Thursday, May 20, 2010

Betty is undone

                                                             Washer and Dryer clipart   

 Why should I become completely undone over a broken down washing machine?  At first I thought I had done something wrong- overloaded it, not shut the door right, made the mistake of using hot water on the previous load.  I fussed with it.  Nothing.  I got out the owner's manual.  Nothing.  I consulted the internet.  Nothing.  I called my appliance repairman, and even though it's after houtrs, he called me back.  With bad news.

The first bad news is that he's unavailable until 5 days from now!  The second bad news is that based upon my description of the problem (it drains but doesn't spin) he thinks the computer is shot.  Repairs would cost hundreds and he thinks I need a new washer.

This washer is less than 9 years old!!??  (It's not a Maytag.)  Why should it be broken?  It's never been abused or mistreated or even moved!  A NINE YEAR lifespan?? Really??

But as I sit here drying up my tears, I have to wonder why I am so upset.  Granted, I just researched new washer prices and that's enough to make a grown man cry.  But there's more to this.....

I am realizing that I don't want to do laundry.  I want my mother to do it.  I am tired of being the adult all the time.  I want someone to do my laundry.

Just now I had a flashback to one of the stressful times during my early parenthood.  I had just moved, and the woman who, with her husband and kid, had just moved out of the house I bought, saw how stressed I was from doing  everything alone.  She offered to do my laundry.  I thought it was odd, but I was so moved by the offer of help that eagerly accepted.  She took my laundry basket up the street to her brother's house and returned an hour later with clean, folded laundry which was still warm.

So laundry has become symbolic to me.  I associate it, when it is problematic, with a kind and rare offer of assistance.  Now I am again in laundry crisis, yet nobody is stepping forward with outstretched arms.

I also associate it with my mother.  Until she died, I didn't do laundry.  She did it.  Always.  Nurturers do laundry.  Bottom line.

With a sense of detached resignation, I began doing my own laundry, with great frequency once The Child entered the picture.  I bought the machine best equipped to cover my needs with efficiency, never suspecting that it would serve me for a mere NINE YEARS.  During the  NINE YEARS since I bought this latest washer I didn't think about it- I accepted my duty and performed it adequately.

Now I have come undone.  Where is my mother?  Where is the kind-hearted soul who did my laundry after I moved?

I want to be taken care of by someone other than myself.  It's been a long time.



Loving Annie said...

Oh Betty ((hugs)) I so understand that. As a single parent, it'a ALL on you to do everything. And so when something like the washer breaks after all the other disappointments and stresses in life,we yearn for someone to take care of US and make it easier for US just this once, instead of having to do it all. Ourselves.
My emapthy.

B.S. said...

Annie, that was a superb comment. It was exactly right. Thank you.


Aurora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loving Annie said...

Betty: We have created a nice friendship between us of understanding and support, haven't we?
There is both a respect for space - and a nice feeling of genuine caring.

And I'd love it if you wanted to leave a comment on

The hotel owner made me mad! And we all know what happens when someone makes you or I upset! We speak up, and clearly!

Lynilu said...

I personally like doing laundry. There is something orderly and completing about it. However, I often feel as you describe about wanting someone to care for me .... even for a few hours would be nice. I'm generally OK with being my own person at every level, but just now and then.....

B.S. said...

Dear Annie,

Yes, indeed we have, and I will gladly comment on travel treasures!

Speaking up is definitely the way to go....


B.S. said...

Dear Lynilu,

Yes, there is yet another aspect of this issue which i did not write about. My sister is like you- she has always loved laundry, and now when she is too sick to do much of anything, she is still doing her beloved laundry. I may have to rewrite the post!

And I'm glad you get the part about sometimes wanting to be cared for, just a little...


Rinkly Rimes said...

I think everyone needs taking care of sometimes! But I'm sure you cope well most of the time. You're cranky with a broken washing machine; I'm cranky about a lost camera! Oh dear! THINGS!

Monogram Queen said...

Yes it's hard to be the adult .... I wish I could give you a big ol' hug!!!

P.S. I relate to wanting your Mamma to do things. I had a good hard cry last night. I try to push away thoughts about her because it just hurts too much and if they do sneak in - Niagara Falls.

Priyamvada_K said...

Dear Betty,
I had my very low moment a couple of weeks ago when the sprinkler broke down. It came at the time when a series of things were breaking down, and an idiot repair person just broke my microwave even more and said it's beyond repair. After that he demanded $60 as service fee - what? For breaking it further? Threw up my arms and wept.

It is very frustrating to be the adult all the time. I miss my father who pep-talked all of us. Now I have to pep talk people when I don't feel like it at all, and have a bright face. I'm wondering how my father felt inside when he went about cheering people, despite his own frustrations.

Hang in there. It's had 9 good years. Averaging the price over 9 years, its not so bad is it?