PEOPLE AND PLACES
Doing laundry has just become a little more fraught with anxiety at my house. Everything still works, but to say my washer and dryer are old is like saying the Great Pyramid of Giza has been around a while.
Shortly before moving to Valencia County, I found a super-used, super-cheap washer and dryer on craigslist. Wow … is that even a thing anymore? Anyway, for $80 I had an unmatched set of cleaning appliances.
A handful of years and two houses later, I was offered a new used washer. I don’t fully recall if there was something wrong with the old washer, but the new old washer certainly felt like an upgrade.
That was more than a handful of years ago and things are starting to sound not great in the washer. When the wash cycle stops and shifts into spin mode, there’s a hard thunk and a kind of sigh. At first, I thought it was just a one-time thing. Maybe it was unbalanced?
That is not the case, ladies and gentlemen. It does it every single time. My heart lurches and my stomach drops each time. Is this it? Is this the last run?
While my washer has become an intermittent terror, my dryer has always been an absolute mess. From the beginning, the dryer was squeaky — just a soft background squeak, kind of like the sound of trampoline springs from the backyard.
Over the years, the squeak has worsened into a full-throated squall/squawk/shriek kind of situation. Oh, and the plastic start knob broke off about seven or eight years ago, so a pair of pliers now does the job of cranking up the hot box of nightmare screams.
Now, I’m sure the three of you who have read this far are shaking your heads thinking, “Dude, just go buy a new washer and dryer.” This is the solution, yes, but have y’all priced these things lately? Way more than $80.
Prices now-a-days have a comma in them. We’re talking four digits. That’s off-putting, to say the least. It was also interesting to see Samsung has gotten into the washer/dryer game. I mean, they make a decent smart phone, but this just feels weird.
During a recent excursion to a big box store, I took a look at some sets in person. Sure enough, one of the Samsung models is WiFi capable. I don’t even want to know what that entails.
The prices were as high as expected. Although there was a nice set for $988 on sale, due to go back to more than $1,100 in a few days. The rest were in the $1,200 to $3,200 range. (Not even kidding about that second number.)
Since I’ve been happy with my used set, I thought I’d explore that side of things, too. Facebook Market Place is full to the brim of all manner of things for sale, including washers and dryers.
While there is a good number of sets available, they all give me pause. There are the super cheap ones you can “buy now” by hitting the blue button and they’ll ship them to you for $20 via USPS Priority Mail. That seems suspicious.
The others are either immaculate and seem to be in a model home, for only a few hundred dollars or reasonably priced and siting haphazardly in someone’s dirt yard. Again, seems suspicious.
I know I’m going to have to bite the bullet eventually, when that final thunk/sigh comes. I just hope my wallet is ready.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.