Wednesday, October 07, 2015

O, Captain!

As those of you who have liked this blog's Facebook page already know, our secondhand dishwasher gave up the ghost last night.  I came home around 10 to find Brian and Larry staring sadly at the soot-covered, silent appliance which had become such an important part of our lives over the past 4 years. An acrid burning smell filled the kitchen.

Soot marks - NOT a good sign on a major appliance
"What happened?" I cried, rushing to our fallen comrade, as Larry just stood there, shaking his head.

"It's gone," he said. "It's gone."

"Not necessarily," I said, determined to hold onto my dream - you know, that one where dishes are washed at the touch of a button? And no one bickers?  "Maybe something fell through onto the heat element," I suggested.  "Remember the chopstick incident?"

"Mom," said Brian, patiently, "it's too late. Something burned out. We need to let it go."

"No!" I said, yanking open the blackened door and peering inside. "Hey, it stopped in the middle of the cycle.  There's still water in there. Maybe something jammed the motor. We can fix that."

"Look," said Larry. "It's 15 years old. It's broken. Something caught fire. We're not fixing it."

You know, I need to remember not to name that man as the decision maker in my living will. Can you picture it? "Doc, she doesn't run as well as she used to. And now she broke a part. Just pull the plug, will ya?"

Anywhoo, I'm devastated.  That dishwasher entered our family after we had been washing dishes by hand for over 2 years. It was gifted to me by the daughters of my dear deceased friend, and every time I used it - every time, meaning twice a day - I thought of her and thanked her for knowing how to pick out a decent appliance. Crazy as it sounds, I feel as though I've lost her all over again.

I know, I know - I mourned the previous dishwasher, too, but that was different.  That was a youthful, impulsive love, one based on looks and glamour.  And where did that get me? Less than 2 years in, the relationship was over.

But this? This dishwasher knew what it was to make a commitment.  It had served its previous owner for 11 years.  It served us for 4 more. Ours was a relationship built on the assurance that we would always be there for each other, until drastic mechanical failure do us part.  And now, here we are. Again.

O Maytag! My Maytag! Our fearful trip is done! 
Our dishes stacked in every rack, no load left unrun; 
Repairman's here, dishwasher dear, the children all exulting, 
While follow eyes his steady hand, his toolbag grim and daring: 
But O heart! Heart! Heart! 
O, the shaking of his head! 
On the floor my Maytag lies, 
Fallen cold and dead.


  1. My condolences. May she rest in peace. And may you find a reliable and affordable replacement soon!

  2. You have my heartfelt sympathy, which is lightened only by the levity your inspiring verse lends to the situation.

    An appliance that lasts that long is a rare gem. I hope you are able to find another soon, or else able to cajole various children into serving at the post of Dishwasher without grumbling.

  3. Used appliance stores are your friend?

  4. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Is that appropriate for an appliance? Actually, maybe, but for me it would be if my microwave died. I don't mind hand washing dishes, but then, my kids are all grown and flown.

  5. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. With any luck, you will find a replacement that lasts.

  6. I do get that this is extra difficult since you were gifted this (via her daughters) by a great friend who is no longer living. So not only are you washing dishes by hand, but a daily (or even twice a day) blessing has been taken from you. *sniff*

  7. Can you save a little knob off it or something and turn it into a refrigerator magnet? That way a little piece of your friend will still be there.

  8. If you have the model number, you may be able to find the same dishwasher at the Habitat for humanity resale store?