All in all…I’d rather be renting

All of our major appliances, oven, cook-top, dishwasher, washer and dryer, are approaching a decade in hard service and in need of replacement. The last time we performed this ritual of domesticity, after nearly two weeks of shopping and comparing every major and minor brand name in existence my wife, with the enthusiastic assistance of a salesman working on full commission, chose the $tainless $teel whiz-bang premium brands, had them installed, and then spent the next ten years complaining what pieces of crap they were. And they are.

Within six months of purchase, the indicator decals on the control knobs of the sleek, expensive range and stove disappeared during a cleaning, settling the issue once and for all in this instance of the necessity of form over function or vice versa as these appliances, while still beautiful to the eye, now function exclusively in the realm of trial and error. The fridge drawers have parts with the fragility of DDT affected egg shells and must be opened and closed with a precision normally reserved for advanced micro surgery.¬† The German dishwasher with the space-age lines was inexplicably designed to be loaded efficiently with anything other than dishes or silverware, all of which infuriatingly require a thorough hand washing before being run through what has essentially become a twelve hundred dollar sterilizer. Don’t even get me started on the washer and dryer. The washer door latch has ceased to work properly, and I have to wedge a large cast iron camp griddle against it and the laundry room door jamb in order for a wash cycle to complete itself without the door popping open and spilling a soaking wet load on the filthy concrete floor. It works about half the time. Two rocks and a stream bed would be less hassle.

Sigh…. Time to break out the check book and once again do my part in stimulating the major appliance sector of the economy.


17 responses to “All in all…I’d rather be renting

  1. Wow. There’s a pressing need for a useful knowledge-base here. For you & me both.

    I do have to say, the washer/dryer thing is intimidating me a little less than the dishwasher thing. I’m actually looking forward to that shopping trip. Some of these are absolutely amazing. Regarding your $1,200 sterilizer, I’m starting to wonder if there is any other kind. Sometime in the last five years give-or-take, it became impossible to open a straw wrapper by slamming one end on the tabletop…the classic maneuver that has worked since, I think, 1955 or thereabouts. That came to a stop, and this seems to be the same day all dishwashers became large expensive paperweights.

    We roll over on this stuff too much. We, as a nation, have become complete pussies. Pinkies-extended-while-opening-straw-wrapper-with-both-hands, dish-washing-by-hand, crybaby pussies.

  2. Re. the dishwasher, the problem is due in part to the fact that household dishwasher detergent no longer contains phosphates. You can thank Spokane, but the whole country now has to suffer. However, you can still buy the good stuff. I finally did this week, and my dishwasher is no longer a glorified drying rack.

  3. What good is a straw wrapper if after slamming it onto the table top to open, you can’t blow on the open end and shoot your little brother in the eye with it!

  4. Mark, we are going through the same thing. Living out among the Amish has provided us with places to purchase items that will tell the appliance manufacturers to go jump in the lake:

  5. I don’t know that I’m ready to embrace the buttonless lifestyle yet Jewel, but I’ll file the links for future reference.

  6. You’re a jewel, Jewel.

    I’m thinking back on some of the “material girls” with whom I had consorted during my time on the market, pondering their likely reaction to “the rinse tub is galvanized, you lucky girl you!”

    Got an evil twinkle in my eye about this to go with my dismissive chuckle. Thanks for starting my weekend off right.

  7. You’re sweet to say that, Morgan! I’m sending a little something extra, your way, just because:

  8. They still make 20 Mule Team?!
    It’s a laundry detergent AND a concrete etcher!
    Then: Borax.
    Now: Fabreeze.
    Fabric must have been tougher back in the day. That stuff would dissolve today’s garments on contact.

    You’re a funny guy Morgan. Just imagine her squeals of delight when presented with this.

    Sorry, I don’t use the modern “tinyurl” thingy when linking Amish stuff.

  9. I use the stuff, Mark! It’s wunnerfitsisch!

  10. I have to say I’m really surprised and disappointed by what I’m seeing here. The stainless-steel-looking glitzypliances have long been on our “coveted” list of features for the new abode. I’m finding it very hard to wrap my head around the idea that the outer packaging can be so unrelentingly fastened to the quality, or lack thereof, of the inner workings.

    Am I expecting too much by demanding decent outsides & insides both? It’s not the $750 to 1500 a pop for these items that’s sticking in my craw, it’s the ten years plus that one spends with them at a time. It’s a near certainty that sometime in the next twelve months we’re going to be snapping up a half dozen such items, and I’d really like to not make a complete Obama out of it…

  11. I’ve heard some good things about good ol USA made Kitchenaid. We did Viking last time and they sucked balls.

  12. Hmm…guess I heard wrong. I agree with you on the Bosch DW. That’s what we have and it’s a POS.

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