Thursday, August 27, 2009

I have a dishwasher!

This may seem like a very little thing to be excited about, but I am. This is the first dishwasher I’ve had since 1996, when my home was sold as part of the divorce, and I moved into rentals. Since that time, everything has down-sized, including conveniences.

There are many things that are not so little when it comes to doing without. No dishwasher? That’s not ideal, but OK. There’s a double sink and a bottle of Dawn. I’m all set. No washer and dryer? Hold on. That is NOT OK. While I realize many people in this world still heat their dish water over an open flame and wash their clothes in rivers, in this society having a washer and dryer is not a luxury. It is a necessity. And it’s been a long time. The one washing machine in my 12-unit apartment building was often in use, or broken down. I mean, it’s a real pain to gather laundry, bundle it up, lug it out of your house, load it into the car, drive to the Laundromat (a cultural study in itself), score the machines you need and pump quarters into them like slot machines (with no potential for a jackpot) wash, fold, bundle, and then haul it all back to the house. And those quarters! During apartment living time (many years) I held on to quarters like they were platinum! I’d see things in terms of laundry currency. Five empty bottles of Diet Coke equaled one quarter. Twenty-five returnable bottles equaled $1.25 which translated into one load of laundry in one of the small machines at Bubbles Laundromat. (A recent trip to Bubbles found the machines begging for an additional 50 cents!). I’d go for a ride in my sister’s car and notice an abundance of change in a dash compartment. Coveting the quarters, I’d think, “…wonder if she has any idea how many loads of wash that’d take care of?” I’d deliberately pay for things with an extra dollar bill rather than use coins in my purse in order to score more quarters. Sometimes I’d even drive to a Laundromat for the change vending machines, load up my pockets, and use the quarters in my apartment building’s washer and dryer. (That seemed a little sinister, somehow, as I walked past people actually doing laundry there, and leaving with heavy pockets.) Other times I’d get rolls of quarters from the bank or from the office at the grocery store. I loved those quarters! It was a sickness, this quarter obsession. If I found myself one quarter short of a load (!) I’d proceed to tear through my apartment in the quest to find just one – through pockets and pocket books, couch cushions and under furniture. Quarters were like crack to me!

In the new house, the washer and dryer are ready to go. Well, not exactly ready. The washing machine is all set. The dryer, however, requires a propane conversion kit which neither Sears (who sold it) nor any local plumber seems willing or able to convert. So, I’ve had a load of clothes in the wash for two days now, and no way of knowing when the dryer will be functioning. Now I have the joy of hauling WET if not stinky clothes to the Laundromat to rewash. If anyone knows someone who is willing to convert a brand new gas dryer to propane, we need to talk.

Hold on to your quarters if you see me coming. Seems my Laundromat days are not quite over.

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1 comment:

  1. The washer and dryer are now working! Bring on the laundry!