Leave it to the experts

The laundry ritual in our apartment in Houston always begins with an epic search for quarters. It takes 9 quarters to wash and dry one load (13 when the dryer's being finicky), and no matter how devoutly we save coins, we never seem to have enough. I go digging through every purse of mine and every backpack of CM's, and on a lucky day I can scrape together enough without a trip to the bank or a change machine. Then it's a gamble whether the machines are empty, and clean, and functioning properly. If it's raining, the dry clothes (and I) get wet walking the short distance home from the laundry room, and even though I actually LIKE folding laundry, the whole process generally makes me grumpy.

Here's my laundry ritual in New York: I pull the drawstring tight on my laundry bag, tote it around the corner to the laundromat, drop it off with the nice ladies there, and pick it up in the evening and take it home. Is there anything better than wash and fold service? They use fragrant detergent and fabric softener and they fold everything so perfectly. The first time I got back a fitted sheet I wanted to cry. For 70 cents a pound (and I don't have to pay in quarters), this small luxury is so worth it to me.

There are some things I would rather leave to the experts (and trust me, those laundry ladies are experts). I don't highlight my own hair. I don't wash my own car. For me, the relief of putting these tasks in someone else's hands makes up for the expense. I know people who routinely cut their own bangs and change their own oil, but that's just not me.

And this year, I've added an item to the list of things I hire an expert to do for me: taxes. My 2009 taxes are a mess—4 companies, 3 states, a mix of W-2s and 1009s. TurboTax and I were not up to the challenge, so I asked around for recommendations and hired an accountant in NYC who specializes in dealing with my strange field. I met with him last week for about 10 minutes, handed over my documents, and he just took the whole thing off my hands. I went back today to sign a few pieces of paper, and it's all over! Easiest taxes ever.

Long live the experts, I say!


  1. But I still want you to cut my hair when we are in Ojai.

  2. I've always gone to the experts for my taxes... too many states, too many rules to remember!

    I'm with you on the experts thing...

  3. Along the lines of laundry I finally started paying someone to clean my apartment and it was the best thing ever! I'm thinking of doing the same thing with laundry if my new apartment doesn't have a washer and dryer. I mean they have these services all over town and I bet it is worth the money.


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