Laundry day laughs teach valuable lesson

Gabrielle Wilkosz

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“Alright, let’s do this,” I mumble to myself, hoisting up probably somewhere between 30 lbs. to one ton of laundry on my knee. It’s laundry day.

If you’ve ever lived in a communal residential space, you know there are certain things you have to trade in for the lifestyle. For instance, you may have to trade getting to do laundry whenever you want for creating a meticulous laundry scheduling master plan and being on top of that shit.

Waddling to the laundry room, I slam the door behind me. Loading my laundry into the washing machine, I settle down in one of the grey plastic chairs. It’s a Tuesday night so all’s quiet on the western front. A little too quiet.

I start humming a little bit to the tune of “A Whole New World” from Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Before I moved into the dormitory, laundry freedom wasn’t the only trade-in I made. Sitting in the laundry room, the 60 watt bulbs began to feel like a stage spotlight, and I remembered how much I missed singing alone around my house and in the shower.  

I mean, unless you’re a musical theatre major or an opera singer, normal people just can’t belt it out. And with walls these thin in a communal living space? Forget it.

So I thought, alright, this is my chance.

“I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD…” I start off kind of medium-voice level, but then I really kick it into first gear. “SHINING, SHIMMERING, SPLENDID.”

What a cathartic release! I continue belting out the lyrics, horribly off-key, but I don’t care! I’m care-free! “TELL ME PRINCESS, NOW WHEN DID YOU LAST LET YOUR HEART DECIDE?”

In a wave of emotion, I’m suddenly hearing a full-bodied music score in the background, violins, cello, trumpets, all accompanying the at best average sound of my voice. In this laundry room, I am Aladdin and Jasmine, no need to choose one character. I am infinite.

After singing numerous off-key refrains and out of order words, my song ends, as does the laundry.

Proudly walking out of the laundry room, I’m at peace. Calm, relaxed, even joyful.

In the main lounge area a few paces away, I see a couple friends and acquaintances talking and laughing in hushed tones. I give them a friendly nod.

“Hey guys! What’s up?” I say.

I hear my friend Rafa say he can show me something. What did he just say?

“I can show you the world,” Rafa says, leaning over the couch. “Good singing!”

Oh. My. God.

Living in a residential space has its perks and its downfalls, but at the end of the day, it’s a rite of passage. I think at some point all of us have that “laundry day” moment, but whether you’re adjusting to a new living space or experimenting with a room’s acoustics, sometimes you’re going to make an idiot of yourself. And when you do, take a deep breath, tell a friend and laugh it off.