Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Dishwasher is Alive!

First, I need to clarify something.  Graham the dishwasher installer is not Australian, he is British.  When I mentioned his Aussie-ness, he said, "No, we sent our PRISONERS to Australia."  Just so that's all cleared up.

I mentioned last week that my dishwasher was broken.  I thought it was five months without a dishwasher, but now I realize it was much, much longer, but my dirty dish days melded together in one very long period of dirty dishes in my home.  Let me give you a timeline on the dishwasher situation:

October 2009:  My dishwasher starts vomiting dirty water on the floor of my kitchen.  Instead of calling a repairperson at this time, Current Husband and I decide to wait until my dad arrives the next week to fix it.
October 2009:  My dad arrives.  He cleans out a bunch of gunked-up dish soap from around the seals and dishwasher parts.  He mutters a lot about how this generation doesn't know how to take care of anything.  Or fix anything.  Or appreciate anything.
November 2009:  Dishwasher stops vomiting, and instead stops shooting water into the dishwasher at all, and dishes come out dirtier than they went in.  Call my dad.  He starts telling me a bunch of technical stuff I don't understand.  I say "Uh-huh, Uh-huh" and eat a bag of chips.  Hang up the phone and hand wash dishes.
December 2009:  Think perhaps Santa has magically fixed dishwasher.  Try to run it.  Dishwasher vomits on floor and shoots bacteria all over plates and cutlery.
January 2010:  Buy paper plates in bulk for first time.  Vow to call repairman.  Give children the job of washing dishes.
February 2010:  Listen to kids fight over who did dishes last, and the sound of entire set of wedding dishes getting small chips in them as children drop them in sink with soapy hands.  Lose four wineglasses.  Ban children from washing wineglasses.
March 2010:  Call repairman.  He comes in, looks at dishwasher, says, "Yeah, if you would have called me in October I could save saved it, but now all of the seals are dried out and cracked.  It's dead.  That will be $60."  Shit.
April 2010:  I start pricing dishwashers.  Best salesperson ever at Best Buy, where in less dire circumstances I would never buy an appliance because we haven't had the best buys, hooked me up with free delivery, free installation, free appliance haul away, and a terrific price on a Samsung stainless steel tub and food disposal system.  Heaven. 

Goodbye old dishwasher.  Go vomit elsewhere.

Friday, May 7:  Graham showed up at around 11 a.m. with my dishwasher in the van.  He is funny.  Needs coffee with lots of sugar.  Graham and I are going to get along just fine, which is good because we will spend most of the next eight hours together for a two-hour dishwasher installation.  Graham pulls out the old dishwasher.  I take a picture of him.

 Graham was shy.  And he complained that my kitchen is too small. 
If I could afford a big kitchen I wouldn't wait 
eight months to get a new dishwasher, now would I?

I asked Graham if I could take his picture, and he looked at me warily and said, "Why."  I said that I write a blog and the three people who read it are waiting for a post about my Australian/British installer named Graham and that I promised pictures.  I said, "I bet you've never been photographed doing this before" and he sort of smiled and thought, "I've never been worried about being killed by a woman on one of these jobs.  Before now."

Graham and I had a celebratory coffee when he got the dishwasher out, because the other guy (yes, I am seeing more than one dishwasher installer) said since the previous homeowners put the ceramic tile in after the dishwasher was in, he'd have to lift the countertop to get the old one out.  Graham, in addition to being British, is magic, like Dumbledore.  He gets the thing out all the way, and I help him get it outside.  And by help, I mean I held the door open and said, "Great job!  Do you want more coffee?"   He rolled the beast out, came back in, and said, "Well I believe I picked up most of your dog shit with my two-wheeler."  (Trust me, it sounds a LOT better in a British accent.)  I laughed and said, "Oh Graham!" and he looked at me like, "No bitch, I'm serious.  There is dog shit all over my two-wheeler," but he said, "You have such a sense of humor."

