Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A New Helper

I've always been a champion of the underdog. Maybe it all began when I had Charlotte's Web read to me, and listened to Fern save the runt piglet from the axe. Wilbur turned out to be a pretty fantastic pig. I remember applying some of Fern's life-saving tactics on my mom when our cat had pre-term kittens. Mom let me keep them in a box inside, but it didn't end well.

I'm also one to save little bits of things, finding a use for them later. Construction paper scraps, fabric scraps, the bottom of the ketchup bottle, stale bread crusts. I try to avoid wasting something I bought or made.

When we moved to this 30-year old house, we were faced with the dilemma of the original kitchen appliances. Grandpas took their new fridge with them, so that replacement was a no-brainer. We had to buy a microwave too, to be installed over the 2-year-old range. We decided to spray-paint the old oven and dishwasher doors, and get as much use out of the dinosaurs that we could. I was happy with this restorative solution, and set about discovering and working with the quirks of my old appliances.

I have previously testified about my oven. I have not said anything about the dishwasher. Until now. The very first time I used it, I ran to the living room window and looked out to see who was driving the tractor out to which field. I saw only grass waving in the breeze and empty sky. I was mistaken. It was the dishwasher, loudly washing its dirty load. The thing was so noisy, we couldn't carry on conversations in the kitchen. If the phone rang, I had to take it to another room--far away. Even then, the person on the other end would ask, "WHAT is THAT?!" If I would have to run it when we had company over, undoubtedly our guests would perk up their heads with puzzled looks during its ear-shattering screeches. It really did sound like a jet engine. Jason and I developed our own interpretations of its sounds, and sometimes sat around imitating it, just for kicks. It washed my dishes fairly well, when I used it. I attributed the sometimes resulting dirty dishes to my own fault of cramming every last article I could into the beast. Black residue of some kind would appear over all the inside, and I had to scrub it off with a toothbrush. Then lately, it ceased to drain properly. After each wash, I had water standing in the bottom of the tub. Foul-smelling, backed-up-drain water. I told the Mr. about it.

I had a doctor's appointment on Friday, and when I came home, I saw that the Mr. had replaced it with a new Whirlpool! At first I was sad for my little friend, since it had held my sympathies for so long and had embodied my ideals of making the most out of our resources. When I recovered from my shock, I asked him what changed his mind. "When I opened it last night and smelled poop!" he said.

I used the Whirlpool once. Twice. Three times. I couldn't believe how clean my dishes got. Squeaky clean! I couldn't believe how quiet it was. I could hear myself think.

Jason cleaned out the drain last night. It was a very gross job.

I've decided I've got myself a great dishwasher, and a great man!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

AAaahhh. . .the joys of a quiet and efficient appliance :). If you ever get a hankerin' for the sound of a loud dishwasher. . just come on over and I'll crank up mine for you :) (it usually gets turned on only at night when I'm ready to go to bed). Jan

wanita said...

that's awesome joyce! i tell you, living w/ a cranky appliance makes you appreciate the shiny new ones forever!!

Carrie said...

Ahhh...yet another charming new addition to your family. :)

ShaunJoy said...

Yay for good dishwashers and good husbands!

krista said...

I bet your meals even taste better because they are served on squeaky clean dishes!

Sherri said...

Joyce, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entry. You certainly have a way with words.

Congratulations on the new dishwasher! You did good, J!

heather said...

Oh Joyce It's so beautiful. I'm so happy your husband got you a new one. One that doesn't smell like poop. :) You have such a colorful way of telling a story.

Anonymous said...

My aunt says that first wives get everything, like dishwashers and washers and dryers...And second wives get jewelry and jewelry and nice personal items. So while I am glad you have a new dishwasher to replace the old, poopy-smelling one, you might tell Jason that Auntie May in Boca says you need some fancy personal item so you'll feel like wife #2 emptying the Whirlpool!!! Joanne

les said...

so does that mean there was poop residue on your plates before your dishwasher was replaced? just asking . . .

Cottonista said...

Yeah, Les. Wanna come for lunch?

KJB said...

I'm gonna miss the southern poopie on my dinner plates...no more wang on der dishes.