Friday, April 28, 2006

Anyone else afraid of their washing machine?

I discovered this great word today. Ecophobia. According to, it is "an obsolete term for a morbid fear of one's home surroundings." I think that comes pretty close to describing how I feel about life sometimes. I am afraid of what COULD happen in my home.

Take my washing machine. We have been proud owners of our very own washing machine for coming up on two years now. Wahoo! No more public wash rooms! Now, I think I want to get rid of it. Too much stress! When the movers first installed it, they didn't know what they were doing and the drain hose came off as I was inspecting it during it's first run. I caught it and shoved it back on. It was as exciting as watching paint dry the next few loads as I waited for the inevitable leak again. Never happened. Thank goodness!

Today, I was doing my motherly duty and washing my child's bedding. Two sick kids this week means two loads of stinky bedding. The smell of throw up is oh so beautiful, so I decided to wash the pillows to get the stink out. The first time, it went just fine and dandy. But the pillow was in by itself. This time, I threw in the sheets and then added the pillow. Boy was that a mistake! Lesson learned today: alway make sure you follow the instructions to keep the clothes below the level of the drain holes in the wash tub. My pillow wasn't even in the tub enough to allow the washer lid to close. Oops.... the water overfilled and overfilled and, well, Kyle (my dear husband) and I got to clean up the washroom and the adjacent garage this morning! Five minutes of overfilling a washer can produce an amazing amount of water.

I was already paranoid enough of my appliances causing fire/flood damage in my home that I wouldn't run anything if I wasn't home. I did finally walk on the wild side and start using the crock pot while we are gone at church, and we come home to a house filled with the smell of dinner and not the smell of smoke. But I draw the line at the dishwasher and washing machine. (This old house has had enough water damage!) One time I sent Kyle home from church because I was SURE that I had left the stove on that morning. Going on vacation, I check the house a million times to be sure we turn off everything. But even then, I spend the first half an hour paranoid that we left something on. Then I worry that we will have a leak in some pipes, a fire from some appliance, and then I just pray hard and try to forget it.

Don't even get me started on what other annoying problems we have had here, though. A mouse party one night all over our house, comotose flies that line up on the walls and just wait their turn to be swatted, roaches that walk on the ceiling to get away from the traps.... My fear of my house at times gets so bad that I don't want to be here because of the pest plagues, but I don't want to leave for fear of the appliances malfunctioning.

Or like the time Kyle was on a business trip and I thought I got bit in my sleep by a poisonous spider. I tore apart the bedroom looking for evidence and spraying for spiders and shaking out my sheets. I couldn't sleep well thinking it may come back! Pests, appliances, and the what-ifs of life give me the willies. Most of the time, I do just fine. But other times I think I sound like a paranoid fool. If you talk to my husband, he might just agree with that!

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