Thirty miles down the road from us is a little place called Smaller Town, USA.
Except… you know… it’s not really called that, but the World Wide Web is filled with weird people, so you can never be too careful. Cue the vagueness.
In Smaller Town, there’s a little Mom-and-Pop, family-style diner that is so famous, people will drive for miles to eat there. It hasn’t been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but that’s only because Guy Fieri’s people haven’t alerted him to it yet. I imagine Guy would roll his eyes back in his head and utter his signature moan over the nacho plate.
This little hot spot closes for a month at a time. The family takes a month off, here and there and randomly, because they are busy little restaurant owners, and their crowd of burger-needers is so enormous, they know that when they reopen four weeks later, the line will snake out the door and across the parking lot. Everyone wants their burgers. Everyone wants their nachos. Everyone wants one of their strawberry shakes.
I feel like this blog has become a lot like that little diner now. Apparently the CEO keeps closing up shop, with no warning. I hear she’s even come into work a couple of times in her pajama bottoms, with an unwashed, messy bun perched atop her head. Casual Thursdays obviously needs to be revisited at the board room table. Sadly, I don’t think her product is strong enough to keep everyone waiting with baited breath for her grand reopening, when it finally gets around to happening. Our days have been so crazy-hectic-busy lately, that some things have had to take a backseat to the priorities.
Mainly, the housework and the blog are riding in the backseat.
This is a picture of the boys’ bathroom:
This morning, it was the cleanest room in our house, and that was COUNTING the small fact that there was not even enough clean, pee-free space on the toilet seat to accommodate a single butt cheek from a grownup. I kept expecting the Department of Family Services to knock on my front door and softly say, “Ma’am, we’d like to talk to you about the living conditions of your children. Your son’s teacher has reported that there’s still syrup stuck on your kitchen counters from pancakes that you made four entire days ago.”
Today, in an effort to be proactive, I actually wiped that syrup off the counter.
And by wiped, I mean chiseled. With some pre-soaking beforehand. Some people go to the gym for cross-fit; I let syrup dry on my counters for four days, and then I build bicep muscles by scraping it off.
For the time being, we’re back to a state of cleanliness, which I expect to last for exactly twenty-four minutes, before someone drops a box of cereal and THERE GO MY CLEAN FLOORS.
We haven’t had any enormous excitement over here at the Jedi Manor; just the usual routine of raising boys, buying groceries, driving teenagers around, teaching PE, fixing computers, and making dinners, because SWEET EVER-LOVIN’ MERCY! BOYS ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY.
Earlier this week, we had some rain. It rained enough, in fact, to make some of us call the lumberyards to check on their in-stock supply of gopher wood. Now, I don’t know what the rest of you with preschool-aged boys do when it rains for a few days on end and you haven’t been able to get outside, because you don’t want the mud that’s out there to come in and compete with all the dirty clothes / dishes / toys / junk mail sitting around your house, but WE load up and hit the indoor playland at the local rec center.
Thing 2 and one of his very best buddies played for nearly two hours at the playland on Monday, and this is the only picture that I took, because I was extremely busy TALKING to my sweet friend, Sarah, while our boys played:
Besides, those two had no strong urge to slow down long enough for more than this single snapshot. The enormous slides and tunnels were singing their siren songs, and the boys were powerless to say no to the promise of fun.
I imagine that the biggest news of my week is simply this:
THE ERA OF THE LAUNDROMAT, WITH THE PRESCHOOLER IN TOW, IS OVER.
It. Is. Over.
How do I feel about that?
Let me show you:
That about sums up my feelings on waving goodbye to the public washing machines.
It has been nine entire weeks since my old washing machine broke down. Hubs was determined that he’d look at it, because he’s clever and handy and can use a screwdriver and understands things like motherboards and spark plugs. However, his schedule didn’t permit him any time to actually drag his tools into the laundry room at our house and tear the washer apart for almost three weeks.
And when he did finally get around to it?
He informed me that the clutch was burned up in the machine, and YOU’RE LUCKY IT DIDN’T START A FIRE, BECAUSE IT WAS BASICALLY A PILE OF ASH.
Raise your hand if you had no idea that washing machines had clutches in their nether regions? I just want to be assured that I’m not the only one.
Besides the clutch being a goner, the blah, blah, blah was fried, and the blah, blah, blah was skewed, and then my brain kind of shut down when Hubs announced, “I’ve priced all the parts. For $830, I can order stuff in and fix it.”
