Many parts falling apart


Things are falling here. Not so much into place as, well, apart.

When this house fell into my hands, the existing flooring was, let’s just say, interesting. One bedroom had, oh the humanity, the original orange and lime green shag carpet from 1976. It was the snazziest thing on earth when it was installed but its snazzy-ism did not translate with age. The master bedroom carpet had traffic patterns worn into it a 747 could embrace. It was my intention to replace both pieces of carpet immediately. Immediately, as it turns out, is four years. The smaller bedroom wasn’t a problem because the only thing in there was a spin bike that doubled as a clothes rack. Easy enough to move. But bedrooms are full of (who knew?) bedroom furniture, all of which is large, heavy, and unwieldy. The installers agreed to move most of the furniture out of the room. It was my domain, however, to move all mirrors, lamps, and electrical items. I also had to disassemble the bed. They did a great job and dutifully moved everything back, including a mattress that out-weighed all three of us. It took me two hours of mighty grunting and low-end gasping to put the bed back together and woman-handle the spineless, floppy mattress back into place. I can barely find the bathroom without the ingrained pattern in the carpet to lead me there but it surely looks nice.

Then the refrigerator started making noises like the ghost of Christmas past. It would emit a sigh-like grunt every time the door closed. I took this as a sign of its imminent demise. Mindful of all the hurricane-struck people in Florida who would soon be buying appliances, I opted to get a new one, (1) before this specimen died, and (2), before the rush was on. Appliance-buying has become something like a flow chart. Is this the refrigerator you want? Yes/no. Is this refrigerator in stock? Yes/no. Can the store deliver the refrigerator any time soon? Yes/no. Here’s where it gets tricky. One store said they’d deliver it for a certain price. Then came the $64 (literally) question … did I want the refrigerator brought into the house? If so, it was an extra $50. Not quite 64, but close enough.

Appliance stores did not invent this chicanery. No, we have the airlines to thank for that. When things got a little tight for the airlines (as opposed to the record profits they are raking in now), they hit upon an idea of astonishing brilliance or profound devilry, depending upon which side of the fee schedule you are on. The airlines decided to begin charging passengers for luggage. Here is the conversation although it reads more like a monologue: “What’s that? You want to go to Florida for four weeks? Fine. Oh. You want to take a change of clothes? Well, that’s gonna cost you.” There is one airline (and may their shadow never decrease) that does not charge for luggage. Unfortunately we in the Miami Valley have to drive either half way across Ohio or half way across Indiana to get on one of their airplanes.

Last week, with no warning at all, the dishwasher washed its last dish. The little cycle count-down would still count down, it just wouldn’t cycle. Or wash. Or rinse. Or drain the goopy water lying in the bottom of the tub. What does one do when faced with a recalcitrant item? One Googles it. The number of things that could have been wrong was very nearly endless. The most glaring suspect was an inoperative drain pump. But drain pumps cost $150 and this was a 12-year-old dishwasher so I dared show my face at the appliance store again. I shall draw a veil over the proceedings at the store except to say I forgot I had put a credit freeze on my accounts (thank you Internet thieves for making our lives so much more colorful) and the store’s computer had a melt-down trying to figure it out and it took two trips and three hours on another computer to straighten it out and by that time, the delivery window had closed. But the question still remains: did I want it brought into the house?

By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today

No posts to display