Monday, December 22, 2008


Thirteen months ago, a washer and dryer set was moved into a cluttered basement of a house. This happened before the human occupants had moved in.  A nice gesture on the part of the in-laws, the premature gift caused me to throw some kind of fit at the time, probably.

Moving is nothing but stressful, and this old house had never had such appliances, its 220 is rigged to the max, there are no vents, there was no clean space …  Additionally, some people are obsessive about energy-saving or other features, and some are not.  In other words, the set has been somewhat more of a hassle than a convenience, since our lack of preparation meant the deliverers could not also install that day.  And there they sat.

It didn't take too long — I did not go to the laundromat, so it could not have been more than a few weeks — before spouse and father-in-law made at least four trips to the hardware store in order to hook up the washer.  Motivational aid:  spouse had gone to laundromat.

Last week, when a frozen pipe burst in response to our lackadaisical treatment of its condition, we decided that our usual inability to schedule anything made already having a repairperson in the house the perfect opportunity to spend unearned (make that earned but un-received) income on getting the gas connection squared away on the dryer.

For a year we've washed the clothes in the washing machine and have dried them using the time-honored, Inconvenient-Truth-approved drying method.

A friend asked about the clothesline the other day, and I mentioned that I know someone who chooses to hang-dry clothes despite having a functional dryer — to save money.  Indeed, I remembered that in Japan, for example, virtually no one has a clothes dryer because clothes dryers use lots of energy.  Overall, appliances in Japan, Europe and Mexico (places I can say I've kitchen-ed) are trailer-sized compared with our American ones.  There's not a lot of central heating in Japan, either.  I used to wake up and see my breath when I lived there.  Kids wore shorts all year long because that was the school uniform.

Being cold was so close to the bottom of my list of things that made me miserable that I don't even remember ever complaining about it, though.  In other words, it was no big deal. It was much worse to be the only person my age using a bicycle instead of a car.  Yes, stiff socks are rather a drag, but for the most part few of my regular clothes are supposed to be dried in a machine anyway.

And we still have not solved the venting issue, so fluffy towels are still probably months away.  I'm just not motivated by "convenience."  Inertia is stronger.  I also am miserly.


m.v. said...

there is an attachment for the dryer vent hose that allows to vent inside, looks like a box. heats up your room/basement at the same time

Applecart T. said...

Thanks! Yes, we are aware of that $40 contraption. Ones located so far indicate "for electric." Also, not best thing in Midwestern summer to add moisture to basements. Will ponder.