I am woman. Hear me roar.

I have updates for you, on things like cooking projects and shoe choices for business trips (I know, you can’t wait, try to contain yourselves) but first I need to mention that if one more thing in our household breaks, I am going to lose my damn mind. Also, if I were living in the 18th century (I think that’s the right century) I would totally be worrying about things like debtors’ prison right now, because if I were living in the 18th century and things in my house continued to break, I would very likely end up in debtors prison. Please ignore the fact that there probably weren’t a whole lot of things to break in the 18th century since there weren’t things like irons and dishwashers, but I guess maybe your cow could break (or die, since cows don’t really break, per se) and then you could go into debt buying a new cow, and then if you didn’t pay your Cow Debt, you might go to debtors’ prison.

Also, to use Emily’s phrase, the List of Things That Adults Have To Pay For That Suck is REALLY TOO LONG. Specifically, the List of Things That THIS Semi-Adult Has To Pay For That Suck is getting too long.

All of this is to set the stage so that you will realize exactly how I felt yesterday morning when I hit the start button on the dryer and it made some very pathetic whining noises.

I will back up for one moment and tell you that we bought this washer and dryer when we moved into our house, and we bought them for a total price of $150 for the pair. When we first hooked up the washer we had a problem where the washer would spew water out of the back of it whenever the pump turned on, and until we figured out that the water spewing could be fixed with a 99 cent part from Home Depot, I would do laundry while sitting next to the washing machine with a large cup and a bucket, so that I could bail out my washing machine. We haven’t had a problem with the washer since then though KNOCK ON WOOD.

The dryer, however, has always had its little ticks and funny noises. One time last summer it decided to fake death temporarily, resulting in a charge from the repair guy that was more than what we had paid for the thing. A charge which was a complete RIP-OFF, by the way, since it turned out that the problem was that a few golf pencils had made their way through the wash and the dryer and ended up stuck in a vent somewhere. All the guy had to do was take the back off of the machine and the pencils fell out. So, RIP-OFF.

So, when the dryer began its complaints of a slow and painful death yesterday, I was determined to 1) not spend my hard-earned money on a new dryer, and 2) not spend my hard-earned money on paying some fool to come fix my dryer. I walked out of the laundry room and looked expectantly at Matt:

Me: The dryer is broken.

Matt: *Looks at me blankly.*

Me: Money does not grow on trees.

Matt: *Is really good at looking at me blankly.*

Me: How about we try to fix it?

Matt: *Is either in a coma or has mastered the blank look.*

Me: And by we I mean how about YOU try to fix it.

Now, I would to point out that my reason for suggesting that Matt be the one to fix the dryer has very little to do with the fact that he is the man in the house and a WHOLE LOT to do with the fact that there is only one of us in the house with AN ENGINEERING DEGREE.

(Hint: I do not have an engineering degree.)

Also, while I realize that a major in computer engineering and fixing a dryer are not the absolute most related thing on the planet, I contend that the general principle of How Things Work and the joy of Taking Things Apart should not be lost on an engineer. The Item To Be Taken Apart is not of chief importance, and the Tinkering and Using of Tools should outweigh any reluctance to take Said Item apart.

After finally diverting Matt’s attention from the football game and explaining these sound, logic-filled evaluations of the situation, it was still clear that I wasn’t getting anywhere.

“Fine!” I said in exasperation. “I will fix it by MYSELF. And I will USE YOUR TOOLS TO DO IT.”

I thought the threat of me using his tools might encourage some action, but it was clear that I was on my own. First stop, Google:

“fix whirlpool dryer”

“fix whirlpool electric dryer”

“fix whirlpool electric dryer won’t spin”

(Getting warmer)

“fix whirlpool electric dryer won’t spin belt replacement”

I finally found a site that seemed to confirm my suspicion that a belt had either fallen off its track or broken. (Don’t need to be an engineer to know that if your first car spat out belts like nobody’s business and made a noise similar to the dryer.) (Also, common sense says that if the motor will turn on but the drum won’t spin, it’s probably a belt since that’s what makes the drum spin.)

Now I had to figure out how to get to the belt in question.

