why should anyone other than a relative have to turn my clothes right side out, treat stains, or press my clothes?
Much like a doctor, you may prefer a drycleaner of the same sex so that you won't feel as embarrassed about your personal things. But typically drycleaners are men, it seems to me.
Drycleaners are indeed part miracle-workers with their skills at getting out difficult stains.
I sometimes wonder if drycleaners go into the business because they like clothes & fashion. Some are very well dressed, & most wear very clean and pressed clothing even if their outfits are casual workwear.
Many drycleaners are family-owned & operated. The big chains are often elitist, & I'd be hard pressed (ha!:) to understand why they're more expensive.
I've worked several jobs in the service industry in my life, the most memorable as a custodian at a university. I cleaned the student center & the chapel. In the chapel I would pick up tissues from the floor after a wedding or a funeral, throw away left-over flowers, & vacuum. The student center was a bit more frightening with every kind of mess. I would also empty trash cans in offices; here, I was granted access into individuals' personal space, & I noticed the photos on their desks, the art on their walls, & sometimes what they threw away.
We can ignore the intimate nature of our relationships with those who help care for our things, or we can acknowledge it with graciousness & friendship. I visited the drycleaner in our old neighborhood about once a week, & over time, Tony & I became friends. He's pursuing a business degree, & we'd often talk about his classes. He recently got married (see link to his wedding story below). He works in the drycleaner with his aunt & uncle. I miss him now that we've moved.