So. The washing machine doesn't work as well as it used to, now that it looks like this.
That photograph above ought to be the fateful poster advertising the Washing Machine Opera -- a tragic opera, I might add -- in three acts.
- Act I: the Agony of deciding to get a new machine,
- Act II: Miser Mom goes to Mall,
- Act III: Farewell to the Former Machine.
Act I: The Agony
A week or so ago, my husband let me know the washing machine was acting up again. We've had this problem with the filter getting clogged with things like coins, newspaper bags (?!), and the like. Thanks to the miracle of internet You-tube videos, we've learned to clear out the filter ourselves (not hard to do, actually), but apparently the damage these clogs have done to the pump caused it to fail, too, and we couldn't replace that ourselves.
Now, me, I'm a huge proponent of trying to fix things. I'll fix things myself if I can; I'll pay other people to fix things if I can't. My husband, on the other hand, not so much.
For example, just a few days earlier in the week, we'd had a conversation about a vacuum cleaner: it didn't work! my husband told me. We need to buy a new one! So I went and looked at it, and the problem was that someone had pulled a rubber gasket out of place, so in a series of ankle bone connected to the . . . wrist bone moves, the hose didn't fit properly into the canister, and so the power didn't connect. I put the rubber gasket back in the right place, and all is now fine.
And just so you get a fuller picture of the characters involved in the Washing Machine agony, here's the conclusion to the Vacuum Cleaner Episode. My husband still wondered whether we ought to go buy a new vacuum cleaner anyway, because this one is getting old and it might break again. And I talked him back from that particular ledge, noting that the fact that he doesn't know how to use a screwdriver doesn't mean the vacuum cleaner is busted. Seriously, it works fine!
But the Washing Machine is an appliance that falls within my husband's realm. My husband is the the Lord of the Laundry around here; he does laundry daily, just for fun, and he doesn't let me near it. There are obviously very nice things about having someone else do laundry for me, so I'm not complaining about this. But it means that I can't just swoop in and do my Miser-stuff when things get hinky down there in the laundry room.
We called in our favorite repair guy (whom I'll call RG) -- the one who convinced my husband that he could probably clean out the filter himself, which he could. RG popped the figurative hood on the machine and agreed that we need a new pump. But then RG said that the thing the pump connected to might go soon, and replacing that "would cost as much as a new machine".
So, what to do? On the one side of the stage, you've got Miser Mom, singing the aria of "don't create trash! don't ditch the whole machine just because a few pieces of it need work!" I mean, we have not only our wallets, but also the Earth that we live on to consider. We can afford some repairs.
And on the other side of the stage, there's the Lord of the Laundry, belting out the mournful woes of "but the control panel might fail also; but the machine is so old" (we bought it in 2006). "We need a new machine because the current one might break again!"
There is no one "right" answer, I know. It's the same with an old car needing yet another repair: when is the right time to give up and get a new one? When does convenience -- or at least lack of inconvenience -- rise to the level that it trumps the cost to our wallets and to our planet?
And so, in this particular instance, the Don't Drive Them Crazy directive came into play. It's my husband's washing machine, and he needs to use it every day to be happy, and so we agreed to go get him a new one. It's one possible right answer.
Stay tuned for Act II: Miser Mom goes to the Mall.