Meet my dancing partner:
That’s right — it’s my washing machine. He’s about 10 years old now, which is about 50 in people years, and believe me when I say that he has lived a hard life. After all, laundry around my house is a daily event — especially in the fall. There’s always a couple of loads piling up, no matter how I try to keep on top of them.
And it’s not just your average dirty laundry. Over the years he’s plowed his way through muddy, stinky camping gear and the tie-dye explosions of last summer. He hasn’t once complained about the messy, disgusting clothes resulting from meal after meal of experimental independent eating by toddlers. And let’s not even talk about the 2007 Stomach Virus Incident that brought my family to its knees. Literally.
In short, he’s been a good and faithful washer.
Lately, however, I think he’s grown bored of hanging out in the laundry/utility room with nothing but the dryer, furnace and hot water heater keeping him company. So he devised a plan to keep me next to him, watching his best dance move: the partial spin.
Right about the time of the spin cycle, he suddenly lurches off to one side and throws himself off balance. Then he’ll attempt to spin out, but he loses his footing and has to stop and reset. Spin – slide – stop. Spin – slide – stop.
Then he beckons me to dance with him as I try to locate his one sweet spot on the floor where he can whirl around faster and faster until the cycle is over. He’s very particular; he can’t be even a centimeter off. So I join in, shuffling the machine a bit this way, and then scooting him back that way. Shuffle – shuffle – scoot.
On we go, dancing this complicated tango. Spin – slide – stop. Shuffle – shuffle – scoot.
It usually takes several tries before I find the ideal place for him to complete his spins. And as he’s gotten older, he lumbers off from this spot more quickly to make me dance with him. Again. Some days I take a calming breath, remembering that I would never be patient enough to pound clothes clean in a river with a rock. Other days I just can’t take it.
Today is one of those days when I simply don’t feel like dancing the night away with my washing machine. After a good 45 minutes of spinning and sliding and shuffling and scooting, I’m tired of the laundry room two-step.
Maybe the Laundry Fairy can come take over the dancing duties. I’m sure he’d appreciate tripping the light fantastic with her instead of me.
Got a washing machine — or any other major appliance — who needs a little babysitting to get it to work? And in the grand scheme of things, where does laundry fall in your list of chores: “Favorite thing to do ever” or “Why, dear Lord, why is there another pile of dirty clothes?”