Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ladies in Waiting

I transfer the load to the drier and put the last batch on to dry before heading upstairs in the pitch black to restock the towels, when I hear him come home from work at the ungodly hour of 11:30.

I finish up swiftly and move on to matching socks as I hear him below go from garage to utility room and back again, several times, many times. After more than 20 minutes he’s still at it, so I nip down to check.

I step over the pile of soggy laundry and peer into the garage, lit by a yellow light. It’s been more than ten days after the event, but I see him watch it now, parked on the cement, in a very large cardboard box, hidden at the back. He looks at it, pensive.

I scurry back inside, skip over the laundry hampers into the kitchen and get busy, very busy, because time is running out. I’m poised and possibly ready, as I’ve been practicing in my head.

I bow over the sink and plunge my hands into the suds as he re-appears from the garage, wrench in one hand, screw-driver in the other.

“Did you know that there’s a big box in the garage?”
“Does it really have a washing machine in it?”
“Yes, it does actually.”
“Do you mean we have a second washing machine sitting outside in the garage in a cardboard box?”
“Exactly so.”
“Um…..what is it doing there?”
“Waiting for what?”
“Well it’s all a bit complicated really.”
“I have time.”
“Well…it happened last week.”
“What did?”
“There was this terrible smell of burning plastic in the utility room, so I rushed over there in case there was a fire and then I realized the washing machine had packed up.”
“Anyway, it was Monday and I’d just changed the sheets on all 6 beds so I had all this linen to wash and it was already full to busting with the second load…”
“You over-filled it?”
“Er… no…I mean…not really…I’m pretty sure…”
“Are you indeed. So you over-loaded the capacity?”
“Anyway, we decided…”
“Tamsin and me.”
“Oh god.”
“No, no, no, it’s fine, we decided it would be best if she nipped out and found a replacement, whilst I looked after the children and Nonna. So much easier to make a decision with a clear head and no responsibilities or distractions…and it would save you the bother of having to sort it all out at the weekend.”
“You’re saying this was for my benefit?”
“Of course. You have enough to do already, one less chore…anyway, you were at work. I couldn’t wait five days until the weekend.”
“So she bought a new one and brought it home, parked it in the garage and we were going to cart it into the house later.”
“So what happened…later?”
“See that’s the funny thing.”
“Yes, and I know you’re going to laugh at this… in the middle of the afternoon, just as I was making snacks for the children, wouldn’t you just know it, the darned thing sprang to life and went into the spin cycle…isn’t that extraordinary?”
“Back from the dead.”
“Exactly so!”
“And you didn’t return the new one back to the store because?”
“Because…it’s been clanking and groaning for months… it’s going to die any day now, I’m sure of it.”
“You’re quite sure?”
“Yes, certain.”
“Pity really.”
“What’s a pity?”
“That you didn’t buy a drier at the same time.”
“How so?”
“You were right about one thing.”
“Which thing?”
I watch him lay his tools on the counter, “the drier, it’s terminal.”


Anonymous said...

Oh I love these kind of conversations :) That was great! Good luck with your appliances.

Heather {Desperately Seeking Sanity} said...

Just so you know... we have these same kind of conversations at my house... :)

elderly rock chick said...

me too!

Expat mum said...

I should do the same thing too. I do at least one huge load of laundry per day and both washer and dryer are squeaking and groaning, being more than ten years old each. If they conk out with no back up standing in the garage I'm up the creek!

buffalodick said...

You are like me in so many ways...functionally insane!

Angela said...

Laundry is more fun with a new washer.

Whitenoise said...

very funny ;-)

Twisted Cinderella said...

LOL too funny!

Anonymous said...

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Christopher Jennings said...

My wife and I have these sweet and funny conversations a lot. I guess that's the reason why we're married for a long time.