The girl stood just in front of a sign that read, “Same-day service,” tapping out my number on the register’s screen with flourescent green nails. She asked, “When do you need these by?”

I said, “Tomorrow evening at the latest, please.”

She scrunched her eyes and pushed a stray piece of hair back behind her ear. “Oooh,” she intoned, and half shook her head. “What about Friday?”

I shifted my glance from the sign behind her, back to her face, hoping she would catch the significance in my facial expression. Nothing. So I scrunched my eyes and half shook my head and replied, “Oooh, no, it has to be tomorrow. I’m going out of town Friday.”

She gave me a black look and tapped something else into her computer, then ordered me to show her the items I needed drycleaned. Which I did. And I left the store feeling a little bit triumphant (my items should be ready after 5:30 p.m. tomorrow) and a little bit terrified. The sign did say “same-day service,” but it didn’t say how much that service (or next-day service) would cost, and the girl’s face boded me no good.



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