Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Droids, Washing Machines, and My Mother

My washing machine died a horrible, painful, loud death yesterday. It stopped agitating last week, the repairman replaced the faulty part, but after his repair it was making a horrific screeching, grinding noise when it spun that was about to send me to the funny farm. He came back out yesterday to make sure he hadn't left a screw or other random item (possibly a small chihuahua or perhaps his invitation letter to Hogwarts). He hadn't left anything weird, but did tell me that the transmission was loud and was "going out". I asked for a definition, a time frame, some hint as to how long she had before going off to the giant Whirlpool in the Sky, but he said, "Well, the transmission in my car has been loud for three years and the mechanic told me it was 'going out', but so far I'm still driving 'er. So just use the washer until it quits - that's about all I can tell ya." Then he gave me a shrug and went about his merry repairman way. Three loads - THREE LOADS, I SAY -- of laundry later, we were auditorily assaulted by the sound of grinding and OH, THE GRINDING. Paul called the repairman who said, "Well, I told your wife the transmission was going out..." to which I yelled across the living room, "BUT I KIND OF FIGURED I HAD MORE THAN THREE LOADS BEFORE IT HAPPENED." He laughed. He's a merry little repairman, that one. 

Since last Monday we have done a total of five loads of laundry in this house. Folks, that's sometimes a daytime total around here. We generate a lot of laundry here on Hooverton Mountain. So, I'm kind of borderline panicking about lack of clothing - mainly underwears. I don't do commando, dudes. And no one else in my house does either. Or at least, they better not.

I asked Mom if we could use her washer to catch up at some point this week and of course, she said that was fine. Because my mom is totes cool like that. However, we now live 40 minutes from my mother and going there and back is 1/4 tank of gas. Things are pretty monetarily slim around here right now and 1/4 tank of gas is pretty much the equivalent of winning the lottery, so I'm waiting until we are at UNDERWEAR DEFCON:1 before I haul my dirty laundry to town. Priorities are hard sometimes.

This morning I was lazing around in bed like a good homeschool mother should (KIDDING, I only laze around in bed a few mornings a week) when my mother sent a text. What follows is the hilarious conversation that had me giggling for half an hour afterwards.

Mom: Laundry room is available. You go, girl. Clean those undies! 
Me: Actually, probably won't come in until tomorrow - Paul has three uniforms and I usually wait until Wednesday to wash those. We may just go buy a washer tonight. Heck, it's just money.
Mom: Yes, it is just money. And which would you rather have? Money or clean underwear?  
Me: That is Sophie's choice, right there.  
Mom: Who is Sophie?
Me: The movie? "Sophie's Choice"? She has to choose between her two children in Auschwitz. Really, Mother? The movie is from 1982. You're losing it.  
Mom: Have never seen that movie. But really, what gives this Sophie the right to decide whether YOU have clean underwear or not. I need her cell phone number. 
Me: YOU'VE NEVER SEEN SOPHIE'S CHOICE?!?!? I feel like my whole life is a lie. I will order it on Netflix so you can agonize with Sophie. Gracious, and I thought me having an underwear shortage was a crisis. Turns out, my mother needs a movie intervention. ........... Aaaaaaand.....I don't think they issued cell phones to the Jews at Auschwitz. So you might have to look Sophie up on Facebook if you want to chat with her. Oh wait. Nevermind. You don't have Facebook. 

At this point she just calls me. I answer the phone not with "Hello" but with laughter when I hear her laughing on the other end. Then she tells me a story about a guy who was whispering a whole conversation because of "droids" who were following him.

I let her finish the whole story before I told her they were drones, not droids.

And I started to tell her about that scene from Star Wars, but I didn't want her asking for Obi Wan Kenobi's cell phone number.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...