I played the pregnancy card

From Order of the Stick #587, "What to Expect When You're Expecting Assassins," © 2008 Rich Burlew

From Order of the Stick #587, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Assassins,” © 2008 Rich Burlew

(Image Source)

There is a laundromat 1/2 mile away from our apartment that we have used for the almost-two years we have lived here. Its posted business hours say that the laundromat is open from 6 AM – 9 PM, but the door automatically locks at 7:30 PM and they ask that you have your last load in by then—so continuing to wash and dry after 7:30 PM is okay, but if you do not remain with your laundry, you might not get back in till the next morning. In the nearly-two years I have lived here, I have picked a load of laundry up after 7:30 maybe 2-3 times, and on only one occasion did I leave my laundry there overnight and pick it up at 6 AM the next day. There has almost always been an employee or customer there after 7:30 PM who could let me in to pick up my laundry, so I never saw it as a big deal. Admittedly, the last time I picked up laundry after 7:30 PM was about 2 weeks ago.

I’m also a chronic leaver of laundry. DD has ADHD and VCFS, and waiting around for laundry to get done with her in tow is awful. I’d rather risk someone stealing my laundry (it’s never happened) than spend 2 hours at the laundromat with her constantly whining at me to do something more interesting. I can see the large signs posted which say the laundromat is not responsible for you leaving your laundry unattended, and I accept full responsibility in the event that theft occurs, thank you very much.

So, last night I put a load in to dry at 7:15 PM and drove home to be with DD as usual. I came back at 8:15 PM to pick up my laundry. The only ones there were the employees, a middle-aged Asian couple. The wife came to the door with my laundry in a thin plastic bag, glared at me, and proceeded to scold me for not remaining with my laundry. The conversation looked something like this (her tone was belligerent and angry, I had been in a pretty good mood upon arriving at the laundromat and was shocked and confused):

“You need to stop doing this.”

“The sign says laundry can be done until 9…”

“You need to stop making us responsible for your laundry.”

“I don’t follow. How am I making you responsible for my laundry when I’m here to pick it up?”

“You don’t know someone will be here to let you back in after 7:30.”

“Yes, and in the event that no one is here to let me back in, I will return at 6 AM the next day to get it. As it stands, you are here, and you are usually here at this time, so I don’t see why this is a big deal.”

“And if you don’t come back to get it at 6 AM, someone could steal your laundry.”

“I’m aware of this. I can see the signs. I accept the risks of leaving my laundry unattended and would never attempt to hold the laundromat responsible for theft.”

“Well, you need to stop making a habit of it.” (Doing this less times than I can count on one hand in 2 years is a habit???)

At this point I grew tired of her and her belligerent tone, and I lost it. “You know what? I am 15 weeks pregnant, and I am so freakin’ exhausted, and you are here bitching at me over something really stupid. So, good-bye.” (Really, I hardly ever swear. It takes a lot for me to say “bitching” to a complete stranger!)

Why did I do that? She couldn’t have told I was pregnant in my flowing top and my bulky winter coat, so why did I play the pregnancy card? Probably because I wanted to make her feel as guilty as possible about her behavior. Wanting her to regret being so mean to a stranger over something so trivial when I had done nothing wrong. Wanting her to realize that maybe I had a very good reason for not getting my laundry done before 7:30 PM or waiting around after the doors locked to remove it without needing to be let back in.

I went home and gave their business a 1-star review on Yelp, then I printed off the review detailing what she had done and put it in the mail to that place of business. I’m pretty sure the Asian couple are not the owners, but just employees, and I hope it gets them in trouble with their boss. It’s the only form of revenge I have.

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