Saturday, January 24, 2009

little big

It really is the simple things. You're looking at the most wonderful set of mismatched appliances ever to grace a garage.

Yesterday I bought the washing machine. The dryer was already here; I checked it over while Natalie was in town (I'd barely been seen in the garage before that). The on knob is cracked, so you have to turn it with pliers, but it heats up and works just fine. (Thanks for showing me how to wield them pliers, Natalie, smooch smooch.)

It hardly seemed right to have a fine working drying machine sitting idle, but I resigned myself to doing the laundromat thing for a month or two. Then I had all these dirty clothes. And I couldn't bring myself to pack them in the car. Instead I went in search of. Budget constraints dictated a used washer, but this was one of those rare times when I didn't want something from a private Craig's List seller. I didn't want to haul home somebody's sworn-to-work machine only to have it clunk on me next week. Online I found a place called Justified Appliance, and they sell refurbished machines. (They really refurbish them, too. I saw the "laboratory" while I was there. Surely they must do their personal laundry, you know, to test their work.) The great thing about Justified is that they include a 3-year warranty on everything they sell, parts, labor and all. For 155 + 45 for delivery, I got an older Kenmore that's clean as a whistle, and no worries if it breaks down.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it's been many, many years since I've had my own washer and dryer. I think the last and only time, Schmin was 5 years old. It was such brief period that I'd all but forgotten about it. Today I was thinking I'd never had my own, then I remembered washing in my kitchen, so many years ago.

Such a small thing, washing at home, but it's one of the reasons I left Los Angeles. When you're going along, living the apartment life in the Big City, you fly through the days not paying much attention to prickly matters like having to rush to grab your things out of the community dryer, before someone else does. And that's if you're lucky enough to have a community dryer, rather than going to the laundromat. You can't afford to make too much of inconvenience, and when it began to define my experience, I knew it was time to seek another way of living. I wouldn't trade my time in New York or LA for all the washers in the world, but I wouldn't trade my washer to live exclusively in either one again (and especially not my parking space).

Sometimes these normal things amaze me. They leave me endlessly grateful, and slightly disbelieving. I swear I've got a roll of quarters handy, in case I walk out to the garage and find my machines suddenly require them, like almost all the other machines I've known. Maybe there'll be some strange person there, too, waiting for me to get my clothes out of the washer, so she can have a turn.


Ellen Bloom said...

Ahhh...the luxury of washing your unmentionables in the privacy of your own home! Congratulations. You are now a grown up!

Anonymous said...

I know just what you mean. While staying with a friend in Florida in an Apt complex, I'd wait until the entire complex (or so it seemed) left for work in the mornings, just so I could do our laundry in peace.....between soap Which naturally, had a big negative impact on my Mall time-out. Why else would I come to America? LOL
Can't tell you how I hated and feared 'catching' something out of those machines.
I guess in that case it is pure luxury and a ton of convenience to have your own.

Great short story potential here.

So, did you have fun taking your machine for a spin?


Stacy said...

Seriously, having your own washer and dryer is a great luxury - ENJOY!!! And, I tend to love Kenmores - I'm sure she'll treat you right.

woolanthropy said...

Now homeless people won't steal your bras and favorite t-shirts!


Clean laundry
clean laundry
(sung in a bluesy, breathy way)

kellz said...

hey, sappmama!
happy new year!
i'm back!

looks like a lot has changed..

hope to connect. stop by!


j.kaori said...

Congrats on your new appliances! They are a luxury, so enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Oh so jealous. I've washed my drawers in public my whole life.

mo said...

woo-hoo! that's just awesome, mo. i didn't have my own washer/dryer until i got married and moved up here to the great white north. i'm proud to say i wash at least a load a day and sometimes more. it's just one of those things that you don't realize how much you need (or missed) until you actually have it. bravo to you.

Frank said...

Very happy for you. I HATED washing in public machines because 1) you NEVER know what's been in there before your stuff, 2) people who dare to take your clothes out (like 2 minutes after the load is done!), and 3) things just missing.

WineGrrl said...

Keep those quarters in never know when you may need them!