Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anniversaries And Appliances

It's my wedding anniversary today. I've officially been married for eight years. According to the traditional anniversary gift table, the eighth anniversary is for bronze or pottery gifts. According to the modern anniversary gift table, the eighth anniversary is for linens or lace. Of coure, flowers are never a bad bet. Neither is chocolate, although it does help if you are aware whether or not your beloved is on a diet before you go out and blow the budget on Godiva. A card is always appropriate, or even just a few heartfelt words on a sheet of paper, expressing your undying devotion. So which of these options did my darling husband select?

None of the above.

We gave each other the gift of a new dishwasher for our anniversary.

I know.

So very romantic.

Our dishwasher died on Friday. Oscar ran it in the morning, and when I went to empty it, I noticed the dishes were still looking a little gross and there was standing water in the bottom of it. I thought perhaps Turtle had decided to open it while the cycle was running, as he has done in the past, so I threw some more soap in and ran it again. No such luck. The water still wasn't draining and my dishes still weren't getting clean. McPapa suggested we open it up and see if there was something blocking the drain. By "we" I assume he meant "Oscar" because I do not deal with anything that requires getting up close and personal with plumbing.

After fiddling around with it for a while, it was decided that as much fun as this "sticking our hands in dirty water" thing was, the dishwasher was old and we were planning on replacing it at some point anyway, so why not today? (Of course, I could come up with a dozen reasons why not, starting with "we just bought new windows and doors for a five-figure amount, and we should perhaps get used to making that payment before we throw more money at a new appliance" and ending with "I can think of better things to do with our time with your family, Oscar, than going to Sears to buy a dishwasher." But I didn't want to hand wash every dish in my house any more than I wanted to spend more money I don't have or waste McMama's and McPapa's time shopping for a large appliance on Black Friday.) So off to buy a new dishwasher we went.

So here's my thing...I love to shop. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, gift shopping. I love it all. You can get me to go just about anywhere if you tell me there is shopping involved. But there is one kind of shopping I hate. And that is shopping for a necessary item that I wasn't ready to spend the money on in the first place but which I must purchase anyway because there is no way around it. That kind of shopping...the kind that usually means buying something for the house that I was hoping not to have to worry about for at least a few more months...THAT shopping, I can't stand. It bores me and I resent it bitterly. So when McPapa indicated that he had done much shopping for dishwashers and Oscar mumbled something to me about not worrying about the money so much as getting the unit we wanted with all the features we wanted, I made a command decision: Oscar and McPapa were going to pick out a dishwasher. I was just there to sign the credit card slip.

That's pretty much the way it went, too. They argued about features and tried to get the sales staff (who didn't seem to know much of anything) to give them information on the various units. Occasionally, they tried to get me involved in the process, but I stood my ground. This was not the kind of shopping I wanted to do. So in the end, Oscar and McPapa picked out a dishwasher for me, and I had no input except for one tiny little detail: I insisted on letting them deliver and install it.

Oscar tried to convince me that we should take it home that night in the back of our truck if they had our model in stock but I looked at him like he was on crack until he backed down. For a man who hates dealing with plumbing issues (a lament I heard many times while he tried to figure out what was wrong with our old dishwasher) he seemed awfully determined to bring our new dishwasher home himself and try to install it. I understand what he was trying to do. He was trying to prevent anyone from having to hand wash our dishes while we waited for the new unit to be delivered. But if I have learned anything from being a home owner, it is this: no matter how simple the project seems, or how easy a professional makes it look to do, any home improvement project you undertake yourself will end up taking three times as long as you think it will and will eventually result in you having to learn new languages to curse in, having completely exhausted your vocabulary of epithets in your native language.

So our brand-spanking-new dishwasher is being delivered and installed tomorrow. Happy anniversary to us.


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