When was the last time you went without access to the internet, to your phone, to television, and text messaging? Social media? Could you realistically drop it whenever you want? Some people can’t even do that on a first date, which is pretty sad. The habitual checking of the Facebook app on your smart phone should not rule your life.
I know a lot of people my age (I’m 25) are addicted to technology, addicted to media and love being constantly connected. And while I do spend probably…12 hours a day on the computer, at least….it’s never been hard to drop the constant updates and social contact. I’m horribly introverted, so perhaps that is not such a feat! I love going on vacation to foreign countries and foregoing cellphone plans. I love that I don’t have to check my email 100 times a day – but I do cherish that 1 hour I get on the internet at night, at the hotel/hostel. But going on an international vacation isn’t something one can do all the time….in fact, I haven’t left the United States for maybe 2 or 3 years. I’m getting very antsy about that.
Since I hate the stress of being connected all the time and being constantly ‘available’, there’s another unpopular thing that I absolutely love.
Folding clothes at the laundry room.
Yeah. How many people do you know who like to fold clothes?? The strangers who keep me company in the laundry room are either the elderly or middle-aged, fobby immigrants. My apartment’s actually pretty big for Manhattan, but even then I don’t have the table-space to fold my clothes in my unit, and folding on my bed inevitably means passing out on my bed amid a nest of laundry.
I love how warm the clothes feel. I love having the space to shake out everything and press the clothes flat. I love, most of all, that my laundry room is in the basement of my apartment building, with no cellphone signal, no data, no wifi. The hum of the washing machines and the tumbling dryers creates a very “zen” atmosphere, and finally I can actually clear my mind. That’s so impossible for me otherwise, I often lay awake in bed for about 3 hours before I can fall asleep, because I’m thinking and worrying about too much crap, and having arguments and dialogues in my head. The laundry room is peace, and the peace is with me while I’m there….with no smartphone in my pocket.
Another bonus is eavesdropping. Most people don’t talk in the laundry room, especially since people don’t normally synchronize or set up ‘laundry dates’ with their friends. But there’s this ONE pair of old white guys who are sometimes there as I fold. I keep my back to them, my clothes on my table, the two of them sharing the table behind me. They don’t have much compared to me, because I’m a clothing-hoarder who refuses to stop shopping. The way they talk to each other is like the dynamic of the two guys in that old movie, “Grumpy Old Men”, except the topic is always about politics. One is 100% conservative, the other a bleeding heart liberal…and this makes for some very interesting entertainment.
I don’t know anyone else in real life who shares any enjoyment in folding laundry. Everyone else sees it as a huuuge waste of time, and a huge chore. A good chunk of friends don’t even bother folding at all. Clothes just get rolled up and tossed in a drawer…or a pile in their room…or left in their laundry bag/cart.
How does everyone else out there feel about laundry? Or do you have another way to relieve stress and take a break from technology every week?
Fun fact about the photo up top….that’s Cerie’s (the blonde intern) rainbow tanktop from the TV show, 30 Rock :D They had a wardrobe sale when the series ended – you pay $20 cash at the door, they give you a giant plastic bag, and you get to raid the closet!!! Anything that can fit in your bag is yours. That was seriously fun, and I wish Gossip Girl did it too, but everything was sent back to the WB in California.