Although I do stay home and take care of the majority of the domestic chores, I indulge in the "luxury" of taking Chris's work shirts and pants to the dry cleaners for laundering. When we lived in England a large portion of Sunday was devoted to washing shirts in our miniscule under-cabinet washing machine, draping them over every available surface to dry and then painstakingly ironing them. I think I've earned this little luxury.
Anyway, I use our local drycleaners, a shop that serves a small enough population that the completed orders are hung on racks in alphabetical order just behind the counter (no fancy automated conveyers necessary here). This provides a very interesting little look into the attire of the people that live in our area. Nestled among the film-wrapped packets of dress shirts in benign corporate stripe is the occasional gem:
- A sweater that must have been waiting patiently for its owner since 1987 when it was made, because lord knows no one could possibly be paying to have it cleaned to wear next week!
- A female Santa suit. And no, I don't mean a Mrs. Claus suit. There is nothing about this outfit that says "jolly, plump, elderly lady." It's been hanging in the shop since we moved here nearly a year ago, and I can't say I'm surprised. I'd be too embarassed to pick that up too.
- The young man working behind the counter one morning commented that he appreciated that I had separated and sorted the pants and shirts I was bringing in. I confessed that I started doing it not so much to be considerate, but because one time I didn't and I pulled a pair of Chris's underwear out with the pants. The guy laughed and said, "Oh yeah, we have one guy that comes every Friday and brings all his undies to be cleaned." Funny enough as it was, but this mid-twenties, pierced and tattooed guy calling them "undies" really tickled me.
- And finally, a royal blue swimsuit fully bedazzled with sizeable "precious stones." The only thing I can think about this is that it looks like a human version of a Barbie outfit from the 80s.
I don't know, the Midwest suburbs might seem sort of tame from an outside perspective, but I think we're pretty full of characters...