It’s all a wash (and we can eat off one of my son’s socks)


Last week I was in the home construction airport-sized-warehouse shopping for light bulbs.

Light bulbs used to be something we picked up without a second thought at the grocery store. They would set you back about a $1.27 a box and last a nice long time. I honestly don’t recall anyone lamenting the short lifespan of a standard light bulb: “Such a colossal waste of 31 cents. I just put this in this lamp 18 months ago!”

Today, light bulbs run about $15 for your basic model and are touted to last 18 years. For those of us who admittedly clean our ceiling mounted light fixtures only when it is time to change the bulb, this may not be an “improvement.”

Let there be light

So there I was in aisle 247 shopping for light bulbs. I also needed toilet bolts but they were a two-day trek to the western hemisphere of the store and nobody needs bolts that bad.

As I was puzzling over the LED to wattage translation, Mr. Wonderful telephoned me. This was good timing as I could then explain to him that it was college for one of the children — or new light bulbs — but we couldn’t swing both. It cost $130 in LED bulbs to fit ONE chandelier. I’m fairly certain the chandelier itself didn’t cost that much.

Polly, we hardly knew ye

While I was working out the details on a payment plan for light bulbs, Mr. Wonderful was home putting the finishing touches on the bathroom and laundry renovation.

He who never cares about such things was telephoning me to say, flat out, that I needed to go find new appliances because the back had just fallen off our washing machine. To be fair, that was all his fault.

When he pulled it out, there was a small, magnetic doll stuck to the back of it. (Polly Pocket for those in the know). Without regard to consequences, Mr. Wonderful pulled her off and from that point on, the back of the washing machine would no longer attach. As it turns out a 2-inch rubber doll was apparently the linchpin that held it all together.

Spin cycle

Never one to miss the opportunity to spend even more hours in a home warehouse, I trotted over to the appliance department and traded one of the children for a new washer and dryer.

In the old days, a washer and dryer came in a) white, b) the washer loaded from the top like a big bucket of water and c) you didn’t need an advanced degree and personal adviser plucked straight from the Consumer Reports to guide you.

This is not so today. It took me close to eight hours and two separate trips to decide on the front loading washer and dryer that would meet our needs.

I also found it interesting that basic white was a special order — but racy red I could have right away. Apparently we boring types purchase far fewer appliances.

The washer and dryer were delivered late last week. They are glossy and shiny with lots of fabulous chrome trim. In my previous two decades plus of adulthood, I polished my washer and dryer exactly never. I’ve shined the new set at least twice just over the weekend.

I’m going to act like a kid with a new car. “No leaning! You’ll scratch the paint!”

Chime when done

They aren’t just about good looks — they actually wash and dry things. We think. Frankly, I haven’t read the multi-chapter instruction guides yet, but I have it on good authority that they can clean clothing too.

Meanwhile, the cat is afraid of them, which confuses me. I’m not sure how the cat knows they are there. They are very quiet. Sneaky, really.

They flash lights and words on the screen and in place of that old-time annoying buzz, they play a little song when the cycle is complete. A friend asked if the song is Dirty Laundry (which would be absolutely perfect!) At our price point, I assured her that we get the equivalent of a Fisher Price chiming toy. Cute though.

There is also a smart phone symbol on the front but, frankly, I’m not sure I want my appliances having my private number.

It does come with a sanitize feature — so we can eat off our son’s soccer socks, I suppose.

I’m not going to lie. I own my housewifery and admit that I am thrilled to have them. I figure I saved $13 this year on energy with my high-dollar light bulbs, and spent 100 times that much on a fancier way to clean socks.

Any presumed savings? It’s probably a wash.


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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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