Thursday, December 22, 2005

Seduced by Buttons

For some completely inexplicable reason, I'm lusting after a front-load washer and dryer. I really don't know what that means, except that I am mortally embarrassed to be excited about appliances. Too...hausfrau, or something. I don't usually get even remotely interested in household stuff, but everyone has been gushing how wonderful these things are and suddenly I want one.

I certainly don't need a new washer and dryer. Our current washer is just fine, the clothes are cleaned and dried adequately, they do what we need them to do. In fact, after looking at the spiffy front-load washers (which are a mind-boggling 1400 bucks!) I think they are far more complicated that we will ever use. No one needs seven wash cycles, variable water level, three rinse options, and twelve combinations of water temperatures for wash and rinse. What the heck is 'sanitizing', anyway, and why do I need it? We're used to simple. I mean...with our old washer, we washed everything in cold water on medium. The washer didn't have a temperature sensor, and since the water comes out of the ground here at about 35 degrees F, the standard mix ratio for 'warm' resulted in, perhaps, 37 degree water.

Laundry is a mystery to me, really. My mother used to separate laundry into 16 different piles based on some bizarre sorting algorithm that would require NASA scientists to figure out. Of course, she also produced more blue and accidentally pink laundry than anyone I've ever seen. Perhaps we shouldn't try to adopt her method.

In our house, we have a very simple sorting rule: red and not-red.

Ok, perhaps that's oversimplifying, but the most we ever manage is dark clothes, light clothes, and red stuff. A few horrible mishaps with red towels (never buy red towels, or at least, never buy them if you intend to wash them) and we learned early on to pull those out of the laundry basket. Occasionally, a load of white-with-bleach, and occasionally a load of sweaters or something, but we tend to just dump everything in the washer when there's enough for a load. Not a lot of thought goes into it, and I will gleefully admit that I wash clothes on whatever setting the washer was on last. Other than changing the water level, I don't really fiddle with it. So far, it all seems to be fine.

These new washers, though, don't even have a button for water level. They figure that out themselves somehow. So why do I want one? I don't know. I've been seduced by the buttons and shininess of them. I'm a sucker for shiny. And digital.

If these babies came in red, I'd have them delivered tomorrow.

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