Friday, June 14, 2013

Laundry Dreams (And Nightmares)

One of the best things about buying a house, in my estimation, is finally having a private laundry room.  After four years of renting in buildings with shared laundry facilities and dealing with all sorts of laundry drama, I’ve been dreaming of carrying baskets of laundry to the basement whenever I am so inclined, dumping them into the washer, and enjoying the rhythmic hum of the machine as I move on to other household tasks.  No waiting for an open washer because, despite the notices posted in both English and Spanish prohibiting the use of more than three washers at a time, a neighbor’s housekeeper is occupying all seven washers and three dryers.  No racing down four flights of stairs before some neighbor who just carried an oozing bag of garbage to the trash hut removes my freshly cleaned clothes from the washer and dumps them on top of the machine.  No worrying about someone stealing my sheets and towels out of the dryer (that happened), having to comfort a neighbor’s housekeeper who was just fired from her position (that happened), or getting stuck in an elevator for a half hour on my way to the laundry room (yup, that too).

We knew when we bought this house that the appliances were ancient.  I mean, the dryer was manufactured by RCA.  Are they even around anymore?  But the sellers certified in the contract that all systems and appliances in the home were in “working condition,” so we were hoping to get away with not having to buy a new appliance until our bank account balance is restored.

The night before I planned to do my first load of laundry in the new house, I went down to the yucky laundry room in the yucky basement and ran a cup of bleach through the yucky washing machine.  No morning-after disasters resulted from this experiment.  The hose didn’t leak, the laundry room didn’t flood, and the washing machine smelled a lot cleaner.  I put in my first sorted load, closed the door, turned the knob, and prayed for the best.  Forty minutes later, our clothes were damp and smelled clean.  Success!  Time to transfer them to the dryer.  I opened the door to the dryer and WHAT… THE… F?!

“You’ll never guess what I just found in the dryer,” I texted to my husband, who by now is accustomed to receiving various S.O.S. messages from home while at work. 

“A mouse?”

It was a reasonable guess.  Although we haven’t found any evidence to date, I’m quite certain there is a colony of mice living above the drop ceiling, because that’s the kind of basement we have and, also, that's the kind of luck we have.

“Worse,” I replied.  “A load of laundry the sellers left behind.”


It was gross.  Those clothes have been sitting in the dryer for at least one month since we’ve closed!

The idea of leaving behind an entire load of laundry in a move absolutely baffles me.  If I so much as lose a baby sock in the midst of doing wash I am bent out of shape for a week.

I didn’t know what to do.  I am skittish about touching other people’s laundry, even if it’s clean.  I mean, who wants to touch someone else’s granny panties?  So I put on a pair of latex gloves and put the forgotten clothes into a black trash bag.  The clothes were dry, but smelled damp.  I put the trash bag in the laundry room closet, but immediately felt guilty.  Should I fold them? I wondered.  No, I decided, that would be creepy.  I loaded my clothes into the dryer, set it for an hour, and called the seller’s agent to arrange a pick-up time with the sellers.

An hour later, when I went down to retrieve my laundry, it was still damp.  I guess it needs more time, I reasoned, and reset the dryer.  Another hour later the clothes were still damp and I realized that although the dryer’s motor was running, it was not emitting any heat. 

“Dryer’s busted,” I texted my husband.

“But I thought you found dry clothes in there.”

“Yes, but remember, they've been sitting in there for over a month.”

Of course the busted dryer meant that my dream of doing laundry on a whim had been placed on hold.  Two days later, I loaded two bags of laundry into the Jeep and carted them to my in-laws'.

This past weekend, we made an unplanned visit to P.C. Richard to purchase a new dryer and, hell, while we’re at it, we might as well buy a washer, as well.  Our brand-spanking-new, state-of-the-art, top-rated, glass-top Samsung washer and dryer were delivered this week.  They look a little out-of place in our yucky laundry room in our yucky basement (I was actually embarrassed when the delivery men arrived to install them), but aren’t they gorgeous?  It turns out laundry dreams really do come true! 

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