Thursday, November 11, 2004

Smoke and bubbles

Is there no such thing as a washing machine that cleans well and doesn't cost a small fortune? We're shopping for a washer and dryer for the new house. One thing we know for sure: we won't be buying another Calypso machine. Among the worst machines ever made, we "traded up" when the prior "Catalyst" machine turned out to be a piece of junk and we had to complain to the Chairman of the Board of Sears to get action. We got the Calypso machine, but we had to pay a little more for it...but what a mistake. The machine has torn holes in shirts, shredded the loops on terrycloth towels rendering them so embarrassingly ugly that they can not be used for guests, and discolored whites with ugly, grease-splotch-looking stains that wouldn't come out.

So here we are, shopping for a new washer and dryer for the new house. We're considering front-loaders. They are damned expensive. And I have to wonder if they are really worth the price. I mean, a typical washer and dryer can be had for the same price as just a front-loading washer. And do they clean so well that they're that much better than the "normal" washer? I really don't know.

My grandmother would be 118 if she were alive today. She visited me in a dream a couple of weeks ago. She reprimanded me about the new house and told me that I should be ashamed of the way we're spending money on it. My grandmother raised seven kids on a farm during the Depression, and it was just her - her husband died before the first child completed college, and all the remaining kids, including my mom (the youngest) grew up learning how to make do on almost nothing. So it's somewhat embarrassing that I'm building a dream house that will make my mom's eyes pop out when she sees it this spring. But I'm learning to live with it. In any event, my grandmother would really throw a fit if we spent more than twice the amount on a washer and dryer than we had to. She'd tell me to go get a washboard and forget about the smoke and bubbles the stores are peddling.


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