Two tiny little things…

The other day someone asked me how long I’d lived in Little Rock. The question caused me to pause – 10 years. We moved back here summer 2000, which puts us roughly 10 years into our five-year plan.

When Baby Daddy got a job offer back in the Natural State, I was not exactly thrilled. I had managed my single childhood goal, which was to shake the small-town dust off my shoes and get the heck out of Dodge. I had no intention of coming back. But there were very good professional and personal reasons to take the job. So I agreed, on one condition: we would stay absolutely, positively no longer than five years. We both thought that was a fair arrangement.

And then our life happened. We’re still here. I can’t really complain, although I often do. I am me, after all. On the whole, I’d say this is a pretty good place to live. But Damn You Little Rock, this city is missing two key ingredients: dry cleaners and donut/ coffee shops. Let me explain.

Dry Cleaners
I have tried them all. Trust me. I’ve been to the cheap ones, expensive ones, fast ones, slow ones, chains, locally owned, and they all have one thing in common: they stink!

ripped sweater after a trip to the cleaners ~ worn once

They have damaged my clothes, lost my clothes, broken buttons, melted fabric, torn seems, ripped hems, unhinged zippers, stretched pants, shrunk skirts… It seems there is no end to the new and creative ways they can cause my wardrobe troubles. I realize all of things are going to happen from time to time in the course of human events, but this stuff happens a couple of times a month . We usually take a load in once a week.

my favorite summer dress seen here celebrating my friend's engagement

So HALF of the visits to the dry cleaner result in me on the phone with some woman, who is less than thrilled about my call, yelling. Maybe it’s because of the frequency of the problem or just because it seems like a solvable one, I end up engaged in tennis-type screaming fits with the line judge on a semi-regular basis. And I. always. lose.

For awhile, Baby Daddy handled the dry cleaning. I guess he thought it would make me less mad if he had to deal with the incompetent workers around town. Unfortunately, it just made me mad at him for going back to the place who lost my dress, tore my sweater or broke my zipper. Now I’m back in charge of cleaner duty. I can’t say I’ve had any better luck, but at least my anger is directed at someone who doesn’t live in our house.

my favorite summer dress after a trip to the cleaners ~ actually melted

There was a brief, shining period of time when a new service began to pick up clothes at our house, clean them and deliver them back to the door. They did good work. They never lost or damaged anything. They were even less expensive than the other places. But it turns out, a business model where they owner takes all the cash and leaves town doesn’t work so well. They closed. But the experience gave me hope that one day, I will get good dry cleaning service in this town again.

Coffee/ Donut Shops
This town has two fabulous donut options: Shipleys and Daylight Donuts. I love them both. They have the sugar rush needed for weekend breakfasts and mornings when you just need some blueberry cake goodness before work or school.

Katy Kat & Monkey Boy on a donuts before school day

However, and I say this with all the love I can muster, their coffee is atrocious, disgusting, flat-out undrinkable. So I’m forced to eat glazed donuts with diet coke. Good, but not great.

We have a variety of coffee shops as well, both locally owned and chains. You can get a mighty fine cup of coffee in this town. And this is where is gets tricky: the pastries are gross. They are either Cisco, Sam’s or frozen-shipped-thawed and microwaved. Blech!

I get coffee. Monkey Boy gets chocolate milk. When he sees a Starbucks sign, he shouts, "chocolate milk!" And I pretend I have no idea why he would do that.

I know Little Rock is a bit slow to get the news, but coffee and donuts go together. Quite well actually. Some people, in other places of course, have made a considerable amount of money selling them as a pair.

Help me out. I do not have the time or inclination to make two stops in the mornings. I can’t make it to work on time as it is. Somebody sell me some decent coffee and donuts. Together.

Good Lord willing, it will happen before the next ten years goes by.



Filed under The view from here

13 responses to “Two tiny little things…

  1. berit

    mark’s donuts (levy) is out of this world and the coffee is pretty passable too…
    i fight the battle of the dry cleaners every week for spouse- they have ripped off slide closures (on pants- those can’t be reattached), buttons, holes in brand new shirts. not sure why we can’t find one either…

  2. Kelli

    I usually suck it up and throw everything I own in the washing machine. If someone is going to destroy my clothes, it might as well be me.

  3. I lament the days when the old Sufficient Grounds existed in Hillcrest. They had the best blueberry muffins I have ever tasted, and of course, their coffee was good. Hillcrest needs a coffee shop (and an ice cream shop, for that matter). Why hasn’t some smart entrepreneur realized this?

  4. You have obviously not been to the Schickel’s at Bowman Curve. They are wonderful. Lose the WLR bias and drive a little bit out of your way, and you can find a nice dry cleaner.

  5. Marie A.

    I was on a 6 month plan after moving here from Florida after marrying my husband…7.5 years later I’m still here. I’m still working on accepting the fact that we are staying.

    We also don’t have a good bagel shop!

  6. Actually, I have recently discovered that Fresh Market’s bakery has good bagels.

  7. Boulevard Bread Co. No donuts, but great pastries and excellent coffee.

    Or just go to Shipley’s on Cantrell and walk across the street to get a starbucks.

  8. Elisabeth

    We desperately need Tim Horton’s here. (Not that I’ve thought about that much at all since we moved back.)

  9. Misty

    That is so funny ab/ the cleaners, b/c I’ve had the exact same frustrations lately!!

  10. Kara C.

    Kinda like when HRH would see the Starbucks sign on Cantrell (across from Shipley’s which she knew that sign too-hmmmm very curios- b/c we did the 2 stop thing for coffee/donuts) and shout in her sweet 2 year old voice- “Mama’s copy”- I too pretended I knew not of what she spoke 😉

  11. What is this “dry cleaners” of which you speak? Does it have something to do with ironing? Because I don’t do that either…

  12. Natalie

    I have never agreed more on anything when it comes to dry cleaners in this town. What the heck is wrong with this city that we don’t have a cleaners that doesn’t totally ruin clothes?! Every belt that has ever come with a dress I own has been lost by a dry cleaner in this town. It stinks! But your blog doesn’t! 🙂