My washing machine died yesterday, refusing to have anything to do with a spin cycle. I am left with sodden bedding and a lack of jeans. I suppose I am thankful, at least this happened on a week that I am home and not on the road.
I googled the problem, discovering quickly that the average life of a washing machine is 8 years, (11 with good maintenance) and realized that the transmission on my machine is gone and it is simply not worth fixing. The cost to fix it will come close to the cost of a brand new machine, and that my friends, is that. My washing machine is 7 years, 1 month and 5 days old. It hasn’t had maintenance, good, bad or otherwise. I did run some vinegar through it about 3 months ago, but apparently that didn’t get me anywhere.
I find myself annoyed and flummoxed. The microwave oven my parents had lasted for 20 years. The television lasted for thirty. The vacuum cleaner was 25 years old when my mother replaced it.
Most of all I am annoyed because I am looking at new washing machines. You can spend, and I wouldn’t joke about this, just under $2,000 on a washing machine. Not actually a washing machine that retrieves your laundry from your closet, sorts it, washes it according to instructions, hangs your delicates and returns your t-shirts and socks to the right drawer either.
Nope, it’s just a washing machine. Well, actually not quite, because it uses steam, and I don’t understand at all how that works, nor do I care. It does seem to me that if you use steam you are ironing more than washing.
When we bought the first machine, front loading washers were just coming out and the price differential was more than twice the cost of my Maytag. Now it is about $150, and I find myself even more annoyed. When the price was double it was easy to disregard. It was simply out of our price range.
Now I am looking at them, which leads me to the next part of my problem – location. At least, for once in this blessed house’s existence there is no issue about space. The basement is wide open. It’s also concrete and crypt like and dank. I am a bit concerned that I will find myself, having bought a shiny new front end loader, fixing up the basement to give the washing machine a space worthy of it’s appearance. It seems distinctly likely, as I type that, that this is the way crazy lies.
And then there’s the problem of matching. The non functioning washer and the functioning dryer (as long as it hasn’t gotten any ideas) match. And whatever I buy, they won’t match any more. So, does this matter? I grew up in a house where they didn’t match; but then again, I grew up in a house where things lasted decades not years. Maybe things should match. Maybe if I get a front loading washing machine the dryer will develop feelings of inadequacy and it will die sooner. I think about these things you know.
Finally, the problem is that this is a still a small problem. I am a woman with about three loads of laundry. I am not the only bulwark against three children in cloth diapers, with the tummy flu. I am just me. I can get through another week. It’s not actually a crises, at least not yet. So, I click away at websites and I marvel at the costs and the colours and I don’t actually go and buy anything. Other than more underwear for Mr. Spit. I might do that today.
Oh tell me internets, have you bought a new washing machine lately? Any recommendations?