Tuesday, 20 March 2012

In Which A Dishwasher Becomes Allegorical

Warm by foundimagination
(No, seriously.)

So when they kicked us all out of our building back in August they told us that part of the extensive renos they'd be gutting the kitchen and because of that, they'd be putting in new everything, including a dishwasher.

Now I don't know how it is where you live, but here, apartments (especially the older ones, which most of them are) don't have dishwashers. So those of us who were returning to the building were all pretty excited at this addition. I haven't had a dishwasher since I moved out of my parent's place (except for when I lived with what's his name in the house we were going to live in once we got married and oh, right, that's not this story) and haven't really missed having one. Can't miss what you don't have and all that?

So as long as I've lived on my own, I've washed my dishes by hand. When I stayed with my parents for those few months while we had to be out of the building, I kind of found it hilarious just how clean my mugs got in their dishwasher. (Yes I brought my own, favourite mugs with me when I stayed there. Things just taste better out of my mugs!) And I looked forward to seeing just how clean things would be once I had my own dishwasher in my sparklingly new kitchen.

But, of course, as these things go (or so I've been told), construction doesn't ever (?) go as smoothly as planned and we were told, when we moved back in, that there was a holdup with the dishwashers.

Insert very intelligent information here about how the water system in this old building wouldn't handle the new load from the dishwashers which meant new...er.... bigger? water mains and that, apparently, had to go through the city/municipality, which meant we had to wait.

I was only a little grumbly about this, as the empty dishwasher hole was a great place to put my recycling boxes. A few of my friends (and my folks) thought we should get a reduced rent for not having a promised appliance, but it wasn't worth it to me to go down that route, so I waited.

They told us it'd probably be January, but that didn't happen, and then February came and went and my recycling bins sat happily in their spot.

What *did* happen near the end of February is that the city came and started digging up lawns and sidewalks and all sorts of exciting things. And that went on for a good three or four weeks.

Fast forward (or reverse really, if you want to be chronologically accurate to today's date) to last week when we were gleefully informed (ok, we were just informed, but I was pretty gleeful about it) that our dishwashers were arriving and ready to be installed. TA DA! I was so excited I told everybody. The dishwashers are coming, the dishwashers are coming! My friend in the building and I practically jumped up and joy with glee at the prospect. (Ok, I may have actually jumped a little.)

So the plumber guy came by to install the dishwasher last weekend, and I was here, awkwardly turning down the volume on my newest addiction, but then feeling even more awkward that there was no, like noise to distract him from the fact that I was ten feet away in another room, to hear him mumbling away.

Meanwhile, I'd sent excited texts and emails to my parents and friends. "It's HERE! My DISHWASHER!!!!!!!! I can have clean dishes! YAY!" My Dad emailed back, asking if they could bring a load of dirty dishes by. I giggled; it was the exact joke I'd expected to hear. My friends were excited for me, most of them having lived in older suites or basement suites at one point, and knowing how rare it is to have a dishwasher in an apartment.

After the plumber's second trip to the circuit box, I asked him if everything was ok.

Um. No.

Turns out that while the electrical was all technically hooked up, it wasn't actually working. And while no one really knew why, they figured it was some kind of safety precaution the electricians had taken.

So after a few phone calls, buddy installed the dishwasher and hooked it up, promising me that once the electrician came by, it would work perfectly.

I emailed back my parents. "Sorry, you can't bring your dishes by today, the thing doesn't have electricity!"

"Well", said my Dad, "At least you have a new cupboard!" (My Dad's awesome. I laughed. He rules.)

We got an apology email from the building, saying that the dishwasher saga would soon come to an end once the electrician got in to fix whatever wiring needed fixed in the suites.

But, of course, sagas rarely end smoothly, and the poor electrician had to do some fiddling to get the electrical box off the wall where it'd been painted over (guffaw!) but then lickety split and a twist here and there and I had a fully functioning dishwasher.

And here's the thing. Do I love it? Yes. Are my dishes amazingly, spectacularly clean? Yes. But do I need it? Can't live without it? How did I ever cope before? Would I die if they took it away? No. No, no, and no.

So it didn't bother me that it wasn't ready to go on that first day. I found it rather amusing. Perhaps I was the tiniest bit upset, having planned out how I'd load it full of my tea-stained mugs and see them glistening by eventide, but it made me realize, when you don't need something and it's just a nice surprise that you're not really all that invested in and have gotten along just fine without, it's not a problem when things don't go perfectly.

I'd never had a dishwasher in this apartment, so I didn't notice the extra months of hand washing particularly. And the debacle of the installation? *shrug* Just kind of gave me something else to look forward to. I'd lived just fine without the thing, so it wasn't upsetting that I couldn't have it right that first moment.

Which is where the whole allegory thing came to me.

I don't need certain things in my life. Like a dishwasher, or an expensive convertible sports car. So it doesn't bother me that I don't have them.

But there are certain things in my life that I don't need.... but I still want. Like a boyfriend. And that's where I'm getting stuck and upset and hurt and disappointed. And bothered.

(Which makes it ultra ironic that when I was chatting to a friend's Dad the other day and I mentioned that I'd "gotten a dishwasher" he, with a twinkle in his eye, said "Oh, you're dating?"


I wish.)


Just a Girl said...

I love it. Seriously. It's so true. Once you get used to something being one way, it can be easier to wait for it to get a little better. But for some reason that doesn't apply to relationships and I can't figure out why...It's like a cruel joke, no? Anyway, enjoy your new dishwasher! Although I have to wonder where your displaced recycle bins now live...

Dateafrenchman said...

Boyfriend? Huh? What's that? Oh right, I forgot. It's been a while. Personally, I'm in love with my dishwasher :)

Victoria said...

So true Candy ;) Oh, and as for my bins? One fits very nicely under the sink and the other one (paper) is right now hanging awkwardly in a corner. Will see ;)

Well, so far so good with this dishwasher Datea! :)