grocery store, you’re going to see a mix of styles and various levels of dress, from full office attire to the pajama pants clad new mom whom hasn’t slept in 48 hours but desperately needs a pack of diapers — and everything in between. For the most part, however, people are generally dressed comfortably in matching attire that would be appropriate in most casual settings. Why? Because there’s an unspoken code of what’s acceptable at a supermarket, and if you’re dressed like a vagabond you feel even more self-conscious about picking up a bag of Candy Corn Oreos.
Unlike the grocery store, the laundromat is free of socially imposed standards on what constitutes a proper appearance. This is because most people don’t go until they’re down to their holey college tee and button-fly Grinch boxers. If anyone tried to suggest a standard of what was acceptable for the laundromat, she’d either have to say that absolutely ANYTHING was passable (hopefully somewhat covering the naughties) or get stoned by an angry, disheveled and happily mismatched mob.
The upside to all this is that if you’re hungry for an ego boost you know exactly where to go. Forget the supermarket where you may encounter kidless size 2s, casually, yet somehow elegantly, flipping their perfect tresses in the organic produce aisle. That’s way too much pressure. No. What you need is a trip to the laundromat.
At the laundromat, you don’t have to put forth more than a half-ounce of effort to be the hottest diva in the room. Here are some tips to make sure your trip is an absolute self-esteem rocking success.
1. Shower within the past 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be too recent, you’re not trying to show off. You want to look totally casual, like you made zero effort to look that clean.
2. Wear matching clothes without rips or stains. That’s a leg up on 97% of laundromat patrons right from the jump. They don’t have any clean, matching clothes. Score!
3. Smile. Nothing increases your face value quicker than a toothy grin, and NOBODY smiles at the laundromat. It’s like every shred of happiness is sucked right out of people when they enter and isn’t returned until they’re pulling out of the parking lot. How fortuitous!
4. Leave your kids at home. You can’t create the illusion that you’re not a mom because the Spider-Man Underoos in your eight baskets of laundry are dead giveaways. What not bringing your kids DOES do is create the illusion that you’re too cool to have them cramp your style by running around like maniacs while you watch your husband’s boxer briefs dance around in the dryer. Throw on a leather jacket and you’re practically the Fonz.
5. Go early. The earlier in the day you get to the laundromat, the better. Once you hit around 3pm, your best bet is to wait until after 7pm. The reasoning is simple. You don’t want to have a fashion throw-down with someone who stopped in directly after work. Way too risky.
If you go as far as to actually wear makeup, you’ll definitely be a showstopper, but it’s not necessary. These tips are sure things, every time, all by themselves. Now go forth and diva!