I don’t want to do my laundry

I literally have been losing sleep (people use that expression figuratively, don’t they?) over a couple of issues regarding my house. One involves the permitting for a large accessory building to accommodate the garageful of martial arts equipment currently preventing me from parking my car in the garage. In an unexpected development, I was the more distressed to discover that because something was done incorrectly in 1971, my property was not created legally. Technically. And no one discovered this until last week. Allegedly. Even though it has passed between buyers a number of times since then.

I’m not supposed to take Ambien (the generic equivalent, actually) more than 4 nights in a row, which is a problem, because when I don’t take it, I wake up at 2 or 3 and can’t fall back asleep, worrying about this crap, which I know will sort itself out. But it’s the sorting out of it is that’s creating the stress.

I won’t bore you with the vagaries of homeownership. Instead, I will regale you with the story of my washing machine.

It came with the house and had been making funny noises during the spin cycle for a while. During the first post-India load of laundry I attempted, the thing quit. Today, three weeks from my first call to The Maytag Man (now apparently The Whirlpool Man), I was able to do laundry again in my own home. Tell me again why I complained about it taking so long? Rob’s mom had been generously doing our laundry for us … and she folds way better than I do.

It took that long for the subpump to arrive in the mail. So, Whirlpool sucks. Midway through week two, I considered buying a new machine, like one of those super energy saving front-loaders. But I’m boycotting Whirlpool, and Lowe’s had about two models on display that were another brand. Hello, anti-trust police?

When the repairman came today, I put Isis in the backyard, because you never know how violently she’s going to throw herself at a newcomer. She yips quite a bit if I shut the door on her, but mostly she runs around the yard like a she-demon and entertains herself. I sat on the edge of the patio door, watching her, sort of keeping an eye on the repairman, and pondered what other people do when a repairman is in the house.

Do you stand there and watch him? Do you leave the room and go about your business and wait for him to call out if he needs you? Do you pretend to read a book or watch TV in the same room with him? (or her)

I hate having repairpeople over…and not just because I worry about the unpredictability of my dog. It’s so awkward. But then we don’t ever have friends over, so maybe we’re just awkward people. I figured I couldn’t be the weirdest person this person’s repaired for, what with my sitting on the step staring out into the backyard at my maniac of a dog.

Something started to smell. I mean, really reek. I don’t know if that’s what the inside of a washing machine smells like or what, but there was a distinctly sulfuric smell so strong that I checked my flip-flops to make sure I hadn’t stepped in dog poop.

The repair dude wrapped it all up pretty quickly, ran my card in his portable machine thingy and said, “Have a nice day.” Actually, he offered to vacuum out my dryer for $39.99 but I passed. I asked if I needed to sign for the credit card. He said no. I asked if I could get a receipt. He told me I had to call the office and they’d mail me one, because his mini-printer is broken.

I was sort of glad at that point that I’d remained in the close vicinity (that’s redundant, isn’t it?) the whole time he was working, as this was suspicious enough to make me wonder whether he was really a repairman at all or whether he had made off with my grandmother’s silver. Was I supposed to check his ID or something?

Whatever. My washing machine works.