So the wife and I just recently upgraded our kitchen appliances. It was a long time coming.
Our dishwasher, which was always something of a loud piece of junk even when it was working, stopped functioning something like 10 years ago, and we never bothered to fix it. For one, we have, like everyone else, plenty of other expenses, not the least of which is our daughter's education, which--while utterly worth it--costs us a crazy chunk of change each year. Second, neither my wife nor I really mind hand-washing dishes, which is what we did for years before we had the dishwasher, and what we've been doing again for the past decade.
And for 20 years, my wife has been cooking on an electric stove, both at this house (the first and only one we've ever owned), as well as in our past couple rentals before that. As those who know her know, my wife is an amazing cook. Some of her meals are legendary. That she's been saddled with an electric stove for so long has been, well, I'm not going to say "tragic," because that would be a bit drama-queeny, but it's been a real bummer for someone, like her, who loves to cook so much.
But it was our refrigerator that was the real problem, and that forced the recent upgrade. First, the freezer slowly stopped, over time, actually freezing things. When that's your one job and you fail at that, well, ya know, you're fired. Making things worse was an increasingly loud buzzing sound that mysteriously began emanating from the fridge. I'm sure it wouldn't be mysterious if you knew how these things worked, but, hey, we don't. All we know is it's supposed to keep the food cold and not buzz so loud we can't even hear airplanes overhead. And once the buzzing reached an alarmingly loud level, to the point where it sounded like it was going to blow up, we realized we had to take action.
It was then that we just decided to upgrade the whole damn kitchen. My wife, who rightfully calls it "her kitchen," did the legwork and the actual buying, with my blessing, and returned home a few weeks ago having purchased brand-new stainless steel fridge, dishwasher, and gas oven.
We had to wait until this past week to get the stuff installed (and to extend our gas line so it could reach our kitchen), but now it's done. And, man, what a difference. When you hand-wash dishes for as many years as we have, you kinda get used to it. It's just part of the day-to-day drudgery you deal with. And, ya know, not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. So having a functioning dishwasher again--and a state-of-the-art quiet one at that--feels like some kind of royal luxury. Which I suppose it is. Being able to finish our meals and just dump everything in this magic box, rather than have to spend another 20 minutes-1/2 hour every time cleaning up, feels, in this first week of use, like we won the lottery. Meanwhile, my wife is in love with the new gas stove, which has a built-in griddle, and which she tested out yesterday morning with some utterly delicious blueberry pancakes. Being able to fine-tune the control over the flame, something impossible with an electric stove, has her giddy with the possibilities in her cooking again. And given that I am one of the prime beneficiaries of her cooking, I'm all for it.
The other night I was feeling self-conscious and vaguely depressed about being so excited about something so...domestic and boring. Has it really come to this, I wondered? I'm excited about a dishwasher? This is what I have to look forward to now in life? But, hey. Sue me. Our little lives here just got better, and easier. There's way dumber things that people get happy about, like, say, a new episode of Storage Wars, so who's to judge?
Now if someone could just invent a machine that could unload the dishwasher for us, then I think my life would be perfect.