My washing machine crapped out again a couple of weeks ago, which, while annoying, didn’t seem like a big deal at the time because (as I’ve written previously) I was wise enough to purchase the extended warranty when I bought the washer four years ago. So I will not have to pay for this latest $800 repair, just like I didn’t have to pay for the four previous $300 repairs on what has proved to be a highly unreliable home appliance. (I am not strong with the math, but it seems to me they would have been better off buying me a new washer by now, no?)
In fact, however, this latest crapping out has turned out to be a big, giant, smelly pile of a deal, because the repairman can’t fix my washing machine until all the parts arrive from the manufacturer, and to date only two of the four parts he ordered at the time of his first visit—three weeks ago—have arrived.
When the DemiGoddesses were little and we lived in an apartment, schlepping the laundry was a weekly ritual. Our building had only one coin-operated washer and dryer for eight apartments, and those machines were in constant use by other tenants. Not that it really mattered to us, of course, since we were always too broke to pay to use them anyway. For years, every Sunday morning, I hauled both kids and a carload of dirty clothes over to my parents’ house, and then stayed there all day long while I washed and dried load after load after endless bloody load. When we finally bought a house that had a washer and dryer, I swore that I would never complain about doing the laundry again, because my days of hauling baskets of dirty socks and underpants to and from the car were finally OVER.
But about a week and a half ago, strange aromas began to emanate from the DemiGoddesses. I could see that they had stopped wearing socks altogether. I did not ask about underwear. As much as I hated to admit it, I could no longer deny the inevitable. Laundry would have to be schlepped.
So two Thursdays ago I left work early, picked up $30 in quarters at the bank, and took a mountain of clothes to the nearest self-serve laundromat. I had never visited it before and, in fact, had only found the place by looking it up on the internet, even though it turned out to be less than two miles from my house and I have probably driven right past it a thousand times.
I fully expected the laundromat experience to suck rocks. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the place clean (relatively), quiet, and completely empty when I arrived. It smelled reassuringly of fabric softener, and, best of all, there were four triple-sized washers. I washed, dried and folded every article of clothing in the Goddess household in less than two hours.
By yesterday the Demis were running low on clean jeans again, and I was astonished to find myself actually looking forward to another visit to my good friend #40 Mega Washer. I even invited DemiGoddess the Younger to come with me. And, once there, she had to agree with me that it was strangely soothing, watching the suds and the water and her favorite jeans swish, swish, swishing in circles behind the round glass door.