I've never been in a real sauna, like at a gym or a spa. The closest I've ever been to one is watching the fat old men in their towels on the television. Or, more enjoyably, the women from Sex in the City in their tinier towels.
Wendy and I took a sauna Sunday. At the laundromat.
A few years ago, on another occasion when a different washer was broken, we learned The Rules for the neighborhood laundromat. The Rules are not meant to be questioned or judged. They are simply The Rules. Like it is important to look as skeevy as possible. This is best achieved by wearing old clothes and not combing your hair. Definitely do not shower first. A bra is optional.
There is something mildly thrilling about leaving the house in such condition. Guaranteed few will make eye contact, fewer still will speak. We prefer to maintain anonimity at the laundromat.
For efficiency's sake, it is best to choose a time when common sense dictates the facility will be least populated. We chose bright and early Sunday morning, which to us means around 10:00. Well, we meant to get there at 10:00 but we really arrived at 11:00. We figured we'd still beat the church crowd, kinda like going out for brunch. It would just be us and the rest of the godless heathens who eschew Sunday services for more practical endeavors.
Perhaps not surprisingly on Sunday mornings at the laundromat, men outnumber women about three to one. There were few children around. Heavy duty fans deployed in strategic locations around the large room moved the sweltering air but did little else. The air was heavy and thick, quite moist. Washers were lined up in the center, dryers along the edges. Empty washers and dryers abounded, no waiting involved.
I brought a book with me, but only read about half a page. It was more fun watching the people or being hypnotized by the clothes spinning in both washer and dryer.
By the time we were finished two hours later, $26 dollars poorer, drenched in sweat, baskets filled with clean sweet smelling clothing, the place was just about empty. Perhaps others know to avoid the laundromat on a sweltering DC summer afternoon.
I left feeling thankful, grateful our new washer is on the way.