We've known this day was coming for a long time, but there was finally no putting it off. It was time to say goodbye to our old washer and dryer. And by "say goodbye", I mean go to work while the JB stayed home yesterday to wait for Lowe's to take away the 18 year old Kenmores and leave a shiny, modern Samsung laundry duo in their place.
Out with the threadbare, elasticly-challenged tidy whities, in with the sleek, platinum, front-loaded Baskits.
For the past few months, the dryer still kinda worked but it wouldn't cycle off by itself. JB lost whole nights of sleep worrying about me wandering off leaving the delicates tumbling ad nauseum until they finally burst into flame taking the house with them. I can't blame him, it sounds like something I'd do.
It was bad enough when the dryer did work, it would stop with a loud, jarring buzz. Not exactly a buzz, the sound was reminiscent of when I was fifteen trying to learn how to drive stick. It was enough to make anyone's hair stand on end. Anyone but me, evidently because I rarely heard it. This was a constant source of friction in our household. I can't count the times JB would leave the house to run errands, but not before leaving strict instructions: "When you hear the buzzer, take the clothes out of the dryer, put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer, and fold the dry clothes. Got it?"
"Yeah, yeah." Bzzzz. Whatever. It was only an hour later hearing the sound of JB's key in the lock that my hair stood on end.
When the dryer finally refused to run at all last week, I considered trying to fix it. It was obviously a problem with the timer, maybe I could find a replacement on the Internet and replace it myself like I did a couple years ago when the heating element fried. But JB nixed that idea. He didn't want to spend the next six weeks in the laundromat. And he finally wanted to get a good night's sleep.
So Sunday we went washer and dryer shopping. I'd much rather spend an afternoon at the Apple Store, but JB promised margaritas if our mission was successful. As is typical, I was drawn to the units with the most light-emitting diodes while JB was looking for a bargain. I was shocked when the sales associate informed us that, to his knowledge, none of the 2012 models are Wi-Fi enabled. JB looked at me like I was nuts, even after I explained how a laundry app would be helpful for reminding me when its time to change loads.
We compromised on the Samsungs after seeing they were on sale. And shiny. And call me prejudiced, but I don't think I've ever seen a dirty Japanese person. I recalled news reports from the latest earthquake showing people brushing dust off their sleeves even as they dodged falling debris. What is Kenmore anyway? Sounds suspiciously Irish.
When I got home from work Monday, the old washer and dryer were on their way to the farm and the new Samsung Laundry System was all hooked up and ready to fluff with honor. "How do they work?" I asked, expecting to see stacks of freshly folded laundry.
"I don't know yet..." JB answered sheepishly, holding out the instruction manuals. Twenty minutes later, the first load was spinning at a blinding 1200 RPMs with a soothing, barely audible jet-engine whine. Contrast that with the Kenmore which spent every spin cycle plotting its escape the laundry room, banging against the walls like Meg Ryan faking an orgasm.
Then into the dryer. We opted for the default "normal" setting, mainly because I was still only halfway through the washer's manual. The technological miracle occurred when the clothes were dry, and the machine stopped on it own. Then it began.
"Ding, ding, ding..." Okay.
"Ding, ding, dah, ding, dah, ding-a-ling-a-ling..."
The electronic concerto continued for another two minutes as JB and I looked at each other with disbelief. Just when it sounded like it was finished, the next movement would begin. It sounded like a classical ice cream truck. I half expected a mob of high-brow children to rush through the door, waving tens and twenties.
"Oh hell no..." I flipped open instruction manual for the dryer. "There's got to be a way to shut this music off."
"You find it annoying?" JB asked.
"Can you make it louder?"