Over the weekend, I re-read Maureen Stanton's essay "Laundry", which won the 2004 Iowa Award in nonfiction and was anthologized in Pushcart Prize XXXI. If you care at all about feminism, love affairs, illness, death, relationships between women, relationships between women and men, issues of class, or the history of laundry (which is a lot more interesting than you'd think), you'll probably love this essay.
Here's a typically lovely paragraph:
"Laundromats are pure efficiency, lovely spiro-gyro machines at your disposal. I love the machines that dispense miniature boxes of soap, which remind me of the individual cereal boxes my mother rarely purchased for me and my six siblings. It was truly a special occasion when she did indulge in the variety pack of twelve tiny cereal boxes—the kind whose bellies you slice open as if performing surgery, a cesarean section, then pour milk in and transform the box into a bowl: ergonomic, economic, thrilling. The same sense of pleasure blooms in me if I’ve forgotten my economy-size laundry soap and I get to pay fifty cents or a dollar for a box of mini-Tide or mini-Cheer or mini-Bounce, identical to the huge supermarket-size boxes, an offspring."