Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Even Tom Hanks Isn't Going To Make Me Buy a New Dryer

Let's see...my dryer has been broken for the good part of three quarters of a year. If you've dropped into our house unexpected you've probably had to duck. Hopefully not under my underwear. Or worse yet, Paul Bunyan's.

I felt like we lived in a scrub tent city all winter. Not really in squalor, just dampness.

We had a nice old repairman come in at the end of January to tell us, $136.00 later, the piece of shit was worth shit. He estimated it would cost $350 to fix, and well, he recommended we buy a new one. But buying anything new for this house takes months, even years, of gnawing and digestion and then a real long crap on the toilet to actually purchase the purchase.

Paul Bunyan offered to buy me a new one for my birthday. He insisted, actually.
But I said, nah. I just want a new pair of jeans.
Paul Bunyan offered to buy me a new one for Mother's day. He insisted, actually.
But I said, nah. I just want a fried egg on toast.
Paul Bunyan offered to buy me a new one for Father's day. He insisted, actually.
But I said, nah. I just want you.


I dreamt a few months ago that Tom Hanks came to visit our humble abode for an overnight. I know the t.v. was on and it's sad to admit that I think we were just hanging around watching it, but I think that's all we did. And then when it was time to retire, Paul Bunyan and I walked him to his guest room and then all I see are my hands holding out to him a bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth, all neatly folded and piled on top of each. And then Paul Bunyan's eyes grow wide as he looks down at the pile of folded towels and then he looks right at me as if to say, "Holy Shit, why are you giving Tom Hanks the parchment paper towels?" Like there is another choice. And then I look at Tom, and then back at Paul, and then back at the towels. And I say, "Sorry, our dryer is broken." And I smile.


Yes, sheets on the line, dried in the sun, windblown with a slight scent of earth, or even better yet lilac....blissful. Towels baked in the sun so they get so crispy that they actually make your skin bleed? Not so blissful. But we're saving the polar bears, at least in my head, and that's where it counts.

And I'm saving the spandex in my jeans to boot.

It's only when those fat feet come slapping themselves up the stairs in the morning, and the bodies that are connected to them climb into bed with me, that I get to steal a touch of my children's soft milky skin and it's only then that I feel a little guilty about the scratchy towel thing. But not even Tom Hanks coming to my house will change anything.


  1. You brought me back to my childhood. Everything was hung out to dry. We would argue with my mom when she asked us to hang up the clothes. We had a special platform my dad built to stand on and put the basket on. In the winter the closes froze over the line and we had "hooks" on the shirt tails and towels. I did not die or hurt my skin from the crisp towels. Good for you. We choose to hang most of our laundry now to save the polar bears.

  2. shhh WE dry our towelsMay 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    i like anonymous's usage of the term 'we' in the 'hang our laundry' statement... (but to give credit where credit is due, she's in charge of the 'intangibles'). and of course, as WE all know the sad story (with a good, visa gold outcome), our underwear hanging rack now always is locked in the closet.

  3. It's been forever since I've used a clothesline dried towel...but wouldn't fabric softener help?

  4. I have fond memories of hanging clothes as a child. My brother and I would run through the still-damp sheets. I recall being annoyed, though, at the feel of my air-dried jeans. They were too rigid, and I had to do all manner of stretches and bend to make them somewhat comfy again.