Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Costs More to Be Poor

so, here I am at the laundromat, hoping to hell my washer can be fixed tomorrow. I haven't been to a laundromat since my BIL gifted us his old washer and dryer when he moved to NJ, so 4 years or so.

One load of wash in a small capacity washer is $2.25. One load! In a washer I couldn't fit 5 towels into. The "high capacity" washer is $3.25. Mind you, "high capacity" is what I would call "normal washer size".

5 minutes of dryer time is $0.25. I had 4 quarters left, so . . . here's hoping!

For the average family, how many months of visits to the laundromat would it take to surpass the cost of a washer? 3? 6? 1 year, maybe, to go over a washer and dryer?

Of course, you can't buy a washer $2.25 at a time, and you can't not do laundry- well, not and keep your job and your kids- so what are going do? Other than pay through the nose, I mean.

They sell detergent and fabric softener here- $0.75 per load. Wow. Stamps are $0.60 for a $0.44 stamp. Copies are $0.25 a page, faxes $1 per page.

Of course, were I rich, I'd get complimentary hotel stays and swag bags full of designer everything- everything I could afford to buy anyway. People would take me out to dinner and feel lucky for the privilege. And all that money going to rich me? It's not like there's soup kitchens and shelters turning people away or anything. It's all good.

hey, I'm lucky. I had $10 to do laundry. I'll be able to fix my washer with my tax refund. I have clothes to wash. I'm getting screwed, but at least I'm not totally fucked.

America: where you can count yourself lucky to only get screwed, and rich people get free stuff and poor people pay more.


  1. Come Oscar time, one really is always smacked with the sickest sense of irony that the Oscar nominees and winners are getting gift "baskets" with, like, free trips to Cabo and Cartier watches and shit. Or for an example I have first-hand knowledge of: when I was in PR, my boss was longtime friends/PR lady for/with Rick and Cathy Hilton. Even though we weren't the firm who handled Paris's press (though we did do a party for her first perfume launch, which, blech), you would not believe the amount of free shit people sent for her. Because she can't afford her own jeans and shoes, you know?

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  3. That's why I don't use a dryer but I hang my laundry to dry. Apart from saving money on the dryer, I save money on laundry because the dryer kills clothes. (and stuffing the washer as full as possible off course, and buying detergent at the supermarket instead of the laundromat)

  4. "she can't afford her own jeans and shoes, you know?"

    That has nothing to do with it. They give celebrities free stuff because they want them to use and appear with their products. It's just a form of advertising and a cheap one at that. If you are a clothing designer, how much is it worth to you if a major celebrity is photographed in public wearing your clothes?

  5. Yes, I am aware that Paris Hilton being able or unable to afford products has nothing to do with why people send things to her. I was being sarcastic.

    The sunny side to that whole situation was that she didn't care to receive about 99% of what was sent to her, so we sent it on to Salvation Army/Goodwill/Housing Works.

  6. "I was being sarcastic."

    I know. But I've found that some people don't understand why celebrities get those expensive gift bags full of stuff they don't need and could easily buy themselves.

    Back to the washing machine ... Hopefully the repair won't cost as much as mine. When mine broke several years ago, a part that cost $12.95, and 15 minutes of repair work ran me $280. I probably should have bought a new one, but it seemed like more of hassle than having the repair man come out and fix the old one.

  7. well, buying a new one would have been at least $500

    Pete and i looked for a w/d for YEARS, on craigslist. we'd see all the ads for "working" w/d [we HAVE to have stackable w/d in our apt] but not a single person advertising a WORKING w/d was willing to PROVE that it worked. and if they're asking several hundred dollars [and they WERE] for a working w/d, then they SHOULD prove it.

    when pete's dad's estate was finally settled, we went to a scratch and dent place, a got an $1100 for $750 - it's awesome [money's all gone, of course - but DAMN are we saving money on laundry mat, AND i can actually have CLEAN CLOTHING, since Pete didn't want to wash my clothes, and i can do sitting at laundry mat. physically impossible most of the time]

    but - $750 is STILL a LOT of money. if it weren't for unexpected windfall, we'd still be doing the him going to laundry mat and me trying to wash a thing or three in sink...

  8. There's some in the 350 range -- I'm looking on Lowes site right now. Or did you mean you got a washer and dryer for 750?

    The first time I tried to wash a full load of clothes in the sink I realized just how great an invention is the washing machine.

    Craiglist is great, but there's no way I'd pay more than 50-100 bucks for someone's old washing machine. I do have an air conditioner I got through craigslist for $50. It works great. The best way to get stuff though is to catch people giving things away that are still working because they are moving. It's amazing all the free stuff that is available. Although it helps if you have a truck or know someone with one.

  9. I wouldn't mind being added to the blogroll if you'll have me. (-:

  10. UNNR - i did mean for both - and they HAD to be stackable. which means the CHEAPEST are generally at least $900. sigh


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