Editor’s note: After this column was submitted, the writer returned home to discover the dryer had broken again. It still is. Stay tuned.
I was motivated a couple weeks ago to start washing the baby clothes I’d hauled/shoved/kicked down from the attic to Baby Girl Roy’s room. You could call this “nesting,” “temporary overcoming of procrastination” or even “gaining an edge in the everlasting battle against laziness,” whichever you choose.
After completing one load, I was feeling pretty good about the fact you can wash three weeks’ worth of baby clothes with less than a capful of detergent, and I even folded and sorted them according to size, something I’d convinced myself probably only happens with first-timers categorizing the haul from their baby showers.
Then the dryer broke.
Tragedy! At the peak of my surely only temporary surge of energy and motivation — when the onesies and sleepers were done but not the socks, pants, bibs or dresses — I, loving and responsible wife that I am, was in the process of switching my husband’s clothes from the washer to the dryer when I realized nothing had happened when I pushed the “Start” button.
I pushed it again. Nothing.
Cranked it around a few times and pushed it again. Nothing.
Checked the lint filter, growled at it, looked behind the unit expecting to find an obvious problem (cat gnawing through a coil?), which I didn’t.
I uttered the fiercest expression of contempt I — as a mother of a 3-year-old — am capable of: “Blast.”
Cold, wet clothes were picked, piece by piece, out of the dryer and placed on hangers to dry on a rack in the basement. As the clothes iron is somewhat of a foreign device in the Roy household (reserved for special occasions, such as weddings), the result was a crop of slowly dried, perhaps-slightly wrinkled clothing that at least was clean, which really was all that mattered.
Seth did some research and discovered the dryer still was covered under the extended service plan he’d purchased from the store almost three years ago. A plan that would expire in about a week-and-a-half.
(Lesson No. 1: Sometimes it pays to buy warranties/extended service plans. My husband has used them for an XBox, Macbook Pro and this dryer. They’re not for everyone all the time, but at least merit consideration.)
My husband put forth a valiant effort to talk to a real person from Bargain Appliance Depot (not actual store name, hereafter referred to as BAD) but kept getting transferred to no-man’s land. He attempted to fill out a form on the BAD website, but it evidently was malfunctioning.
He even went to the BAD store in person, but was told he had to set things up via phone.
So he took his fight to Twitter, which actually proved productive.
(Lesson No. 2: If at first you don’t succeed, try Twitter.)
Nearly a week after the dryer went kaput, a van pulled into our driveway and a man diagnosed the problem. It would require a Super Magical Part (SMP) to fix, which he did not have and it would need to be ordered.
He could install it the following week, or we could have the SMP sent to our home and attempt to do it ourselves.
Preferring to take the risk and have a functioning dryer sooner than later, we chose the second option. In the interim, I out of necessity continued the “hang-clothes-in-the-basement” system, which was more time-consuming than using a dryer but inspired me to use the outdoor clothesline method sometime in the future when it won’t result in, say, frozen dress shirts.
I returned home late Wednesday to the happy news that Seth had successfully installed the SMP in the dryer, which was working.
It did occur to me sometime halfway through this ordeal that washing machines and dryers haven’t been around forever, and that people somehow always have managed to wash and dry their clothes, and that some people probably still prefer not to use dryers.
It does, after all, save money.
Which brings me to Lesson No. 3: Don’t discount the old-fashioned way of doing things. That includes drying clothes, fixing things and even exercising a little patience.
In an instantaneous and tech-driven universe, that can be a hard lesson to learn. But I’m glad I did.