I looked at dishwashers at the mall yesterday. The little countertop ones, since my landlord won’t finance major kitchen changes, and I won’t pay for something I can’t take with me when I leave. I know it’s a luxury, but washing dishes is my all-time-most-hated chore, and any contraption that will aid me in doing it would be a blessing. The little one should be fine, we aren’t a big family, and we eat two meals out…..so that leaves dinner stuff and other meals on weekends.
Unfortunately, such a purchase isn’t at the top of the priority list. As of last week, first priority became a heater. The landlord refuses to pay for central heat/air conditioning. (This is actually more of a problem in the summer heat, but we manage with fans.) I have an electric radiator type in the living room, and little space heaters in a couple of other rooms. Last week one of the switches broke off the radiator. Broke clean off, at a point somewhere inside, no way to jam it back on. I tried. So all we can get now is the lowest setting. Isn’t much. And the winter is finally beginning in earnest. We’re lucky to not have the type of winter many are suffering around the world. (Last time I remember it snowing at my house here was about 20 years ago. And it melted when it hit the ground. Of course, then I lived at the bottom of the mountain, and now I live on the top, which gets snow a little more frequently, like every 5 years or so. It’s always fun, snow falls and the whole country comes to a screeching halt.) Still, even without being extreme, winters can get cold. And we’re sitting around with blankets until I go get a new heater.
The stove/oven hasn’t been working right for a while either. The oven doesn’t turn off, only when I unplug it. So the whole thing is being used as an extra table, while I use electric burners, a toaster oven and a microwave as needed. It’s sufficient, so I haven’t felt the urgent need to go out and buy something new.
The washing machine is still going strong (touch wood), despite having a big crack across the top of it. And the fridge – the last big purchase – is still newish.
We are so dependent on things. (I’m not even talking about TVs, computers, and other electronic toys, which can perhaps be classified as addictions, which is a different level of dependency.) But the basics. Food storage and preparation. Caring for clothing. Heat. Communication – cordless telephones, anyone? There seems to be some kind of domino effect with all these things, when one falls, the others begin to as well. And they’re never something you plan for, although I suppose one should. Why can’t it be that we budget for maybe one major appliance purchase per year, or per two years or five, something reasonable?
It wasn’t really all that long ago that people did without the gadgets, using simpler means. But we bow to the gods of progress, time-saving, keeping up with the trends…and consumerism thrives. I confess!! I’m a gadget-loving person! I love doohickeys with multiple functions. They are my grown-up toys. (As opposed to “adult” toys, I’m not talking about those… Honestly.)
I’m not even going to mention really wanting a car. Ever since a drunk driver totaled my car going through a red light I’ve been without. (The guy at the garage looked it over and finally said “Lady, there’s nothing to fix.”) I’m thankful to have left the hospital on my own two feet. Couldn’t get much from the insurance. So…no wheels.
Harumph…..now the dishwasher seems like a luxury even more.
But … I still want one.