Saturday, March 19, 2005

Wringing Out The Clothes, Wringing My Hands

I watched mary’s copy of The Gleaners and I today. I was going to watch while I worked on the project I have, but it’s enough of a discipline to watch a movie and work at the same time. Add subtitles to the effort and forget it. So, of course, I let the work go and watched the movie. After I picked casey up from school, we found ourselves gleaning. We sometimes have to glean small change from the car in order to pay for fast food. When we came up short of enough gleaned change for pizza for both of us at Costco, we went to the ATM instead and took money out that we shouldn’t have. I knew the line at Costco would be long and didn’t want to be like a little kid counting out her pennies while everyone waited. Had we gone to a drive thru with a dollar menu, we’d have been fine. But we had to go to Costco, so we thought it best to just eat there. But just so you know, once, about two weeks ago, we were able to feed three of us at Wendy's from the dollar menu off of car-gleaned change. We were really excited, like we won the lottery or something. Turns out today was a good free sample day at Costco. We had buffalo chicken, jelly bellys, fruit, and had we been so inclined, they also had soy milk, ravioli, lox and something else I didn’t want. We gleaned a moderate share and moved on. You could net, on a good day, enough samples to skip lunch. Today we didn’t, we wasted money on pizza.

We had to go to Costco because right before I left to pick up Casey, I went to transfer the laundry to the dryer only to find that the washer had spun its last. The washer was seriously afflicted. It would sort of spin but the water wouldn’t pump out. It sounded like it was about to go into convulsions. I have a certain patience when it comes to these things, I mean my rigging track record is superb, but there are four people here and plenty of dirty clothes, all the time. This is one of those things that will unfortunately have to be dealt with. Here goes another Visa purchase.

So we went looking at Costco to get an idea of prices. Wow! the only one they had that wasn’t super-size was $420. So much for ever getting anywhere in life. The whole thing began to get to me.

We got home, and I went outside to throw something away after wringing and wringing and wringing an excessive number of big towels and jeans, etc. By this time I was beyond my initial “I can handle this, and I can just do laundry elsewhere til I can find a cheap machine” attitude, and I had begun an inner dialog that sounded a lot like grumbling. I was quickly working myself into a really good aggravation and a sufficient “woe is me” when I looked up and there coming down the street, across the intersection in his motorized chair, was of all things, the man with no legs. Well, you could say my inner grumbling got a hand slapped across its mouth rather quickly. How can I complain about the 15 or 20 gallons of dirty water I have to bail out of the washer and the money I will have to borrow, and the inconvenience, blah, blah, blah, when a man is riding around the neighborhood with no legs.

I expect you may see me on a documentary soon, gleaning wash cycles from the homes of everyone I know until such a time as I can find the deal of a lifetime or someone ditching a perfectly functional washer just because they want one of those new front loading 50’s style washers available now in an array of colors. There is plenty of excess here in Palm Beach County. No doubt there is a washer graveyard full of young appliances sent to their demise before their time. I doubt I will go driving around looking for them by the side of the road because, well, you know the trouble Casey and I had just trying to get the lattice in the car, but I’ll keep myself open to possibilities. Getting an old appliance out of the house to the road and a new one in is a pretty big chore in and of itself. And think about how gross it's gonna be behind the washer when I pull it out. Plus, you have to time these things carefully and take the old one out on Wednesday night so the guys will take it on Thursday. It’s Friday today. It’s not that easy to to remember to do it at the right time for some reason. Plus, it’s not a simple task to pull a washer up a step, down two, across a yard full of grass to the road. I think I’m complaining again. “Don’t forget the man in the chair, Liz... the man in the chair.” That’ll shut me up for a while.

Okay, I’m going to find some lotion or something. My hands are all pruney from the wringing and the blue water I had to bail for the last hour or so. But I’m not complaining. They are still connected to my arms and quite functional, and I’m really rather happy about that.

1 comment:

  1. Who'd have thought washers cost so much? I'd have said $250, I guess because in my mind I'm still living in 1972. I'll keep my eyes open for gleaning possibilities for you though.

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