For a woman I don’t have much of a shopping gene. A wife who does not like to shop? Makes me the envy of every married man known to man.
You’d think shopping to replace a broken washing machine would trump dragging the laundry down to the river and beating it with a stone. And you’d be wrong.
It’s the whole experience that makes me cringe. Having to drive there, fight the crowds and spend good money for something new when the old one could be fixed with a roll of duct tape. I pity the salespeople who grovel at my feet for commissions. I’m a tough sell. They tell me how my world will “rock” with all these buttons and features I don’t want or need. And all I can think of is how many river stones would it take to beat out the jelly stains from this poor salesperson’s polo shirt.
Today I am being forced to replace a broken washing machine. Against my will.
About a year ago the washing machine started to whine. I told the thing to shut up and do its one and only job. Ignoring the tiny oil stain in the bottom of the agitator basket, I stuffed in a week’s worth of towels and slammed the lid.
Screams and moans leaked out from under the laundry room door. My husband did this daily for several months while mourning the loss of another shirt. He insisted it was time to replace the dying washing machine.
I ignored his whining too and relegated the oil stained bath towels to the rag pile in the garage.
Over the past weekend my head rested on bed sheets with newly acquired Dalmatian spots. I smelled an oily death.
Today I started the washing machine and it sighed. When I pushed the knob in, turned it to the normal cycle and pulled it out, the water trickled down the sides like some pathetic drama queen. At the end of its cycle black oil oozed and formed a small pool which left unmentionables with permanent hash marks. A bleak foreshadow that the end was near.
My husband forbid using it and removed the hoses, effectively pulling the washing machine’s life line. My wallet trembled.
“We’ve been in this house for 10 years,” he said while researching the life expectancy of a washing machine (15 years). “We moved it from the other house and had it there for 15 years. Have some mercy woman. She had a good run. Let the old girl go.”
So what does a woman who does not like to shop do? She goes online. I did my due diligence and researched the latest models of washing machines. It was hard to find a no frills, pull out a knob and get the job done kind. I’m a simple gal.
My online shopping experience was fine until I had a question about removing the old broken washing machine. There was no face-to-face salesperson to ask. I clicked on the “live chat” option and 10 minutes later (10 minutes later) “Geronimo” came to the rescue. Sort of.
<– This is my actual “Live Chat”.
In two weeks our new appliance will be delivered and old Bessie, I thought she deserved a proper name, will go to wherever broken washing machines go to die. Hopefully she will be dismantled and recycled into a blender or mid-size SUV I can buy later online.
As the laundry piles up, we are becoming more creative in our fashion choices.
We wear clothes several days in a row. A perk to digging deep in the closet is the rediscovery of old fashion trends. I felt quite at ease, although a bit sausage-y, in a pair of vintage bell-bottom jeans and a peasant shirt. And my husband looks rather spiffy in his groovy leisure suit and flowered button down.
We’re not sure if we’ll make the two weeks before the new washing machine arrives. Either we will go to a laundromat or walk down to the river and beat each other with stones.
Stephanie DelTorchio writes social commentary on living well in a world of neurotics, nitwits and fools where she is an active card carrying member.