I have a deep confession to make. I am having a love affair and can stay silent no longer.
My paramour is white, short and stocky, and musical. Being in the presence of my beloved makes my heart trill. I find I cannot keep my hands to myself so enamored I am with the vigor, the ruggedness, the sense of satisfaction. At times I drape across my sweetheart murmuring “I adore you. There is no other like you. We will never be separated.” I am hopelessly in love.
My inamorato is a washing machine.
Never in my life have I had a brand new out-of-the box washer. Like many of the frugal members of my sisterhood, I have always believed that washing machines were all the same: stuff in the clothes, add some soap, let the thing agitate, done. All of the laundry equipment I’ve owned over the years has been purchased second (or third) hand from friends who are moving or from shops that cater to those who feel there is no need to spend good money on a new machine when older yet sturdy models will suffice. I am here to tell you: we of the thrifty tribe have been misled.
The day the men delivered the new washer I couldn’t stay out of their way. Puppy-like I trailed behind them, hopping from one foot to the other, clapping my hands. Once installed the machine gleamed there in the laundry room, enticing me. I listened intently to instructions about power and pause, admiring the dial readings: bedding, active wear, heavy duty, permanent press, delicates, wool, sanitize (sanitize!). The lid of my new washer is glass and as we tested its function the men and I leaned down to watch the oversized tub fill with water and ultimately spin. The center agitator of the old models is gone, leaving instead a huge vessel that the manual promises can hold up to thirty-five towels at once. The new machines, as though built by NASA engineers, are supersonic, high efficiency, going boldly where no washer has gone before. Leave me, I wanted to say to the nice delivery men. My darling and I want to be alone.
For two days I washed everything in the house. Curtains, quilts, rugs, mountains of clothing piled high since the demise of my former appliance. I poured tiny amounts of detergent into succinct compartments. My eyes glowed at the twinkling modern lights, and at the tinkling tune played when the load was finished. For the first time in my life, every single washable item I own is clean, folded, and put away. Even Harry-the-Dog’s toys have had a bath, and Harry himself skulks to other parts of the house fearing he’s next to be tested in the fabulously sparkling new mechanical gizmo that has won my heart.
I remember a time when the arrival of a new stereo made me warble with joy. Those pointless and teenage days are gone. That which is important now is the chiming apparatus capable of sanitizing a massive bed coverlet upon which my dog has vomited. I am a woman in laundry heaven.
However, as all men know we females are fickle things. Even now my adulterous eye wanders, drawn to another with equal sparkle and gleam … and with a steam feature that promises “no more ironing.” Another confession emerges. I also bought a new dryer.