“open whirlpool dryer”

“remove back of whirlpool electric dryer”

(OK, that was helpful, but it turns out that you can’t see the belt by removing the back. Luckily there was a helpful picture on the site so I figured this out before I took the back off.)

“take apart whirlpool electric dryer to see belt”


I printed my little step-by-step instructions and went back downstairs. First I gathered the tools that I needed from the little tool/storage room downstairs, making as much noise as possible to show my displeasure with the situation.

Next I went into the laundry room armed with my tools. It’s much easier to make noise in the laundry room because metal appliances create such a nice echo and clang. Score.

But. Huh. This is not as easy as it looks. In fact, this is kind of complicated. I mean, you’d practically need an ENGINEERING DEGREE to get this thing apart. (Ha. Oh, I kill myself.)

At this point, I decided to go take a shower. This was because I really NEEDED a shower because I SMELLED, and NOT IN ANY WAY because I was admitting defeat re: the dryer. I could TOTALLY do it. In fact, I bet it was because I had the wrong tools, because clearly we do not have good tools and that is totally, completely the reason that things were not going well.

Well. I came back from taking a shower to find that the man of the house had finally risen from the couch to attend to the dryer. After much cursing, the losing (and finding) of a screw, and the slicing open of someone’s hand (not mine) on a piece of metal that someone else (totally me) warned was probably sharp, we have a working dryer.

Operation I’ll Show Him: FAIL

Operation Feminism: FAIL

Operation Not Have To Do It Myself: SUCCESS – I WIN.



Filed under Home Sweet Home, My Sweet Babboo

7 responses to “I am woman. Hear me roar.

  1. Yeah, I find that my feminist spirit is totally willing to sit on the couch and let my husband do annoying jobs for me.

  2. -R-

    I am not handy, so I congratulate you on your win. I would have been stymied at the part where you said common sense told you what the belts in a dryer do. Yeah, I never would have known that.

  3. I have Googled my way to lots of fixes around the house, but I would rather Google “make a man do this for me” and find success. Frankly, I am tired of being Rosie the Riveter, all “I can do it”-like. In case you didn’t guess, something in MY house broke tonight, too. And I just couldn’t muster the energy to go to Home Depot for a new garage door spring cable. Grr. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Can’t someone else do it??”

    On a related note, thank you for reminding me that I’ve been meaning to sign up for my power company’s appliance repair/replacement plan. Every working thing in my house is old, so it seems a smart expense.

  4. Lisa

    I’m in Australia, and hardly anyone uses clothes dryers here, I suggest you ditch it completely. You’ll save money on buying a new one/repairing the old one, you’ll save heaps on your electricity bills, your clothes will last longer, be less wrinkled (thus less ironing!), and this will all be accompanied with the warm fuzzy environmental feeling of using less energy (dryers are a huge energy drain). Still not convinced? Google “advantages air drying clothes”
    I was really shocked when I discovered that most American’s don’t use washing lines/clothes racks, I literally never use the dryer that came with our apartment

    (btw long time reader first time commenter, I really enjoy your blog)

  5. Good for you for trying to fix a dryer. I’m with -R- as I would not have thought about it being the belt either.

    My ex and I had a repair man come out to fix our dryer years ago because it was making the loudest, most horrible screeching sound in the world. It was a migraine-inducing noise. We paid a whole bunch of money for a repair man to tell us that I should not put the laundry basket full of clothes on top of the dryer because it is heavy and had bent the top of the dryer causing it to rub against the drum as it was spinning, thus producing a metal-on-metal screeching sound.

  6. This post was hilarious! I feel your pain… in the past month we had our a/c break, one of our cars wouldn’t start & then our hot water heater broke… grrrr… I hate being an adult!

  7. Dell Herring

    I really enjoyed and related to your day with the dryer. I am male and could see it all happening that way. I just went through the same with our dryer to find that when you replace the (very enexpensive) bearings and it runs like a new one. I am inspired to continue with the saving money and doing repairs myself. I read your story and then read it to my wife during her favorite movie and she loved it. Great to see that we are part of a new generation that will fix our own. Good luck with your nex adventure.

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