Lately, I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. I’m in the market for a washer and drier and the last time I bought one was twelve years ago in Costa Rica. Back then, I had at most, five models from which to choose. And at that time, the biggest decision I had to make was whether I wanted electric or gas.
Today is a different story. Two weeks ago, my world came to a screeching halt. I’ve ignored my kids, neglected friends, and my house is burning to the ground. My face, all broken out in zits like an adolescent undergoing a hormone surge, reflects the dreadful state of indecision I’ve been languishing in.
All because I have to make a choice between five billion varieties of washers and driers.
I’m suffering from information overload and cannot stop researching and reading online reviews, which incidentally, only further impedes my ability to make any selection at all.
But back in the USA, for this purchase, I’ve become a junior electrician, schooling myself in all the ins and outs of washing machines and driers. Heck, I’ve even got the entire vernacular down.
Is it worth it to spend the extra bucks for a HE, or High Efficiency appliance? Will I squeeze a lot more cubic feet out of one without an agitator? If so, how often will I really be washing my king-sized comforter? Is it important to have a sensor that intuits the desirable water level, which consequently, reflects in a lower water bill? How about a top-load or front load?
If I get the front load, what about the litany of reviews complaining about the mildew that forms around the inside rubber door rim? What about the resulting leaks? And what’s more, won’t I also need to splurge on a pedestal?
And do I care how twisted my jeans emerge once strangled to death? If not, do I still need a high-powered drier if the clothes come out like stiff little corpses anyway?
How quiet do I need the machines to be? I mean, it’s not like my house is quiet otherwise. Nobody ever hears a doorbell or phone ring above the noisy homeostasis. So what difference does it make?
My head spins even now as I write and relive this nightmare.
But thankfully, it’s all behind me now. I’m at peace. I’ve made a decision.
You see, my husband has a knack for stating the obvious.
Last Sunday morning we were all gathered around the breakfast table, reading the newspaper and sipping coffee. Everyone was relaxed and interacting. Everyone, that is, except me. The kids joyfully thumbed through the comics and hubs was catching up on his celebrity gossip. And there I sat, embroiled in my work, skimming all the local ads for washers and driers while getting bedazzled by all the bells and whistles.
“Mi Amor, what’s with you? The kids are trying to talk to you. Why are you having such a hard time?” my husband asked. “And what’s that all over your face and neck?” He finally noticed that I’d since broken out in hives.
“There are just so many features to know about.” I replied breathless, intently focused on comparing the inserted Brandsmart mini-catalogue with that of Sears.
“C’mon Mi Amor, do you really need a washing machine that’s smarter than you?”
And then it hit me.
I’ve been getting along just fine with my old-school Whirlpool top-loader. And although after all these years, it’s finally time to put her to rest, it’s been big enough, reliable enough, and a real workhorse.
So what did I do? I went online and chose two large-sized older-model units (okay, dated and unsophisticated) to accommodate my big family.
And stuck with what I knew best---the ones that I can manipulate, not those that think for me.
End of story.