Lifestyles of the rich and fat[uous] 1

Because I ride in to work on my bike most days, I keep my suit and work clothes at the office (aka, rather poncily, “chambers.”)

Consequently, one indulgence I allow myself is that I have my shirts laundered from work by a commercial service. This entails dropping them off at a dry-cleaning shop in the arcade beneath the building and picking them up a day or two later, or whenever I get around to it.

When I started doing this, it was $12.50 for 5 shirts. Now it’s up to $16, or $3.20 per shirt. This does rather detract from the economy of riding a bike, but in truth I ride the bike more for convenience than the monetary saving. By bike it takes me 30 minutes, door-to-door versus a minimum of 40 minutes if I walk to the station and catch the train. Anyway, I reckon not ironing a shirt has got to be worth something to me – at least a dollar – so it’s not all of the cost of the laundering which counts as an incidental transport substitution expense.

Recently, the shop has upgraded its IT systems so that your orders are registered by primary reference to your phone number. If you have items waiting to be collected they can and do tell you this whenever you drop off something to be washed or cleaned. That’s not just for the customer’s convenience: the shop is very small and space is at a premium.

Yesterday, I wore my last clean shirt. Action needed to be taken, or else I would have to iron a shirt at home for Monday, when I am next in court. (If I’m not in court or seeing a client I will often allow myself to get away with something more casual.) Today I gathered up all my shirts, 10 in all, and took them to the shop. I was told that I had 5 shirts waiting to be picked up.

Amazing! I have 15 (proper, ironable) shirts! In high school, I definitely got by on just 5. And there are still a few ironable shirts at home which I keep there for concert and opera-going purposes. I suppose affluence has crept up on me. That, and the inexorable accumulation of stuff. (Well, 100% cotton, if you must know.)

2 Responses to “Lifestyles of the rich and fat[uous] 1”

  1. Victor Says:

    Years ago I had a boss who wore only white short sleeve shirts to work and had them laundered always. However he was forever forgetting where he had left them to be laundered and so he kept buying new shirts which he would put on at work straight from the packet, creases and all, in full view of his staff. I don’t think he ever wore the same shirt more than a couple of times.

  2. The Rabbit Says:

    A charming entry.

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