Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking Forward to Doing Laundry????!!!

What's happening to me? I'm actually looking forward to doing laundry! This is ironic when you consider that I didn't actually learn to do laundry until I was in my 30's. I kid you not. Oh sure, I could figure out the controls on the machine, how to sort, and how to read the detergent bottle, but I never actually did laundry.

Prior to marrying Dear Hubby, I lived with my parents so I just slid my dirty laundry into their Magic Hamper and lo and behold the Laundry Fairy would return them in a neatly folded (and ironed!) stack. If the Laundry Fairy was in a particularly good mood, she'd wave her magic wand that the garments would miraculously appear on hangers in my closet! You rock, Laundry Fairy! (Seriously. Thanks, Mom.)

Then I got married and came to the gradual realization that the Laundry Fairy -- SPOILER ALERT!! -- does not exist. While the Laundry Fairy never achieved the fame of the iconic Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, I was nevertheless crushed.

Until I discovered that #1) Dear Hubby knows how to laundry, and #2) my new career clothes were dry clean only. So Dear Hubby fell into the role of chief laundry-doer and that continued throughout most of our professional lives. He even irons! Seriously, I love this man.

My method of dewrinkling is to spritz the garment with water and bounce it around in the dryer for a few minutes. If you pull it out at the right moment, it usually looks very good. Suitable for a stay-home mom, and the kids. If the collar of one of my kids' shirts isn't lying flat, I might use my flat iron on it but only if I happen to be doing my hair at the time.

Let's face it. I'm not going to iron pretty little creases in the boys' khaki school uniform pants knowing that they'll get wrinkled and probably dirty before they even make it to the bus stop half a block away. Dear Hubby has a different laundry work ethic (my mother would be so proud). He was in law enforcement for several years and got used to the perfect military creases in first his police uniform and now his polo shirts and khakis.

When we first moved back to our home state, we lived in a town house that had washer/dryer hookups but no washer/dryer. We used to go every Sunday to his dad's house to do laundry. (I'd help fold.) It's an etiquette thing: you don't snoop in other people's medicine cabinets and you don't open their washer and dryer. Okay, I'm grasping at straws. I admit it. For two years we did laundry at my father-in-law's house.

In 2001 we bought our current home and a washing machine and dryer. We got a pretty good deal because we went through our builder's appliance guy (no, they didn't just fall off the truck - these are the ones that the contractors get). We probably paid $270 for a super capacity GE washer. Dear Hubby and I - yes, you read that correctly - use it a lot.

It served us well until two years ago when the motor went out. Four months after the 5-year warranty expired. Go figure. The service technician came out (charged $70 just to walk in my front door), assessed the situation, and charged me for parts and labor. The replacement motor now has a warranty.

However, on Sunday, the washer began behaving peculiarly. I'm pretty sure it's not the motor. That would be too easy. Not to mention covered under the warranty. I called Monday to set up a service call and was told the earliest they could come would be Wednesday afternoon. When I thought about it, I realized that the moment the repairman steps foot into my door ($70), I will have officially paid more in service/repairs than I did for the machine itself.

Which got me to thinking. How much more money would I want to put into a very heavily used washing machine? My washer is probably the equivalent of a 2001 car with 350,000 miles on it. Or should I cut my losses and start shopping around? I did some browsing at the local appliance store.

My criteria: super-capacity, same dimensions as my current machine (I have a laundry closet in the hall so space is a concern), not belt-driven (a frequent cause of problems), a porcelain coated interior (our water is from a well and mineral deposits can discolor plastic), a decent price, decent delivery charge and haul away my old machine. I actually found a Whirlpool on sale that fit all those criteria. Decisions, decisions....

The salesguy said, "It can be delivered tomorrow." (meaning today) SOLD! Okay, I've been guilty of the occasional impulse buy. A pack of gum at the grocery, a lipgloss at Bath & Body Works... but a washing machine?? Yikes. That is sooooo not me. But neither is schlepping now 5 loads (and counting!) of dirty laundry to my sister-in-law's house.

My delivery window is between 11 am and 3 pm. It's noon now. I never thought I'd see the day where I'm looking forward to doing laundry. Oh sure, I'll moan and complain when I'm finished drying them and have to fold-but-not-iron them, but washing? Oh yeah.

On a final note, I'm knocking wood as I say this, but I'm just appalled/amazed/flabbergasted that while the washer broke twice, the dryer has never given me an iota of trouble. Not when the blue crayon melted in it. Not with all the rocks, broken buttons, sequins, bits of yarn, Legos, coins and whatever else the kids put in their pockets but I don't find when I'm sorting the laundry. Perhaps their pockets are an invisible portal to another dimension that Mommy just can't find. Payback for all the Magic Hamper years?


Sue said...

Iron? what is this "iron" of which you speak? LOL

I hope your new washing machine was everything you wanted!

Elle*Bee said...

Well, sue, it's not one of those pretty colored ones with the storage bin underneath, but that wouldn't fit my budget and probably wouldn't fit my laundry closet. Four loads down, one to go!

Kaylee said...

how are you doing?

Lala's world said...

you totally had me giggling with the laundry fairy!! too cute
and thanks for the tip of using the flat iron.. I have some nice blouses that I bought for work and haven't worn them since I washed them the first time cuz they need to be ironed...something that I just DON"T do!! hehe but the flat iron...now there is something that I can handle!!
hope your new machine is great!!

Elle*Bee said...

Fine, kaylee, how are you feeling these days?

Elle*Bee said...

Hi lala, the new machine is fine. Purring as we speak - Dear Hubby started a load of laundry. I hate ironing. It's got to be one of the worst chores ever!

Shionge said...

I love doing laundry too esp after taking them out from the dryer...now my dryer is giving me some problem so looks like time to get a new one :D

Hope you are fine and well Elle, sorry been away for so long.

Nadine said...

The laundry fairy and the magic hamper...that's great.

A Woman Who is: said...

We are blessed women. My husband does laundry too. Ironing, my mother never quite forgave me for not ironing my husband’s shirts. She was appalled. She also was a great laundry fairy till the day I got married and left home. When she came to visit though, she would spend a lot of her time, guess what doing my laundry. Go figure some women love it!

Elle*Bee said...

welcome back shionge! I haven't been online much this week but I've missed your blog posts! looking forward to catching up with you soon.

Elle*Bee said...

welcome to my blog, a woman who is...! I think my mother long ago accepted the fact that I'm not as neat and tidy (okay, fastidious) as she. I agree that we're blessed to have hubbies who do laundry (mine often cooks, too).