May 18, 2024
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A brand new washer and dryer. That’s what, as the fervor and devotion of forty-six years of marital bliss burst into full flower, radiant color, and indescribable beauty—such that it could no longer be contained but must be expressed in utter extravagance and proclaimed anew—I recently bought for my wife.

May I hasten to say that I have not shackled my soul-mate to any laundry-room mechanisms. She is absolutely free and completely liberated. If you know us, you know that my wife is not equal to me for the simple reason that equality with me would necessitate a serious descent on her part. I know this. And I do laundry, too. Not well. And with less finesse and fewer rules than she brings to the laundry room, but I do laundry. Poorly, I’m told, but I do it.

Still, my wife feels, with kind equanimity, that I bought the new washer and dryer with her in mind. She is correct, which leads me to another caveat. I know that special occasion gifts for wives are never supposed to have electric plugs. The extravagant purchase of a cutting edge microwave in around 1976 taught me this. But the new washer and dryer were not special occasion gifts, hence not under the “no plug” regulation. They were just gifts of “no special occasion” love, as described in my first paragraph above, though I admit that my words there may be a little over the top.

By the way, one thing we’ve noticed is that the top itself is taller than it used to be. On the washer, I mean. My wife didn’t want a front-loader to stand on her head to get into or to perch on a pedestal. Nor did she want mildew or to have to take precautions against mildew. So, knowing this, I bought a top-loading machine. That’s great, but the massive thing is, mysteriously, ten feet tall and twenty feet deep. A stool or a pair of tongs solve the problem for Her Shortness admirably.

Washers and dryers used to be rather reasonably priced. That has changed. These cost a lot more than my first car. More proof of my devotion.

And more still! Nothing was wrong with our old machines. Over the years, I’d replaced belts, clutches, pumps, rollers, switches, heating elements, etc., and, for a lot longer than the new ones will work, I predict, the old machines worked.

I won’t be working on these. I’d be more likely to work on one of Elon Musk’s rocket ships. I might be able to call one of the machines and ask if there was a problem. For some reason, they have Wi-Fi. For cutting edge laundry apps or self-diagnostics? Or maybe the connectivity is for the convenience of the thugs in power in China should they ever want to hack in and launch a missile from our laundry room.

There’s a lot I don’t understand about these two new tributes of my love. I do know that they are new.

When in Revelation, the Apostle John writes that God will make “all things new,” I’m told that, in Greek, he had two choices for the word “new.” One meant “new” in chronology (in time), but the word that he chose covered not just time but quality. John was sharing God’s promise of life, completely “new” and unimaginably better than the old.

Coming back now to a much lower matter, I should probably just say that the jury is still out regarding our laundry room situation and whether or not “new” is better than the old.

But I personally feel that my unutterable display of unending love and husbandly devotion is beyond question. At least, that’s what I think.

Curtis K. Shelburne, Columnist


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