For the past two weeks, Cliff and I have been consumed in our search for a new dishwasher. We have known this time would come; it’s been on its last legs for a couple of years now. One morning I tried to turn it on and it was dead. No life. It didn't even grind to a dramatic halt. Our dishwasher just said, “Fuck-it. I’m done with you Lazenby’s”. Kaput. And so, the search began.
There is no glamour or excitement in researching and purchasing a major appliance. It is a very mundane, grown up thing to do. I didn't look for ovens when I was 24. I can’t even attest to having one in my apartment since I survived on bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches from the deli, take-out and the French-fries served at The Bottom Line where I was a cocktail waitress.
Cliff and I have been comparing, researching, opening and closing doors and stood in many a store wide-eyed and feeling dazed and confused. We dragged the girls to Best Buy on a Saturday where they had their first lesson in never, ever stepping into and closing the door on themselves inside of a refrigerator. We unsuccessfully tried to pull information out of the world’s worst salesperson, a dumpy, over bleached twat of a woman. I asked, “Does this model have a food grinder?” She would sneer and sigh and point to a sticker on one of the many dishwashers that lines the walls, “Well, all the information you need is right here” Since I have never bought a dishwasher, I asked her, “Why would I need to take the racks out and re-adjust them?” She blew out crypt keeper smelling breath at me and replied, “I can’t answer that question for you honey. I don’t know your dish washing needs. ” Here we were practically waving money in our hands because why else would a person be shopping for an appliance – this is not a browsing for fun kind of purchase- and this peach of a woman couldn't wait to go on her cigarette break.
After endless comparisons and conversations about stainless steel interior versus plastic and controls on top or the front, we finally found one in our price range where the store offered a special with free delivery, pick-up and thirty eight dollar installation. We pulled the trigger and bought it. It’s a hard trigger to pull – not only because it’s expensive, but online we read hundreds of reviews, and there isn't a single dishwasher out there that doesn’t have at least one review that screams, “DO NOT BUY THIS DISHWASHER! THE WORST EVER! IT BURNED MY HOUSE DOWN AND ATE MY CAT AND IT DOESN'T T DRY DISHES PROPERLY!!!!!”
Yesterday Cliff calls me at work and says, “I went back to Home Depot to look at the one we bought and I dunno, I am afraid the racks are a little flimsy. I was opening other racks and the ones on our model seems…weak. Can you just come and meet me at lunch so we can compare the racks.” I said “Sure babe, it’s a big purchase, I get it. I want you to feel good about it. And I giggle every time you say ‘compare racks’” .
We meet and there Cliff is in a sea of dishwashers, working up a sweat, comparing racks. “Look at this, see how it wiggles around, flimsy – right? And this other one here, more solid. Do you see it? Feel it?” We compare more racks. When Cliff gets focused on something, his eyebrows are mesmerizing. They arch up and have a slightly sinister quality to the shape. His eyebrows do this when he is pissed-off or when listening to some seriously heavy and loud music. I love Cliff’s eyebrows. They are one of my favorite things about him.
“I don’t know babe – they all are feeling nearly the same to me.” Cliff says, “You think I’m crazy? Can we check out one last store just to compare? How about Lowes. We haven’t been there yet.” “No babe, I don’t think you’re crazy. No crazier than I am. Let’s go - but I will not go to Best Buy with Mrs. Good Mood over there.” We jump into our separate cars and race two routes to see which one is the closest and quickest. Cliff won.
At Loews, the rack slide show begins again and we are approached with the opening line, “Can I help you?” By a salesman who looks a modern day Grizzly Adams. I jump in and say, “Quite honestly, we have already bought a dishwasher at Home Depot, but we are having buyers regret and rack remorse.” I go through our entire spiel with this guy who patently listens.
It turns out this guy was the guru of dishwashers. He explained why some racks feel loose, (because of their removability) and the ins and outs of how Maytag, GE and Whirlpool are one company, which are built in the U S of A and how Boch is anal retentive because it has a printout of how to precisely load each wash. Cliff and the guru get into the minutia of why he should not get too hung up on exact make and models when looking at consumer reports and no, Home Depot is not trying to unload a bunk dishwasher on us.
I think Cliff felt a bit better. His eyebrows came down and relaxed. “Thank you so much” I said, “I’m sorry we aren't buying one from you. This has been so helpful.” “That’s OK. Glad I could help. Seems like you did buy a decent dishwasher. But here’s my card – because someday you will need a fridge.”