I was a freshman in theatre school. Never trust a first year theatre student.
I was having one of those days. I just wanted to be left alone.
I needed clean clothes.
So I was sitting in the local laundromat, waiting for said clean clothes, reading and thinking about the first year language requisite I was taking – Russian, because by the time I’d gotten the call to tell me my audition had been successful, all the ‘normal’ language classes were full.
That’s when I noticed that the laundromat lady was a little crazy.
Okay, maybe ‘crazy’ is a bit harsh. The laundromat lady was… ‘special.’ And I didn’t feel like making small talk with her.
But sure enough, she was headed my way.
I can’t remember the icebreaker she used to start being my ‘friend’, but I do remember what I said. In a heavy Slavic accent, “So sorry…do not spik…Inglis…ya styudenka pa Rusky…”
Laundromat-lady’s face lit up like she’d just discovered diamonds in someone’s pockets. She nodded and smiled and left me alone. I buried my face back in my script.
A few minutes later, I heard her speaking to her replacement prey. “See that cute little girl over there? She’s from Russia!”
It hadn’t occurred to me that I was going to want to wash my clothes there for the rest of the school year. I became so good at the accent, I minored in Russian the following year.