New Home, Day 1

If you read my last post, you know that Mark and I have a long and inglorious history with household appliances. For some reason, we were under the impression that our run of incredibly bad luck had to do with our house.

As is always the case when it comes to us and appliances, we were so wrong. So wrong.

We closed on our brand new house on Friday, March 18. And by brand new, I mean literally brand new, never lived in before, still has a builder warranty... so brand new.  Saturday was move day. Because Mark and I take this shit seriously (we have no choice, we have demanding jobs and a toddler), we managed to arrange not only to move on Saturday, but also to have the washer/dryer installed, along with the cable, internet, and alarm system, along with a few other items. To accomplish all of this, we'd scheduled things with military precision to make sure that items went into the house in the correct order.

Pepples plan. Appliance God laughs.

Of course, this would be the only time in the history of appliance installations that the team of installers arrived early to an appointment, before the two hour appointment window.

The two hour window was from 10am to 12pm. At 9:25, I got a phone call. "Ma'am, this is Joe Schmo from [Appliance Dealer]. We're going to be at your house in five minutes." This, as I'm painstakingly uninstalling the wall brackets used to secure Avery's furniture to the walls of her room so it doesn't fall over and kill her. This, as I'm at least 10 minutes away from being at the new house where the washer and dryer are to be installed. Perfect.

So I dropped the screw driver, yelled to Mark that I was out, and tore through the streets of Queen Anne and Magnolia, begging the guy to wait just a couple more minutes!!! 

If you are under the impression that this is the end of this story, you're wrong.

I arrived. Appliance guys were there. I let them in. They installed the washer. I was putting away some of the bedroom stuff that had been packed in the car when I heard from the laundry room the most bone-chilling word I know: "Ma'am?"


"Excuse me, ma'am, could you come here a minute?"


As I walked into the room, I didn't even wait for him to stop talking. I looked him square in the eye and said, "so what is it that you've never seen before?"

The guy looked a little dumbstruck and laughed nervously. The I'm-going-to-strangle-you-with-your-tool-belt look that I gave him silenced the laugh pretty quickly.

"Ma'am, you see this dryer vent that you have here in your wall?"


"Well, it's an oval shape."


"The one on your dryer is round. So I can't connect them..."

And then, inevitably, there it was: "I've never seen this before."

I barely heard the rest of what he was saying, which I think went something like this: "We can probably connect them enough to confirm that the dryer is working, but you're going to have to get a contractor out here..."

This was pretty much where I was at:

But somewhere beneath the rage, the indignation, the sheer incredulity of the moment, my brain was calling bullshit.

Maybe it's that we've lived through enough crazy to know when something seems... pretty normal. Maybe it was a sixth sense. Maybe I just wasn't ready to wave the white flag on my brand new house.

Whatever it was, I had a moment of inspiration: the Magnolia Ace Hardware.

"Don't go anywhere. I'm going to the hardware store."


"I have a toddler. I need a washer/dryer. There has to be a way to rig this thing together. I'm going to the hardware store. There's one three minutes away."

"But ma'am, we can't be here alone."

"I'll be gone for 10 minutes. Fifteen max. What are you going to steal? The only thing in this house is the washer and dryer."

Propelled by a deep sense of "fuck this bullshit," I sprinted to the car, peeled out of the alley and down the street to the hardware store. I'm pretty sure that the guy at the register thought I was crazy as I breathlessly tried to explain: "Dryer! Wall! Oval pipe! Round pipe! Need fit together! Rig! Something! Now!!!!"

And you know what? There was! It turns out that there is a pipe converter for just this situation. It's common. It's easy. It's cheap, like seven bucks. It's called a close elbow. No joke.

So armed with my brand new close elbow, some clamps, a little pipe tape, and an absolutely epic amount of smug, I returned to the house about $20 poorer but about as relieved as it's possible for a human to be.

You will never know the satisfaction I got out of walking back into that laundry room, bag in hand, and getting to say the words: "That pipe thing? Yeah, that's common. They even make a part for that. Here you go!"

At least, I sincerely hope you will never know.


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