Mercury In Retrograde

I’ve always wondered what that meant.  Not being the superstitious type in general, (unless the SF Giants are in the playoffs) I had never really followed astrological phenomena. Thanks to my college roommate Selene for clueing me in, now I know. Major appliances and pretty much anything else that you need will spontaneously decide to break, and break badly. Hey – I’m pretty much retired, so don’t I get a break?


First, it was our ice-maker in the freezer a few weeks ago. Mr. Fix-It came out and replaced the unit after some difficulty locating the part, marveling that the 18 year old fridge we bought when we built the house was in such great condition. He kept shaking his head. I should have taken the warning right there, but nooo – my outside freezer was a hand-me-down from my parents, and is over 40 years old and going strong. I figured all was good. Silly me.

One week later, the 14 year old washing machine decided to croak in rather spectacular style – at the end of the cycle, the drum just dropped loudly, and the machine started smoking. In other words, it was toast. I had Mr. Fix-It come out (again) to verify it wasn’t an easy fix, and asked him to give the dryer a check up while he was here. The comment  he gave after he took off the panel was the dryer was about one more load away from having the heating element completely die. Damn… I paid him for the house call and decided it was time to give both units a decent burial.

So, off to the nearest BigBoxDIY store and drop almost 2 grand on a new washer and dryer – on sale, of course. I gave the news to my husband via mobile that I saved $600 on their Mother’s Day sale. For some reason, he wasn’t as appreciative as I had hoped with my frugality, and only agreed to the purchase when I reminded him that even though I’m semi-retired I do NOT do laundromats, and if he wanted to comparison shop, the Suds O’Fun was 5 minutes away, and the evening was his. Funny how things changed. The next day, I had my shiny new, fully electronic front loading washer and dryer and was I unusually happy to be doing laundry.

Crisis met and conquered. Right? Yeah… Right.

No sooner did I catch up on all the piled up laundry from The Great Washer Meltdown, when the refrigerator started making this peculiar banging noise. I opened the freezer and it was warm, with everything starting to melt.  I opened the fridge, and there was icicles forming on my produce. I rolled off several swear words in three different languages.  My cat was impressed. My husband was not, once I cooled off enough to call him at work. He added swear words in yet another language. It was my turn to be impressed.

So, off to the nearest BigBoxDIY store with husband in tow (he wanted to make sure I didn’t buy the top-of-the-line…) and this time the experience wasn’t as good. It was a Saturday, and finding someone to help is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The kid who finally helped us really wanted us to get a fridge that has a special compartment for frozen pizzas, which really rocked his world.  When we told him that was not our number one criteria since we don’t eat frozen pizza, he looked at us like we were dinosaurs.  I guess preferring real food qualifies you for Endangered Species Status. Guess what – – my husband decided he wanted the top-of-the-line fridge after all. For some reason, I found that very amusing.  Another 3 grand dropped. At this rate, I should expect a Christmas card from these guys.

The fridge was to be delivered the next day, and Lo and Behold, arrived with a big dent across the front that the delivery guys swore was caused by BigBoxDIY’s forklift.  Back it went. More phone calls resulted in another unit set to arrive the next day. Bear in mind, most of my cold stuff was currently taking up space in the fridge of one of my wonderful neighbors.

The next day, the fridge was supposed to arrive at 4pm. At 6:10pm, a truck arrived. My fridge was unloaded, but the driver looked at his watch and realized it was past quitting time, so he and his cohort loaded the unit back on the truck and drove away. That was the last straw.

So, off to the Other BigBoxDIY store, where I finally ordered my new fridge. It even arrived on time, and without any damage. Imagine that…  It has all kinds of really cool bells and whistles like french doors, open door alarms, slide out shelves, variable temperatures and a large bottom freezer.

My only concern from all of this? My 24 pound, 45 inch long, way-too-smart Maine Coon figured out how to open the freezer in about 4 hours, and is now trying to make the ice dispenser work with his gigantic paw.  Ice hockey, anyone? I foresee another blog post in the near future.

I should be good for another 18 years on appliance purchases. Right? When is Mercury going into retrograde next? I need to plan ahead. I’m looking at YOU, oven.  Don’t even THINK about quitting on me now.