I officially met the Laundry Gnome last weekend. And I am more confused about Gnomes than I ever was before.
Last Saturday night, I put a load of laundry in the dryer (because this is a HOT Saturday evening in my book). The laundry room on my apartment hall has two dryers and two washers, and the dryer to the left of the dryer I used was empty at the time. Then I return to my apartment to watch more episodes from season 7 of The X Files (because this is a really HOT Saturday night).
When I go to retrieve my newly dried laundry at 10:30pm, the laundry is gone. Not even a sock in sight. A different load of laundry has taken my laundry’s place, and it is happily spinning in the electric heat.
The Laundry Gnome had struck. And here I thought he was off on weekends.
So, I leave a note: “Dear Gnome, Please return my laundry to the laundry room.” I don’t leave my name or apartment number for fear the Gnome has branched to more pricey booty. And I am quite tiffed by the way.
The next afternoon, I glance into the laundry room just to see if perhaps I can catch the little jerk in the act – rummaging through Rolling Stones T-shirts and granny panties (probably in separate loads). But I am too late. My underwear from the missing load (an amount of underwear that constitutes over half of my stash) is spread flat and neatly piled on top of my note. But nothing else from the load is lurking about.
Now I am quite tiffed.
I then tape up a letter that reads: “Dear Gnome, please return ALL of my laundry. Sorry I was not specific before. My laundry, however, is not yours to pick and choose from. It is rather insulting if you think about it.”
After work that night, I check back in the laundry room, just to see if he’s hanging from the shelves or drinking shots of laundry detergent. But again, I am too late. Sitting atop the dryer are the six shirts and the sweater which were also in the missing load. They are folded neatly and smell like cigarettes. Apparently the Laundry Gnome has taken up smoking to dull the pain of being a Laundry Gnome. It’s a hard life after all.
Stuck to my note is another note from the Gnome which reads: “It must be nice to never make a mistake! I was looking for something denim anyway.”
So I write back: “Dear Gnome, When an entire load of my laundry disappears, it’s hard for me too see that as a mistake. And anyone can see there was no denim in that load. Who would be silly enough to wash white shirts with dark blue jeans? If you have my lavender towels as well, please return them. Thanks. Signed, Makes-Mistakes-Too.”
The next day, I check again. I want to desperately catch him making a nest out of dryer sheets and sniffing lint to get a buzz. But no such luck. Instead, I see one of my lavender towels on the dryer, and my note crumpled up in the trash.
And that was the last I heard from him. No linty knuckles have wrapped on my door, and I doubt they ever will. But two things are for sure: I’m a believer. And he still has one of my towels.