Friday, February 09, 2007

Household Appliances

About a month ago the belt on my clothes dryer broke. I cannot imagine why this happened. The dryer is only twenty years old and twirls about three loads of laundry each week, or more, since my children still think they have laundry room rights even though they have long ago flown the coup here.

With a load of jeans in there drying for about an hour, imagine my surprise when I quickly ran downstairs to fold them and hang them up before working, only to find that they were warm but undeniably, without question, still very wet. No amount of standing there feeling them and trying ton convince myself that they had not dried completely simply because the load was heavy, made them any less wet, and I finally resigned myself to the fact that a trip to the laundromat was in my future.

Having spent everything I had on a mid-winter vacation with AF to Miami, knowing that there was not going to be enough money to cover a repairman, I began the routine: This will be FUN! I love people-watching at the laundromat! It will save me tons of electricity at home! It will be like old times, like college, when...and this is where the downside of reality crept in...I was dirt poor and could barely find a dollar's worth of quarters to even DO my laundry. Sigh.

For a month, though, I carried a basket of wet, heavy clothes to the car and drove to the nearest laundromat. I made a couple of friends there; an old woman who seemed genuinely concerned about my welfare on the slick streets and in the bitter cold, and a Hispanic girl and her child. We could not understand one another's verbalizations, but we bonded over the rather boring task of throw it in, feed it money, take it out, put it back, feed it more money, take it out, put it back...finally folding it damp and getting out of there quickly.

Finally, after about the fourth trip to the laundromat, the newness wore off and all I could concentrate on was getting the dryer fixed. Boyfriend told me if I would order the part, he would put it on, so after a trip to Home Depot, only to return with the card with the 800 number for ordering parts for archaic out-of-style appliances, the belt was ordered. It arrived on Wednesday and I met Don at the door with it, threw it toward him and said, "You put this on and I'll go to McDonald's and buy our dinner."

To make a long story short, I returned home from the drive-thru line from hell to find that the dryer, after ten minutes, was repaired.

There is a God!! There was load of wet laundry sulking in the washing machine that I quickly transferred to the dryer. Standing there listening to it tumble around in the heat filled drum of the dryer, the dryer whirring and spinning happily after its long hiatus, my arms wrapped firmly around it, kissing it, there were tears in my eyes.

I sniffed and went upstairs to have my Quarter Pounder with Cheese and fries and was nestled next to my boyfriend on the loveseat when the dryer's buzzer sounded, and did not stop. No quick reminder that the laundry was dry, but a constant, consistent, loud, annoying buzz that would not stop.

Don looked at me and said, "Hmmmm...guess I'll have to fix that this weekend." And I was consoled and happy once again!