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”
“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.