I like technology when it works. When it doesn’t, I wonder why we bother.
Toward the end of last week, Sue accused me of not using the correct setting on the dryer. Sadly, I was using the correct setting the whole time. The heating element of the dryer had gone belly-up, leaving us with a large machine that spun our clothes quickly but didn’t dry them at all.
What this meant was that my process for getting through the laundry changed this week significantly. Laundry had to be done, after all. The kids need clothing for school this week, and Sue and I had been remiss on the laundry for a week. This meant that I had to wash clothes here and run to a local laundromat to finish up.
Back when Sue and I were newly married and we lived in that same tiny little apartment that most newlyweds share, we had the choice of doing our laundry at a laundromat or using the nasty coin-op machines in the building basement. The choice was an obvious one, and I spent part of a day every week at the laundromat closest to us.
When we did finally have our own house with our own laundry facilities, I no longer had to make trips to the laundromat. While having our own washer and dryer was more convenient and a lot cheaper, I did miss taking all of the laundry to one place. I enjoyed the laundromat. It was warm and smelled like freshly washed clothing. Better, I could do all of the loads at the same time and dry them all at the same time, so even if we had six or eight loads of wash, I could finish everything in a couple of hours instead of taking the whole day.
I got over that loss quickly, though. While laundry is hardly my favorite task, I’m happy to do it in the privacy of my own home. The joy of watching my delicate underthings spinning around in full view of the public lost its charm pretty quickly.
Until now. Three separate trips to the laundromat over the past view days has reminded me of the fact that I did enjoy doing all of my laundry at the same time in a place that was warm and smelled clean and fresh. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t wait for my dryer to get fixed (thank goodness for warranties) so that I can go back to spin drying my delicate underthings in the privacy of my own home once again.
• Steve Honeywell is a father and sometime stay-at-home dad. He teaches at Rasmussen College in Rockford and is a freelance writer and proofreader.