I experienced what I’m referring to in my captain’s log as a “washing machine malfunction” on Wednesday. I like that phrase; it sounds technical. And I would so like to
pretend that think of this machine as a fine-tuned, precision instrument. I say I would like to think that about this wonderful machine that came furnished in my girl cave…but since it has only one speed and also the words “pull knob to start, push to stop” emblazoned on it, there exists some doubt about that.
I might mention also, that one speed = no delicates cycle. I know, just shocking, right!?? I have been grappling with this challenging situation for months now. Alas and alack and woe is me.
Is it that the rental management Powers That Be do not think that I could own ‘delicates’ !?? <sniff> Or, do they just think cave dwellers’ lives are enriched by frequently, and daintily, schleppling down to the laundromat so our delicates can receive the public exposure and admiration their <cough> fine quality and expensive labels deserve? Ohhh…. <dabbing at an almost tear with my (unwashed) delicate lace hankie> oh, the rigors faced by genteel cave dwellers.
ok. Lest you worry about my priorities. In the scheme of things, this unserious laundry “problem” only made my radar for about <snap!> that long. The list of 250 things I ~love~ about my delicious girl cave so outnumbers any pretend deficits that it isn’t even… funny. But, I doth return to the malfunction issue.
It has been determined that the malfunction was, evidently, a …ummm….well, not actually a mechanical problem, but due to human error. A human error, using a washing machine that is about as simple to operate as it gets. If I disclose that I was the only human in the girl cave at the time, you can probably do the math.
I had decided to wash the cover on my sweet pup’s bed. I have no earthly idea why. It’s never happened before – now, it won’t happen again. But, such are the workings of a right brain trying to overpower a beleaguered left brain. At any rate… the helpful tags attached to the zippered dog bed cover said it was indeed washable: cold water, gentle cycle.
Hmmm. Again with that missing
delicates gentle cycle. I thought, well, I’ll make do.
Do you ever have those times when a little buzzer goes off in your head, right after a ‘brilliant idea’ occurs to you? It can usually be thought of as a safety mechanism. Kind of a “Warning Will Robinson!” from our brain. (left side in origin, I’m pretty sure).
How effective these buzzers are depends greatly on when and how often one hears them. Now, personally, I have been blessed with buzzers. Ridiculous numbers of buzzers. Going off all the time, over everything. I could compose a buzzer symphony in E gad minor.
After the thought occurred to me to wash the dog bed cover, I had another, almost immediate flash of memory. At the above mentioned public laundromat, (where I don’t wash my delicates but I do wash my comforter) there are signs that say “Do not wash pet bedding in washers.”
I thought about that for a minute… and I looked down at the black-dog-hair-glazed cover I was holding in my hand. And a darn buzzer [E flat] started buzzing. I thought, “Maybe you should just buy Keeva another bed; skip the washing.”
The left brain rose up, flinging out words like cost and budget but the right brain started talking back, again returning enthusiastically, bombastically, to the washing idea. And the buzzer, now coming from somewhere in the middle of the two sides of my brain, got even louder, over their din.
But this buzzer? this one I whacked with a mallet, told myself it was just my (usual) groundless, obsessive-compulsive stickler-ness to some silly rulebook… and I silenced it.
I am unsure just where I went wrong with the ….uh…fine tuned, precision machine that is my washer. It might have been that the copious quantities of dog hair clogged the drain hose. It might have been the fact that, in order to substitute something resembling a “gentle cycle” on the washer, I manually stopped the cycle to let the load soak (as opposed to uninterrupted one-speed, wild agitation), and then I restarted it…repeating that twice more. That mayyyyyy have circumnavigated the completion of the drain process.
Whatever this human did – there was definitely an error made, somewhere. When I returned to the laundry room when all had stopped, there was a substantial rivulet of water coming from under the washing machine…running out into the kitchen, going under the refrigerator and around, pooling under the stove.
I started yelling, “No, no, no, no, NooooOOOO!” like the water would disappear on command.
And then I looked around. Who in the world am I talking to???
Poor Keeva heard me and came over, ever so slowly peeking around the corner of the kitchen, looking at the liquid on the floor…and then looking at me, then back to the water. Her head was up, not bowed down, her eyes definitely said, “I didn’t do this! Honest mom! Wasn’t meeee!!”
I heard my next thought… “This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s time to go with the flow.” [I hate when my brain talks to me in multiple clichés] I heard myself. And I stopped.
Presence. Calmness. Deep breaths.
I began a different internal dialog. “Instead of going zero to 60mph in a heartbeat, instead of going completely ballistic and resisting the ‘what is,’ try, right now, to go with it.”
Huh? Crazy-woman-talking-to-herself sayyy WHAT?
I wasn’t sure what ‘going with the flow’ should look like, when the flow was all over the kitchen floor. But I stopped hyperventilating. I stopped
envisioning the water seeping down the wall, into the apartment below and subsequent murder (my own) and mahem (not the funny guy on the insurance commercials) catastrophizing. I got towels and started sopping up water, found my flashlight, got down on all fours (I swear, with Keeva laughing) and carefully looked under the appliances [electric! another buzzer] to see the extent of the damage.
All in all, I claim victory in the great Leap Day Washer Malfunction of 2012. I survived, and my apartment, and that of my downstairs neighbors, is fine. I learned many lessons, thankfully none of which had to be explained to or remedied by the maintenance men who work for the apartment complex. I have kept it on the down low. Well, except for sharing here in blog-dom.
I learned that, even though I am trying to disable so many “stupid” buzzers in my head, *some* buzzers that go off should not be disabled. Not all buzzers are “stupid” – in other words, I didn’t throw out the baby with the washer water this time. I need to remember that there can sometimes be unexpected costs in trying to be too thrifty and those should be considered when weighing a plan of action.
Throughout the lessons, I kept my blood pressure in the normal zone, I did not create any bad washing machine karma by labeling my washing machine with curse words… and [bonus!] I washed my kitchen floor
a week or two a day or two earlier than planned.
I reconnected with the reality that little trials and tribulations come and go and life is so, so much easier if I go with them, not against them, and remember the bigger picture. I am thankful. After seeing on the news coverage the devastating tornado damage and loss of life in the South, I looked around at my home and I counted my many many blessings, again. ♥