We should be mature enough not to overreact to minor housekeeping setbacks. Compared to the major disturbances occuring around the world, these problems are trivial, almost laughable. However, that being said, they can be *#!*X+* annoying!

Announcements like, “I think there’s something wrong with the clothes dryer,” can send chills down my spine as I visualize how stressful the next few weeks would be after the passing of a major appliance.

First comes the period of denial. “You probably set the dial wrong, or the clothes were extra wet or maybe it just choked temporarily on one of those missing socks that it eats.” But the next two loads come out equally drenched so we consult the trouble-shooting section of the instruction book, hoping in vain there’s a quick and simple solution explained in the “Sopping Wet” chapter. No luck.

After a few days of wishful thinking and with dripping underwear and shirts hung at various places around the house, we contact a serviceman. Hopefully, besides his $100 walk-in fee, he’ll tell us all we need is a $4.95 whatchamacallit to resume normal drying. Dream on.

If this were a real news item, the copy would read: “The dryer was declared dead at the scene of the tragedy and the family did not request an autopsy. Services will be private at the town dump. In lieu of flowers, friends, relatives and caring strangers are asked to donate to the Replacement Fund.”

We study appliance ads for a week and then start making the rounds in search of a salesman who speaks with an unforked tongue. Finally, exhausted physically and financially, we point to a big white thing and say, “We’ll take that one.” Delivery will be the following Wednesday between dawn and midnight, so we can’t plan on anything less important like going to work or lunch at the White House.

The delivery crew arrives at our dinner time and advises the big white thing can’t be carried in until we remove our front door and its framework. The crew chief also explains they don’t install, a professional will come the following Wednesday during our dinner hour. Until then, we’ll be walking around in damp clothing relying on body heat to finish the job.

Finally, the stressful episode comes to an end and we sit back, warm and snug in our dry garments and relax, listening to the pitter patter of rain drops on our windows. But wait a minute! It’s not raining! It looks like the dishwasher is leaking!

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