And then, it happened.  He walked around the counter, looked down, and said, "Uh Oh."  I could hear the cash register ringing as I walked around the corner and saw this:
 Yes, those are CLOTH-COVERED wires, 
with big bare spots and shreds hanging from them.  
(And by the way, that is NOT mouse shit, 
it's bits of rubber from the dishwasher.)

Graham's British accent sounded fabulous as he said, "Julie.  I can't honestly believe you haven't had a house fire with these wires.  I'm sorry, but I can't install the new dishwasher with this wiring. This will be time-consuming."  And I said, "Ooh, tell me again, but say it will cost hundreds of dollars!"

Graham left to install another dishwasher while I got the emergency (translation:  pricey) wiring situation handled.  The person who did that said, "If you have another electrical problem, I'm just going to warn you that you need to have this whole house rewired.  It will probably cost three to four thousand dollars.  I don't know how this got through your inspection when you bought the place."  And just when I thought I was over being bitter about the purchase of our Lemon House three years ago.  Pause with me for a moment of believing fervently in karma.  Okay, I'm done.

Long story short...oh, wait, it's too late for that.  Graham came back, and got back to work, putting my dishwasher in with a putty knife, one half-inch at a time, because for about two hours it looked like maybe it wasn't going to go in because it is bigger than the old one.  In the meantime, I figured out I wasn't going to make it to the kids' school festival, where I was scheduled to face-paint with Oldest Daughter.  I recruited a neighbor to take the kids over, and made OD face-paint by herself.  She was so, so happy about this news, but could see I was a Mommy On The Brink, so she sulked away wordlessly.  On a side note, this is what Youngest Daughter wore to the festival:

Is it necessary to point out that she picked this herself?  
The two-sizes-too-small Easter dress, 
leggings, ankle socks and satin shoes?
I had bigger fish to fry than fashion.

After a long day for both of us, Graham had the new dishwasher in and running.  He asked for my blog address so he can check out his picture and see what I wrote about him (HI GRAHAM!  IT'S STILL RUNNING!) I wrote a check for the extra installation, and all told the unforeseen circumstances cost us about $240 total.  Ten minutes after Graham left, the school called, and in our absence, they drew our name as one of the winners of the raffle at the school, and we won $250.  Tradition, or class, would dictate that perhaps we should donate that money back to the school, but DUDE, it felt like it was meant to be.  It was a win-win.  My first all day.  I've run two loads of dishes in this baby, and I am in love.  CH, you should be worried. 
Momma's here, baby.  Momma's here.


CeCe Savage said...

Lol!! This is a lovely post. It reminds me kind of how I felt the first time I had an apartment in it with a washer and dryer. I'm amused that this post made me think of that but not the posts you wrote that were actually about laundry.

A Researcher of Life

Wendy Ramer said...

So cool that you won the raffle. Screw class. I completely would have kept the money in your case.

Jennifer Murray said...

I'm so jealous! I wish I had a dishwasher! My kitchen is so small it doesn't even have room for one. Around here, "Loading the dishwasher" means bringing Mommy a bottle of wine :)

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Man, you and that dishwasher look quite happy together... your husband should watch out.

SueWags said...

I was laughing so hard I was crying! And talk about had the good karma coming right back at you with the $250 win!

Hi Graham!!!!

Joe Ambrosino said...

Earl would be jealous of your good karma.Then he would need to do something to make up for his jealousy.

Peggy Sue Brister said...

The picture of the new dishwasher looks white. Didn't you say you got a stainless steel dishwasher? Are you hugging the old one or the new one? I am confused. Not that it's anything new for me to be confused.

Tracy Pogue said...

What a great story! I am so glad it worked out and you now have a new dishwasher in time for all the summer dishes.

Julie, The Wife said...

@Peggy, the new dishwasher is white, but it has a stainless steel tub. Truly, this fabulous machine merited more photos.

@Joe, I feel like I need to make a list....

GrandeMocha said...

No plumber's butt? Did he look like the plumber on Desperate Housewives?

Julie, The Wife said...

Um, no.

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