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Reel Mama: Dry clean only

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dry clean only

One of the first times I went to pick up my dry cleaning at my cleaners, I was caught off guard when I noticed several handbags, neckties, and even a nice blouse hanging behind the register with a $1.00 sign written in marker.  “Did those belong to your customers?” I had to ask the owner.  “Oh, those were left here a long time ago.”  “How long ago?”  “Don’t worry about it,” she replied.  I left it at that.  The cleaners had done a good job on my clothes before, and my clothes were always waiting and ready for me when I went to pick them up, so in good faith I decided I would continue giving them my business.  

Nevertheless, I walked out of the shop feeling uneasy, fearing my clothes might be next.  How long was a long time for not picking up one’s clothes?  Six months?  Two weeks?  Forty-eight hours?

I went back again recently and was shocked to see a huge rack full of clothes, as well as clothes hanging behind the register from floor to ceiling, all $1 each.  It looked more like a garage sale than a dry cleaners.  My paranoid mind raced.  I almost couldn’t hold myself back from tearing through the rack, fearing that I might have left some garment forlorn and forgotten for a little too long, only to have it meet its doom on the sale rack. I could swear I saw half my wardrobe hanging there.  

But I restrained myself, and I finally got up the nerve to ask how long a "long time" is.  

“Oh, about a year,” the owner told me.  

“Do you call your customers before you put the stuff up for sale?” 

She hesitated, “Oh yes, but the people move, the numbers get disconnected.”  I wasn’t sure I believed her.  Then she said, “At least this way we get a little compensation for the expense of having dry cleaned them.”

She had a point.  She had gone to the expense of cleaning the garments on the sale rack, and no one had ever bothered to pick them up.  She was losing money, and obviously the clothes’ owners didn’t care about them.  

The next time I go in, maybe I’ll pick up some cute little pre-owned number, preferably Fendi or Chanel, for a couple of bucks.  And I’ll never forget to pick up my dry cleaning.


At January 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

That sounds like a lot of people aren't picking up their dry cleaning.

At January 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM , Blogger Lauren Ivy Chiong said...

I know, Dree, it is a bit strange! I am still a little uneasy when I leave my things there, but they've always had my things waiting for me, good as new, when I go by to pick them up. It's a bit like the Twilight Zone. Maybe next time she'll have Persian rugs and wedding dresses--who knows? Thanks for reading!


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