The things they carried

(In my mind, the title of this blog post ranks as the second most irreverent use of a book title in the history of this blog, right after the use of The Drowned and the Saved.)

By the time you read this, I’ll have left on my trip a couple of days ago, but as I’m writing it, I’m still in the thick of getting ready to go.  What I have to do next, now that all the laundry’s done, is sort out clothes for myself and the Snork Maiden.  She’s packed her backpack for the plane (Nintendo DS, stuffed animal friend, journal, and a few books) and put out clothes she wants to take; I just have to add clothes, toothbrush, etc.  For myself, I need to choose clothes (or not so much choose as assemble the four or five sets of clothes I wear over and over in the summer) and finish packing my carry-on (these books will definitely be in it).  I finally got a new ink cartridge for the printer this morning, so I can print a manuscript I’m supposed to be reading, our boarding passes, and a few other things that need to come along in hardcopy.

There’s no way around it: I am going to have to do laundry in Conference City.  I just don’t have enough suitable clothes to make it through the conference and the days before and after it, when I won’t be in Hometown or at home, but in the general vicinity of Conference City.  I realize this is probably not a really difficult problem, but it’s a small new wrinkle.  I could go to a laundromat, of course, but I’d rather be spending time with friends I don’t see often. 

I wonder would it be gauche to show up at a friend’s house for a visit and ask to put in a load of wash?  There are friends who are glad to see you when you show up for a visit, and then there are the friends who are glad to see you when you show up to do laundry. 

(Image from


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pym Fan on July 13, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    For the record, you are always welcome to do laundry at my house.

    Semicolon paren.

    P.S. There’s also the possibility of some clothes shopping in interesting places while on your pre-conference travels, no?


  2. Posted by FLS on July 14, 2008 at 6:20 am

    I have actually had friends come do laundry here, so that tells you my opinion on the matter. It’s always nice to do a friend a “telescope favor” — something that is so small to agree to, yet makes such a huge difference for the recipient.

    Also, many hotels have laundry rooms (inexpensive) or laundry services (expensive but sometimes worth it).


  3. Posted by meansomething on July 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    “Telescope favor”–I like that!

    See, I would not hesitate a moment to do laundry at either of your houses, but you are Very Special Friends.

    I hadn’t quite decided where we are staying for the couple of nights pre-conference. Most of our area pals have pretty small digs. Maybe a cheap hotel with a laundry room is the best way to go.

    PymFan: want to take me shopping? Colon, hypen, paren.


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