Now, that Whirlpool had been a well-loved, fully-used member of our family for years, but she was a hand-me-down kind of family member, who was seventeen entire years old. There comes a time in your life when you have to admit that Granny Whirlpool needs to be put out to pasture, while you bring a sleek, digital, sassy thing in to take her place.
So we ordered a middle-of-the-line washing machine, because I couldn’t justify the two-thousand-dollar, stainless-steel showpiece that captured my attention. She was a beaut, but her husband, the dryer, was equally as expensive, and $4,000 will still buy a used car, people.
I didn’t have it in my conservative little heart to spend that kind of money on a washer and dryer, because YES. We decided to replace the matching, seventeen-year-old, wheezes-when-he-starts-up, hand-me-down Whirlpool dryer, too.
Also, I didn’t have it in my conservative bank account to buy the superstar celebrity duo, because part-time PE teachers who are married to IT directors are not sleeping on mattresses filled with money.
Our order for the new washer and dryer was placed, and we were told that it would take seven to ten days for them to arrive.
Ten days later, we called to inquire about our purchase, which we had already paid for.
In cold, hard cash.
The fellow on the other end of the phone announced that, “Let me check…” and “Just a second…” and “Can you hold, please?…” and “Well, this is embarrassing, but your order was never actually PUT IN.”
Do you know what a mother of a preschooler wants to hear, when she’s been hauling dirty clothes to the laundromat for FIVE WEEKS, with her kiddo at her side?
That would be the words, “Your order was never actually put in.”
… we reordered them.
Or rather, we ordered them. For the second time. Because reordering makes it sound like they were already ordered once, and that wasn’t the case.
We were told that they would take seven to ten days to arrive.
Ten days later, Hubs called.
YES! WE HAVE YOUR WASHER AND DRYER! COME COLLECT THEM!
Hubs and the boy went to fetch my new babies, and Hubs said he was surprised to see that they weren’t in boxes. They were just sitting, in all their naked-white glory, by the cash registers, but he went with it.
That set was loaded up in the back of the truck.
As Hubs was closing the tailgate, he noticed that the dryer was… well… dinged.
And by dinged, Hubs said, “It sort of looked like it had been to a demolition derby against a shopping cart.” That dryer was chipped and dented and scratched.
Hubs asked about it.
The store manager said, “Well… this is a bit embarrassing… but your order was never placed in our computer system, so these are the floor models.”
My PAID-FOR-WITH-COLD-HARD-CASH washer and dryer were not ordered… for the second time, and the manager made the decision to rather quietly sell us the floor models.
Hubs had the floor models taken out of the truck, because what we want to pay for is an un-dented, un-scratched set. We will dent them and scratch them and beat them up ourselves. We didn’t want someone getting a head start on us in this.
The store placed our order.
I could have cried.
Seven days later, Hubs called the store to ask on an estimated delivery time.
He was told, “Um… well… just a second…”
And that is when Hubs knew.
It was no surprise when the manager came back on the phone line and said, “Well, this is embarrassing, but because your washer and dryer were already paid for, they were marked as delivered… and they were never actually ordered.”
And THAT, y’all, is when Mama snapped. Mama started rocking back and forth like someone in the lobby at an asylum, as she chanted, “Laundromat. Preschooler. He climbs in all the washing machines. So hard. Back and forth. Wad of hair in my clothes that wasn’t ours.”
Hubs patted Mama on the head and politely told the store manager, “We’d like our money back.”
And he gave it to us.
And then we ordered the exact same washer and dryer online, from a store in Bigger Town, USA, which is two hours away.
We ordered them on a Wednesday night. Three days later, the store called to tell us that our washer and dryer were sitting in their back room. Hubs asked, “Are you sure? Are they in boxes?” This store manager stuttered and said, “Uh… yeah. They’re… uh… right here, sir… and they’re wrapped in plastic…”
We loaded up our boys, and we headed North.
I can control this washer and dryer…
… from. my. phone.
Y’all! Listen to me! I may be showing my age and giving some indication that I may have survived the Great Depression by reusing aluminum foil and growing beans behind my house, but WHEN… WHEN… would I ever need to remotely start my washer FROM. MY. iPHONE???
I can’t envision it happening.
But then, I never could have envisioned a store forgetting to order a customer’s new washer three times in a row.
Y’all have a very merry weekend. If you need me, I’ll be washing every piece of fabric we have in this house, because I CAN.