So then…Bessie attempts a tumble — stumbles, sputters, gasps, then dies.
I drape my body across my dryer and murmur, “Oh Bessie, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Time of death: halfway through the Towel Cycle, Which Also Includes My Panties, so Now My Dryer is Dead AND I’ve Got Damp Drawers.
Oh, how I loved this dryer – sturdy, dependable, full of hot air…(much like my third boyfriend)…and long-lasting (not at all like my third boyfriend).
In fact, this dryer (named the reliable, trustworthy Bessie) has out-lasted THREE finicky washers, named Natalia, Bianca, and Fiona. Fiona’s been repaired twice in the past 6 months alone, so I know it’s time to…
Gasp…buy a new washer-dryer set!
Get a hold of yourself, woman! It can’t be that difficult. Just Google that shit.
I type in “best price for washer and dryer” and the internet EXPLODES!
There are 10.1 MILLION results. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!
I’m overwhelmed by the multitude of choices. So I zip to a real-live store to talk to a real-live person.
“Hello, my name is Darren. Can I help you find something today?”
I turn to the nice young man and say mournfully, “Bessie is dead.”
He looks alarmed, like “Oh shit do I know someone named Bessie? Who is this chick? Why is she telling me Bessie’s dead? I sell appliances, not caskets!”
Being a consummate sales professional, Darren keeps these thoughts to himself.
I clarify. “Bessie, my Beloved Dryer, is dead. And Fiona the Washer is not far behind.”
“Ohhh,” says Darren, somewhat relieved that I’m not mourning a human death – and delighted I’m about to make a large purchase in his department.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve shopped for a washer-dryer though, so…” I gesture helplessly to the floor models. “I mean look at these washers – I don’t know if I need ‘Steam Clean, Aqua Jet, Blue LED Lights, or a Diamond Drum!’”
He smiles and asks, “Well, let’s start with the basics. Do you want a Top Load Washer or a Front Load Washer?”
“SELF-Load, Darren. I want a SELF-load washer that will load ITSELF.”
He laughs. “Well, they haven’t invented that yet. But come look at these Top Load washers.”
I peer into the CLEAR top of the washer. “Why is the top SEE-THROUGH?”
“So you can see the clothes being washed,” he says enthusiastically.
Um, no. I do not want to know how the sausage is made, thankyouverymuch.
And who wants to watch clothes being washed? That’s just a step above watching paint dry, for God’s sake.
(Although – even as I’m typing this, I’m sure someone’s pitching a reality show based on this very concept right now! Coming this fall, Discovery Channel’s “DIRTY LAUNDRY” airs at 5 pm on Fridays AND 10 am on Saturdays AND 3 pm on Sundays AND…well, you get the point…the frickin’ laundry NEVER ENDS!)
But seriously, nobody wants to see behind the curtain. Not the phone, not the watch, and certainly not the washer.
The oven’s an entirely different matter.
A window to watch my chocolate chip cookies plump to a delicious golden brown? Yes please!
Apparently none of the washer-dryers here make cookies.
I open the needlessly-clear lid and look inside the washer.
“Hey!” I say, pointing at the empty cylinder. “Where’s the…the…?”
“Agitator?” asks Darren.
“Yeah, doesn’t it need that?’”
“No, it doesn’t really help wash the clothes.” He grins. “The agitator just ‘agitates’ them.”
OK perhaps that’s a hilarious joke amongst appliance folk, but now this is all I can picture:
Also, I’m highly suspicious of a washer without that swirly-thingamabob aka agitator in the middle. Will the clothes REALLY get clean without that pole-blade pushing them around?
(Well, I suppose I could stand there and WATCH the clothes through my handy-dandy SEE-THROUGH top to MAKE SURE they’re really getting clean.)
Aw fuck it. Who am I to tell WhirlpoolMaytagGESamsungKenmore how to do their job?
Yank out the agitator – make the lid see-through – add steam and 78 settings – fine. Whatevs. Can I please just leave here for less than $1500?
“Darren, when did washer dryers get so expensive? I thought they’d be about $400 each – these are all $700 bucks a pop!”
Darren looks right, then left, then motions me to the side of the aisle. He lowers his voice and says, “Look, I’m not supposed to do this, but…”
(OMIGOD! I LOVE when salespeople say that – in fact, I love when ANYONE says that! Because you KNOW that WHATEVER follows “I’m not supposed to do this, but…” is gonna be AWESOME!)
And it is.
He continues, “…we’re having a huge sale starting in 3 days, so if you can wait until then, you can save over $500 on this set right here.”
He guides me to his desk computer, where he opens the sale ad on his employee email.
I look at the set. It’s fancy. And yes I can wait 3 days. I’ll tell everyone in my family to get cozy in their undies cuz they’re gonna wear those puppies for 3 days straight.
“Awesome, Darren! You’re the best. I’ll be back in 3 days. And the store delivers?”
“Oh, yes,” he assures me. “Our team will deliver the washer-dryer to your home, set them up, haul away the old ones, and—”
“—stay to do the laundry?” I ask hopefully.
He laughs. “No, no, they won’t do that.”
“Well, a girl can dream,” I say.
He gives me his card; I thank him profusely; I promise to return in 3 days for the purchase.
When I get home, I practically skip into the living room where David and our teen son Tucker are watching TV.
“How’d the washer dryer hunt go?” asks David.
“I made a friend! His name is Darren! He’s saving me $500 on a washer dryer!” Pause “I have to sleep with him, but still…”
“$500? Totally worth it,” says David.
Tucker laughs and returns to his TV show.
He knows that OF COURSE I wouldn’t sleep with a salesman just to save $500.
(But I tell you what, whoever invents that SELF-loading washer, you’ve got a freebie comin’ your way, baby!)
— Darcy Perdu
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(What do you wish YOUR washer-dryer could do? Any “special deals” a nice salesperson gave you? What’s a good name for a reality show about laundry?)