Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, June 11, 2012

Collective Collapse

"Things fall apart," noted Yeats, surely thinking of our major household appliances, all of which, in the last twelvemonth, have died.  Well, not quite all.  The stove survives, a sturdy reminder of how simplicity of function (heat on/heat off) can assure a longer life.  Otherwise, mass extinction.  Even the microwave is making funny noises.

Last year was the refrigerator.  Last month was the dishwasher.  Last night (sort of ), the clothes washer and dryer, both of which have in recent weeks been, respectively, gurgling and sparking--their mortal moans, their hints that they are ready for ... retirement.

(Speaking of which: Just as Joyce and I prepare to begin "adjusting" to living on pensions, household expenses (see above) explode.  We're starting to wonder how we'd do as Walmart greeters ...?)

The refrigerator had simply quit refrigerating (my stored sourdough, thinking it was work time, began to swell and smell and bubble in the unseasonable warmth); the dishwasher declined to wash dishes (they emerged looking only wetter, not cleaner, than when I'd loaded them); the clothes machines--washer, dryer--had, like Bartleby the Scrivener, declared "I prefer not to."  (Melville, bless him, never had to deal with home appliances; otherwise, Moby-Dick might well have been about Ahab's vengeful rage against  a great white Westinghouse.) The dryer, in sympathy with its mate (?), snapped, crackled, popped.  Quit.

And now we are on a first-name basis with the sales crew at Myers Appliance in Stow.  And our credit card has gotten so much exercise that it's looking ripped, chiseled, cut. (We're ready for a bail-out.)

And need I add that all of these failures occurred on Sunday (Myers is not open)?  That all occurred at times most inconvenient?  (Imminent travel or entertainment or guests?)  That all involved sums of money that seem to have doubled since last we had to make such purchases?

Yesterday, Joyce ran around to the various Sunday-open places (BestBuy and friends, checking prices, etc.) and rediscovered what we've all known since the arrival of the Big Box Stores: No one knows squat about the products they sell.  Or cares to.  She left the house at 11, returned about 3 in the deepest of funks.  Newly retired, she'd thought that her Sundays, for decades lost to grading essays and reviewing for the week, would now be ... free.  (Think: butterfly on a soft summer breeze.)  Hah!

So at nine today (Monday) we'll be heading over to Myers.

[9 o'clock: PAUSE while we go to Myers.]

[11:06 o'clock: BACK FROM Myers.]

Two trips it took, back and forth to Stow.  The first time, we didn't have one of the measurements we needed (English teachers!), so home we went, where we discovered that if we had not done the measurement, we would have bought a washer whose lid would not lift all the way before colliding with one of our cabinets.

So now we're home, our resources diminished, our hopes springing eternal (will these be the last we'll buy?), our depression gently dissipated by the warm afterglow of a purchase (the American High: buy something = feel better), an afterglow that will neither fade nor cool until later in the month.

When the bill arrives.

PS--Installation tomorrow!

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