Save your quarters. Invest in a washing machine.

Friday October 13, 2000.

As I put on my new Express jean jacket and checked myself out in the mirror, I was feeling good. I turned off Freaky Friday (hailing from a time when Lindsay Lohan was more innocent...and straight) and grabbed my All Sports Pass.

I arrived at the football game with my friends and we made the rounds. We clearly did not go into the bleachers immediately, as we had to linger around the concessions for a bit in order to see who made an appearance.

Once we made it to the stands, I found my boyfriend of one month, Tom, and stood by him. I held his hand and smiled adoringly at him, pretending to care about the football game. We talked about how he'd be out there next year and how I'd be lonely during the games; but I'd wear his jersey and be in the attendance rain or shine, home or away.

At halftime, I departed the stands and called over my friend, Ryan. I said, "Ryan, go get Tom and tell him to meet me under the bleachers."

As Tom approached me, standing under the dark bleachers all alone, he was smiling. He knew what was about to happen.

This was the point where I realized the instructions I had given Ryan may have been a little misleading. You see, I was beckoning Tom so, in order to break up with him.

I told him about how I thought we should just be friends, really good friends, but I just didn't see the relationship going anywhere. (The insight of an eighth grader is astounding!)

Undoubtedly, this was my most memorable- and horrible- Friday the thirteenth. So, today, in honor of the pseudo-holiday, I thought I'd try to make it memorable as well.

This is why I made my maiden voyage to a Laundromat.

I was disappointed, to say the least. I guess I was anticipating a little more glamor. I imagined walking in to a room filled with the aroma of fresh Downy and a touch of bleach. I was certain I'd be surrounded by big Bosch washers and dryers and maybe even a Diet Coke fountain. I thought music would be playing and it would be full of beautiful people folding their fluffy laundry. I created a scenario in my head where I'd drop my favorite shirt on the (sparkling clean) black and white check floor and I'd lean down to pick it up, landing face to face with a cute boy who would smile and hand it back. He'd simultaneously hand me his number and tell me to call if I ever wanted to do laundry...or whatever. Essentially, I was expecting a Jessica Simpson music video.However. This was not the case. I think that the machines were circa 1972 and the floor, on which I dropped about five clean items, was far from sanitized. The only thing shining about the entire room was the light reflecting off of the head of a bald man, who had a lingering stare and shaved legs. For some reason, I highly doubt he will be an extra is Jessica's upcoming video.

As rough as it was for me to face the reality of what a Laundromat really is, it's a growing experience. And I have certainly learned a few lessons: Next time, I'm keeping my expectations low and bringing snacks.