Not everyone in my apartment complex has a washer/dryer in their own unit. The grand trifecta of amenities is central AC/hardwood/washer-dryer. When given the choice of a unit with hardwood floors but no washer/dryer, or wall-to-wall carpet (which I loathe) with a washer/dryer, I chose the latter.
With two kids, and the spectre of stomach flus always hovering, I would have provided the leasing agent with sexual favors just to get the washer/dryer. The thought of schlepping loads of laundry to the laundry room across the quad, only to find I had lost not only my laundry card, but socks and a thong along the way, was too much to bear.
Never have I been so thrilled about a washer/dryer. Especially when I spy, out my window, mothers carting brimming-over laundry baskets across the quad. I love the thwap-thwap-thwap of the spin cycle, the buzz leading to sudden silence as the dryer clicks off. And scooping lint out of the lint catcher? I might as well be running my fingers across velvet.
Last night I was preparing to do my whites. Just out of her shower, Franny tossed a damp towel on top of the load in the washer. I poured in the detergent, turned the dial to the white setting and pulled the knob.
I pulled the knob again. Where was the familiar sound of water rushing into the washer basin? I turned and pulled the knob several more times.
I pulled the knob on the dryer.
I checked the back of the unit to see if the plug was firmly lodged in the socket.
I sighed and called the service department. It was after hours, so I left a message that my washer/dryer was on the fritz. The last time I put in a service request — for the screen door that had been ripped apart by my cats — it had taken weeks before the service guys replaced the screen.
I saw my future. My future for the next few days or weeks. A future in which one of the last vestiges of civilization was rendered non-existent. In which I awoke with a start at 3:00 a.m. realizing I had left my damp clothes mildewing in the community washer.
I am fully cognizant that my temporary separation from my washer/dryer is a first-world problem. I know that most of the world’s population saves their coins for the laundromat, or scrubs their clothing in a river. I know that, should I have to move from this apartment (likely) into a smaller place, I may be vying for empty washers with my neighbors.
So, with all this in mind, I am thankful for my washer/dryer, even though it’s on the fritz.