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Broken Dishwasher


“Should I have bought the more expensive brand?” I asked the repair man. 

It was the seventh visit in four months.

“Nah,” he replied.  “They’re all the same.  I fix them all; they all break. Everything is made of junk.  That’s why we’re in the trouble we’re in.”

Thank you.  I agree.  But what about my dishwasher?

I bought a Whirlpool last spring, and it breaks all the time.  Since October, I have been washing dishes by hand, most of the time. The machine is still under warranty, so rather than replace it, Whirlpool spends twice as much sending in repair men to fix it.  Constantly.  And each time, it breaks again.  Then we wait again another month for a part to come in. 

The machine is clearly a lemon and will never work.

Note: this post is about the second part of our subtitle at Jellypress:  “modern life.” My modern life as a freelance writer and mom means I work more hours than I care to admit in a day.  Dishes are adding more.  Plus a dishrack always on the counter taking space.  Plus a never-ending stack to be washed and another to put away.  I see my son head to the fridge.  “Do you really want that orange juice?” I know it’s another glass in the sink.  Frankly, I am starting to wonder if the Slow Food movement would ever have been born if there weren’t dishwashers.

So, while I’ve got my hands in the water, I have flashbacks to the the 1970s.  I can see the moment the first dishwasher arrived in our house. It was a huge deal.  And I fully understood because I’d been my mother’s dishwashing helper.

“It’s washing the dishes for us!” I declared like it was a miracle. 

“And not only that, I’m sitting here having a cup of coffee,” my mom said, pointing to her cup

Boy that would be nice, wouldn’t it?  Well, of course that’s not what she did with her extra hour each day.

Shortly after that dishwasher came, my mom got a job in town. That job led to another where she worked her way up from a secretary to a high-level manager, and got her bachelor’s degree on the side.  Then she became a vice president, and then consultant. Screw the cup of coffee. While the dishwasher hummed, mom was earning money and education.

One of the reasons why I write about old recipes is that there are good things in the past that should be remembered, used, celebrated.  But washing dishes definitely isn’t one of them.  Hooray for technology. 

Excuse me now, as I’ve got to go call Whirlpool again. 

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Laura - I do believe you have a lemon. I think it’s all a conspiracy by the product manufacturers to make things obsolete and have consumers buy more. One of advantage of being married to an engineer is that he can always fix things. That can also be a disadvantage when you have visions of a new appliance in mind too!

    – ciaochowlinda (February 19 2010 at 1:03)

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