Buying new appliances isn’t easy these days

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mugs in a dishwasher

For the record, let me state that I know this is a genuinely ridiculous problem to have. A few weeks ago, I wrote quite dramatically about the fact that our not even four-year-old dishwasher tried to kill us all.

Okay, maybe not kill, exactly, but when it ran for untold hours and could not be turned off until we disconnected the power, I took it as a sign. It was time for the ill-fated dishwasher to leave.

I did not grow up with a dishwasher. I do not consider them a necessity. In my day, we were the dishwashers. Holiday and Sunday dinners at my Gram’s found my cousin and I standing side by side, sharing wash and dry duties.

Looking back, those are some of the best times of my life. The giggles, eye rolls and conversation about any and everything in our young lives. We solved a lot of life’s problems over that double basin of hot soapy water.

Cleaning

Even today I don’t hate doing dishes. I’m a “clean cook.” I like to wash as I go so filling a sink is the first step in any meal prep for me. The scent of that classic blue dish soap is soothing.

I dice and slice and wash as I go. I chop, stir, swish and wipe through cooking and baking. By the time the meal is finished, the kitchen is clean, too. Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, prefers to leave the kitchen looking like a bomb went off in his wake. It’s just part of his process. His meals are delicious though.

All this to say that we do, indeed, know how to clean up after ourselves. We can and have lived without a dishwasher. On the other hand, it galls me every single time I see an entire section of my cabinetry taken up with a broken appliance. Particularly true when that appliance is less than four years old.

Buying new

I have no intention of throwing good money after bad with useless repair, so I planned to buy a new dishwasher. Have you tried to purchase an appliance lately? Good luck with that.

We worked our way down a list of options. Our needs are simple. I just want to push a button and have hot, soapy water clean the dishes, rinse and dry. The drying is completely negotiable. I’m fine with using a towel. I have been known to vigorously shake Tupperware to get the water off. I’m a problem solver.

I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. In fact, I abhor them. I am certain I didn’t use the majority of options our last dishwasher offered during the brief time it worked. I’m not sure what the steam cycle even did.

Shopping online, I found it difficult to find a simple dishwasher. I was met with endless out-of-stock notices (then why, pray tell, is it even shown for sale?). Some models allowed me to put the item in my cart, but the delivery estimates fell on the far side of Christmas — some seven months away.

In store, sales associates could only best guess when a unit might be available. They were careful to note that we should “expect significant delays.” Look, my current dishwasher hasn’t worked properly in months. I’m in no big hurry. It wasn’t the delivery scenario that bothered me so much as it was trying to find a simple machine that did nothing but clean dishes.

Smart

The most appalling thing to me is how many models offered Wi-Fi capability. They are “smart” dishwashers. I am trying to imagine a scenario where I want my dishwasher to be that bright? Nothing comes to mind.

What is it going to say? “Yo? You forgot to unload me again today. This makes three days in a row. What are you using to eat with? Your hands?” Why does it need Wi-Fi? Am I sending it a playlist? Scheduling appointments?

I finally just ordered one that may or may not arrive sometime between Wednesday and 2022. Sure, I poke fun, but obviously, new dishwashers are smarter than I am. I could have saved a significant amount of money by putting in a cabinet and continuing to put hot soapy water in the sink.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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