I used the phrase "gave up the ghost" last week when describing the circumstances surrounding our washer and dryer. Major appliances that have been in our service for many years now. Suddenly, or at least this is how it seemed, our washer stopped doing things that it had done so dependably for all that time, most notably washing clothes. To be fair, there was washing going on, but after that initial sequence, there was some rinsing but no spinning or draining. It was precisely this problem that generated the second problem: the dryer. In the very early hours of Sunday morning, when a lot of calmer, clever people are sleeping, I was out of bed and trying to coax our washer through those steps that it had begun to ignore. I stood there in front of the machine, wishing from the outside that my positive vibes would bring about spontaneous regeneration of purpose. "Oh, sorry," I hoped to hear the Whirlpool admit, "I was just pulling your leg there. I'm not broken at all. I was only looking for a little attention and now I can see that you care. You really care. I'll get right to that spinning and draining now because I wouldn't want anything to come between us."
It was early, and maybe I was imagining a little, because when I did open the lid, there was still a sloppy mess of wet clothes in a tub that showed no interest in spinning. I began pulling out shirts and socks and pairs of jeans, wringing each in the laundry sink happily located next to our now potentially defunct washer. From there, our still more than just moist clothes were ferried to our dryer. It should be noted at this point that our Admiral gas dryer has lived through three different washing machine administrations. It took a load of sopping wet towels and T-shirts and the rest to put such a strain on the tumbling capacity of this dedicated servant of our household that it became a gas fueled hot air blower. Don't let anyone try to tell you that all that tumbling isn't important. It's what gets those clothes dry. I'm here to tell you.
Had I been thinking clearly and not anthropomorphizing our appliances, I probably would have made a better choice than to put that kind of strain on the Admiral. I wasn't. Thinking, that is. I was expecting machines to solve my problems without thinking about their needs. I broke the dryer because I wanted to solve my washing machine problem by abusing it.
Cut to the next day when the repairmen showed up to undo the damage I had visited on our little helpers. They pulled a dozen socks from the gap beneath the washing tub and the launderizing machinery below. One of them was particularly mangled and was, along with his friends, the culprit. All those floating socks that found their way out of the wash chamber and into the recesses that caused the clog that kept the draining and spinning from happening. It wasn't their fault, really. I should know to load the socks in first, or at least that is what I know now. And I never would have subjected the dryer to the torture of all those extra pounds of water weight. Except I did. And I paid for it, in shame. And a repair bill that would not have replaced both machines.
But it would have been easier to treat them with the respect they are due.
I'm sorry. I hope to live long enough to show you that I know how to treat a washer and dryer. Forgive me.