Honor Thy Dryer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Life as I know it ceased when my clothes dryer blew up!

Submitted: March 19, 2010

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Submitted: March 19, 2010

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Last year, I experienced a trauma that I wouldn't wish on any other person: my clothes dryer blew up. It didn't literally explode, but there was a lot of smoke, an aroma of burning rubber, a weird, clunky noise and then -- nothing. I knew immediately this was not a good sign So, I called the repair company, and a sympathetic receptionist dispatched a serviceman to my location immediately. So far, I assumed, this mishap seemed controllable.

"Thank Goodness you could be here so fast," I said to the repairman as he took apart my dryer. "I don't know what I'd do without this thing."

"Well, Ma'am, " he said apologetically. "You're going to find out. I have to order a part, and it will take three or four days to come in. Your only other choice is to buy a new dryer."

"What could be so wrong that you can't fix it now?" I asked in disbelief.

"Well, see this rubber part here, it's torn in three pieces," he explained in carefully chosen words. "This usually happens when someone repeatedly overloads the machine."

I knew it. He was blaming me. I predicted this would somehow turn out to be my fault. Immediately, a colorful list of expletives ran through my brain. But this was one of those situations where I had to bite my tongue because this man held my laundry destiny in his hands.

"You're sure it will be fixed in three days?"

"Four -- tops," the repairman smiled reassuringly. "I'll order the part as soon as I get back to the shop. It won't be so bad, and it's a lot cheaper to fix the machine than to buy a new one."

After hearing such encouraging words from the repairman, I knew I could weather this storm. "So for three days, "I told myself, " I won't do laundry. It will be like a vacation."

A week after the repairman's visit, I got a call from the same sympathetic receptionist explaining that the part was on back order and was not expected to arrive for another two to three weeks.

"We will just hang a line in back, and dry the clothes the old-fashioned way," my husband said nonchalantly as if he was going to take an active part in this ritual.

"You want me to hang our underwear out in public?"

"It's not going to be hanging from a flagpole. It's in our yard. No one will notice."

I didn't buy that for a moment. There have been many times while driving through neighborhoods or different towns that I have observed the size and color of people's underwear hanging outdoors. Now, people were going to do the same thing tome. I couldn't take it. I seriously considered going out and buying a three week supply of new underwear, but I realized that by the time I got through that expense, I could pay for a new dryer. There was no way out. The public hanging had to begin.

So, I bought clothespins at a nearby dollar store. I did not even know they made clothespins anymore. My husband rigged up a line, and each morning for two weeks, I hung out clothes. I felt like a pioneer woman hanging out my clothes in the crisp, prairie wind. Okay, so my imagination may have wandered a bit, but it got me through this episode.

Then the strangest thing happened. I discovered fabric softener, and my sheets had this great feel to them, and I became hooked on this whole process of air drying! Hanging out the clothes was like meditation for me. It was peaceful; it was wonderful -- until the thunderstorms and gale force winds hit, and I was not at home to bring in my spring-fresh wardrobe from outside. I can't tell you how embarrassing it was to stumble into my 80-year-old neighbor's yard to claim my bras which flew across the fence thanks to the overpowering force of Mother Nature and the cheap clothespins from the dollar store!

That one incident was enough to snap me out of my domestic bliss. From then on, I vowed that I would hang my clothes across my living room before I would hang them outside again.Luckily, the day after the rain incident, I got the call I was waiting for. My dryer part was in. Within minutes, the repairman was at my house hooking up my much-missed appliance.

That night, as I sat in the family room sipping my Jack Daniels nightcap and listening to the melodic hum of my dryer emanating from the laundry room, I felt a sense of calm. I still don't understand it. I have lived without a dishwasher and not cared at all. And I know I could live for a while without a television set or a microwave. But touch any appliance that eases the chore of laundry, and it's nothing short of torture. Well, that's not true. If anyone would like to take my iron and hide it so I never, ever have to press clothes again, feel free. I think I can live with wrinkles and if not, that's why God made dry cleaners.


© Copyright 2018 Donna Cavanagh. All rights reserved.

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