The Life Cycle

“I killed it.”

 Well I guess I should say,

“We killed it.”

Not sure what the cause of death is officially, but it was a long time coming and the smell, once death was pronounced, the smell was awful. 

We had 22 good years together so I can’t complain.  How many things in your life do exactly what they’re supposed to do for 22 years? 

Oh sure, there were times it was overwhelming.  All the bending and lifting; crossing the line between dirty and clean over and over again. 

Nothing in my life has brought me such grief and such joy as that which I am now laying to rest.

Goodbye washer.

Goodbye dryer.

You’ve served our family well.  I don’t think it was the first 10 years that were too tough on you.  After all it was just the two of us. 

It was these past 12, all the itty bitty socks and t-shirts that became hundreds of pairs of sweat socks you repeatedly cycled around and around.  All the baby clothes laden with food spills and unspeakable matter, the description of which is too foul to print, spewed across the front and back.  All the candies you were forced to reduce to silver slivers of paper, slivers that became trapped in your vent; and of course the occasional red marker and game boy game that you sadly rotated to oblivion knowing they would never function correctly again.

The pain of watching your kids pull those small rubber bands that go on their braces from your inner workings; listening to them as they howled after realizing their favorite Pokémon card or DS game was destroyed in your rinse cycle. I’m sure it took its toll. 

We did share some times didn’t we?  Remember those hours upon hours of me folding clothes; me talking to you about how recently we’d just washed a pair of those exact same looking jeans.  My screaming exclamations of:

“THESE AREN’T EVEN DIRTY.”

or

“OH MY GOD; WHOSE ARE THESE?  THEY’RE DISGUSTING!”

As I stormed from the laundry room calling one boy or another, preaching what is now a well known sermon that we wear pants 2 or 3 times and underwear only once!

All the times, in the middle of the night, I came rushing in with sheets covered in whatever midnight body functions had shown themselves in one of the boys rooms.  Starting your soak cycle, filled with Clorox or any other germ killing detergent I had at the time. 

We can never get those times back can we?

You never complained. 

I bought your replacements yesterday.  They’ll be here next week, and the men in white jackets will take what is left of you to the recycle bin.

I asked Steve if we could keep you.  Maybe put you out in the yard and give the boys some screwdrivers and let them have at it.  It would have been hours of fun for them,

 and I sure would love to know where that yellow sweater went.

But I was overruled.  I think my husband worried that I’d want to start stacking up our used tires in the yard, and maybe get a chicken or two.

I don’t have much faith the two shiney, white, brand new replacements coming from Maytag will live up to your reputation.  How could they?  They’re so young and naïve.  With all their fancy cycles and steam clean options.  I won’t be able to share the same stories and midnight visits with them I did with you.  After all, the boys are older now and I really don’t have the emotional energy to invest in another relationship like the one we shared.

In retrospect, I probably hung on too long.

Even after you wouldn’t stop cycling when your lid was lifted,

I kept you. 

Even after your cycles wouldn’t stop without manually turning your dials to “off”,

I kept you.

Even after your tub would slam so violently from side to side during the spin cycle that I could watch you dance out into the hallway,

I kept you.

After all, you still cleaned the clothes, and well; frankly,

I’m pretty cheap.

But once I heard you screaming; screaming so loudly I couldn’t run you through your drills and not wake the boys; when the smell of rubber was so pungent it burned my nostrils. 

I knew it was time for us to part. 

Enjoy retirement dear friend.  You have served our family well and you will be missed.  I just hope your replacements are ready to be put through the wringer.

Parenting Tip of the Day:

If you have many children, that means many, many socks.  To keep them straight mark their socks with a laundry pen when you get home from buying them so you can match them to each other and to the child who owns them.  I used the “dot” system; one dot for the first born, two for the second and so on.  That did two things.  I was able to couple socks when they came out of the laundry and send them off to their rightful owners; and I could also immediately pinpoint which son thought it was okay to leave their dirty, smelly socks on the dinner table.

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6 responses to “The Life Cycle

  1. Mandy and Paul

    The best ode to an appliance I’ve ever read. I doubt MY washer’s obit will be half as kind! –Mandy

  2. I actually almost cried. Your best post yet!

  3. cute, very cute. Starting my day off with a giggle, can’t believe you had them soooo long!

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