Dry cleaning
Monday June 23rd 2014, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

I’ve been going to the same drycleaner for lo these many years. I’ve never known the name of the woman who is the face of the establishment, a tiny woman, probably Korean since a lot of them around here of that age are, and she struggles to remember mine given that I’m such an infrequent flier: “Hyatt?” I only come a few times a year. But it’s been a lot of years.

But she remembers my husband’s handknit sweater, the Aran with the 86″ wingspan (the one he wore to a job interview and I teased him that I got him that job), and we bonded over that way back in the days when I was still afraid to handwash such things. Special instructions: Do Not Block. I didn’t want all those hard-won cables flattened out.

I don’t think she’s ever seen my 6’8″ husband but she’s known the size of his suits and they just amaze her.

I had a pair of his wool pants to drop off that I should have done awhile ago.  I’d been wondering at my own procrastination mixed with forgetfulness. But today everything fell easily into place: I remembered it and I did it–on a Monday, even, 5:00ish though, so that if they said it wouldn’t be done till Friday I’d still have an extra day to remember to retrieve them before he would need them Sunday. I wouldn’t have to pay extra for an overnighter.

There was a tall man just ahead of me when I arrived and it became quickly clear that, at least right then, he was the overbearing type who does not see people who serve. Granted, we all have our moments we regret–but still. Not fun. As he gave this gentle woman a hard time over nothing at all I felt for her. He was well dressed in clothing only. I almost said out loud, c’mon, dude, lighten up.

Except that I didn’t want her nor her business to bear the brunt of any reaction to me.

He turned to leave at long last and she immediately stepped sideways my way and made a point of focusing solely on me.

One pair of pants? (And then came the struggle for the name.) I chuckled, adding, “Alison.”

L? She started to write L Hyatt-cross out–Hyde and I had her cross out the L too and put in A, just to be on the safe side. We both chuckled. As if there would ever be any confusion whose those were, no. But no matter our language barrier, I made a point of being the friend who understood what she’d just been put through and that I wanted to make up for it. One can say a lot with just face and eyes and a smile in the voice. He was gone now and she was in the safety of a friend.

Oh wait–I remembered to ask. “When will they be done?”

She hesitated a millisecond. “Wednesday.”

I was quite taken by surprise. “Wednesday?!” (I suddenly got that if she overnighted it without charging extra her husband might give her grief.)

“Wednesday,” she affirmed with the happiest face ever.

2 Comments so far
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Wonderful! You are so very kind, and may continued kindness keep coming back to you.

Comment by DebbieR 06.25.14 @ 5:42 am

A wise, young friend’s blog post recently noted that you can tell a lot about a man (she was talking about when she won’t go on a second date) by the way he treats the wait staff…

Comment by Channon 06.25.14 @ 6:07 pm

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