As with most scenarios in life, I can compare this experience to an episode of Roseanne.
I don’t have what real estate listings refer to as a “chef’s kitchen.” It’s small and electrically challenged and downright ugly, but I’ve managed to outfit it as best I could. And I really grew as a cook and a baker in it, despite its severe limitations.
One of the “luxury” items that I have is a portable dishwasher that was handed down to us from the mother-in-law. It’s 20-some years old and not exactly attractive, but it did the job and saved me one bit of drudgery. And even though it tried to eat my toe, I loved the dishwasher for making it so that I had one less thing to do every day.
A few months ago, the dishwasher started leaking. We determined that while it was still washing dishes just fine, the door had started to disintegrate. I tried just stuffing towels underneath it, but the water was too much and would seep underneath our cheap plastic floor tiles, which started to disintegrate, too. I wanted to get another dishwasher, but new portable dishwashers are expensive and a few recent transaction failures on Craig’s List made me wary of going that route. So, I resigned myself to hand-washing the insane amount of dishes that three people accumulate every day.
It sucked, especially since I was the only one who actually did the dishes. (Yes, I know, I should be more forceful about making the husband and/or the baby help out and I am totally taken advantage of and a pushover and perpetuating bullshit gender roles of housework division. Thanks for
lecturing patronizing reminding me.)
Finally, while having a particularly bad fit of, “This SUCKS! I’m not working all day AND cooking for everyone AND doing everyone’s dishes,” the other day, I gritted my teeth and got on Craig’s List again. And suddenly there it was: a practically new portable dishwasher for half the price of what they are in stores and being sold by a person right by our house. I sent an email to the seller to find out if it was still available, and when he responded that it was and did not ask to see my tits, like a previous Craig’s List user had, I thought that I just might have a good deal waiting for me.
Of course, there were ordeals to be had. Like trying to get money to pay for the thing. I went to my credit union yesterday to get money out of my savings, and then to the PNC on campus to deposit the check so that I could get cash out. This seemingly complicated process is why I have any savings whatsoever. It relies on my inherent laziness to keep my money in one place. Of course, the new-fangled ATMs wouldn’t accept the check and the old-fangled ATM on campus that still accepted deposits in envelopes just wasn’t turned on. I had to wait for the branch manager to return from lunch. When I told her my problem, she replied, “Oh, yeah, those credit union checks…the paper for those is too thin so the check feeder can’t read them.”
“Okay, so, can I give you this check and you can put my monies in my account?” I asked.
“No, you just have to wrinkle the check up first before putting it in the machine.”
“Well, obviously.” I replied.
I approached the ATM again and got to the prompt screen to insert the check. I looked at the bank lady and said, “Okay, so wrinkle it like this?” I asked, crumpling the check up in my fist, partially out of compliance, partially out of OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?
“Ohh, no, not that much,” she replied. “Now you’re gonna need to flatten it out a bit.”
I glared at her and tried to come up with some burning remark about money changers and the Bible and damnation or something, before rubbing the check along the corner of the ATM. Finally, it accepted the check and I grabbed the wad of 20s in my sweaty fist.
The actual transaction went smoothly enough, with the only hiccups being getting the dishwasher down the seller’s immaculately landscaped front steps. Getting the old dishwasher out of our house was surprisingly emotional, especially since that thing tried to take off my other big toenail.
That night, there was one more obstacle: plugging the dishwasher in. The cord on the new machine was not long enough to reach behind the oven to the one outlet close enough to the sink. I began scrounging for an extension cord, only to discover that two of the three in our house are two-pronged. ARGH. I found another extension cord in some unused gardening equipment outside that was covered in mud. But finally finally got the damn thing up and running. After watching it closely, waiting for it to explode or eat my Fiestaware, I was elated to declare the dishwasher functional. Then I started dancing around my kitchen like in one of those 1950s appliance commercials.
With one batch of dishes successfully washed, I officially welcomed my new favorite family member:
(I officially have no shame with the IC Light Mango. I’ll just drink it and I don’t care how ridiculous it is.)
While you’re processing that, and maybe you’ll have more success than I am, the new dishwasher and I are going to drink and cry together.