I’m going shopping for a new gas dryer. I don’t really want one. I want to hang my unmentionables over the garden fence to dry–give the neighborhood something to talk about. It’s not like I live in an area where people can see where I’d hang underwear anyway. No one will post pictures of my laundry on Instagram. If they do, they seriously need a life.
“Nothing to see, folks, move on.”
When major appliances break, my mind makes a twisted route to Plan B as if I lived in a third world nation. “I don’t really need a new dryer anyway.” I don’t want to buy one. Having a drier makes me feel guilty. I should be hanging my clothes out to dry. I could be saving the kilowatt for a part of the world that needs it. I justify my use of the drier by saying, “Well, at least I’m not ruining the universe with drier sheets. They kill trees and produce fumes.” I can justify my bad ecobehavior by putting down those who use dryer sheets. It works.
I do like fluffy towels that can only be achieved in the drier. They don’t have fluffy drier towels in parts of the world that need my kilowatt. That thought makes me feel guiltier, as does the fact I often use two towels. Instead of taking my clothes out of the drier right away, I often throw my wrinkly work clothes in the drier a second time for five minutes to dewrinkle when I could have ironed. Lazy, first world behavior! I am an ecocriminal, like when I forget to put my reusable bags in the back of my car before shopping.
I have lost three appliances this year, each one taking up several cubic feet in the landfill. The demise of every appliance followed a luxury purchase on my behalf. The dishwasher crapped out after I pushed the button on my first yoga retreat. The washer died two weeks ago, after my husband convinced me we needed a specific Japanese-style charcoal grill because we needed to Japanese-style charcoal grill everything, every day, for every meal. Incidentally, if your spouse convinces you that you need to charcoal grill your baking because it’s summer, leave your chocolate chip cookies out of your Japanese-style chic charcoal grill. Something about the wood-fired taste of–chocolate–that makes me want to barf. You can’t unexperience something like that once it’s hit your taste buds.
But anyway, that’s why the washing machine died. Because I bought something.
“Ha,” said the pop-up on my online banking, “You could have bought a washer!” Who needs a washer anyway? Hell, I lived in places laundromats didn’t even exist. I’ll hand wash those clothes! My family didn’t agree, so we bought a nice old tank of a washer that can wash every piece of clothes in the house simultaneously, using twice the water. I’m feeling farther away from green by the minute. If this keeps up, I fear I’ll lose my green card.
Three days ago, the drier broke–died of a broken heart because his partner of 30 years, the 70’s washer, passed. Or perhaps it was that I spent money on the next great yoga retreat my friend Marianne suggested we attend. Part of me wants to think appliances are like a parakeets that sing their swan song soon after their partner croaks. Romantic. They must go to Valhalla together. But I really think it’s the curse.
I’m superstitious. I believe this stuff. After I buy this drier, there will be no further purchases here, because I do not want to tempt fate. I’m afraid the next appliance I’d kill is my freezer. I need that for harvest season. After all, you only get to pick blueberries once a year. I’m going to need that freezer.