As a burly crew hauled our old washing machine out of the basement, there was only relief.
Our goodbye was unceremonious. No tears were shed. Instead, as a burly crew hauled our old washing machine out of the basement, there was only relief. Relief that I didn't have to carry it up the stairs.
I don't often get sentimental for objects, save maybe a car. But I do respect a job well done. It was a Magic Chef washing machine, a brand name that seems a bit off for such an appliance. But this thing was a beast, and it was free, a hand-me-down from family.
It weighed as much as a tank. If it was off balance, the whole neighborhood would shake. I'm confident if nuclear war was eminent, we could have survived inside it. And it did a pretty good job at washing clothes, too.
A while ago, the washer wouldn't drain. Despite my attempts at a Fonzie fix, where I smacked the side of the machine in hopes it would run like new, the magic was gone.
My wife suggested we look into getting a new one. I was reluctant at first, thinking back to all the times I have "fixed" something just by ignoring it. And then when she found a fix, and I was even more reluctant. "Well, shoot," I told her. "Let try to get a few more thousand loads out of it."
She explained to me how when the cycle ended and it was still full of water, she moved the dial to one spot and then another. "And then it'll drain," she said. I tilted my head to the side like a dog would when you explain to it that it shouldn't scratch its butt across the carpet.
So we agreed to a new system. When it got to the point where the water needed to be drained, I would yell from the basement for her to "do the thing that makes it work." This lasted a month before we tired of our new system. We kept our eyes out for a sale and finally bought one.
When the crew carried it out, I could only think of all the times my dad and I moved it. It was a pain that left both our arms, shins and the drywall with dents. Once, when it was stuck in a doorway, I stood behind it, holding it up and asked my dad to take care of my family and just leave me to die in the basement.
"Smell ya later," I saluted to the washer as it was taken to wherever old appliances are taken. West Virginia? I suppose we could have cremated it and put in an urn next to the detergent and Borax. But by then, sentimentality was lost on me. I was too interested in the lights and buttons of the new machine, and the box.
The delivery men looked at me curiously when I asked them to leave it behind. I didn't explain to them that little kids, and cats for that matter, love a giant cardboard box more than the most expensive toy in the world.
My wife and I enjoy the convenience of doing a pain-free load of laundry, and my daughter declared it the best purchase we have ever made.
"If we buy a few more washers," my daughter said, "we could build a giant maze in the basement!"
Reach Dave at email@example.com or 330-580-8490. On Twitter: @DaveManley