Thursday, May 20, 2010
Betty is undone
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.
Posted by B.S. at Thursday, May 20, 2010