One day about ten years ago, the washing machine stopped working. It just sat there, breaking in almost the worst way a washer can break, which is full of wet clothes and soap, with the water refusing to drain. (I say almost the worst way a washer can break, because all you have to do to get top spot is substitute diapers for clothes, and you’re there.) We called a guy to come and fix it, and as he was working on the machine he said something like "Ah, it seems that the pump is clogged with something" which I thought was super interesting until I remembered that I had been felting clogs in there, and that there had been a lot of green fibre floating in the water – stuff that had come off of the clogs, and it hadn’t really occurred to me that the clog fibres might actually clog the washer. I was suddenly possessed of a wish.
As the repair guy we could ill afford disassembled the pump, I started to send a hope out into the world. "Don’t let it be green wool. Don’t let it be green wool. Don’t let it be green wool." I sent that hope out as he opened the pump, and turned to face us, the innards of the thing displayed, and clogged with green – well. Clog bits. Joe made a tight face, but he didn’t say anything, and I’ve been really careful to put the stuff I’m felting in a pillowcase or something like that ever since then. That was a really expensive pair of felted clogs.
This morning I went to vaccuum the living room, and as I turned it on I heard a terrible noise. The grinding, churning noise of a motor trying to turn and not being able to, and so I shut the machine off straight away and flipped over the power head thingie. There was no smell, which is usually a good sign and I couldn’t see anything keeping the brush gizmo from turning, so I got a screwdriver and took it apart. The brush was on a cylinder, the ends of which terminated in two yellow doohickeys which fit into the main vaccuum head widget. I lifted that out and looked closely at them. One of them looked fine, and that’s where the belt that was driving the thing went, but the other one had yarn something wrapped around it.
I got the scissors and a knife and a knitting needle, and started snipping, cutting and prying off the green fibre which – yeah… turned out to be yarn.
Still, I don’t know what your experience of the vacuum is, but often I find stuff wrapped around that brush (that isn’t yarn) and have to clean it off, so I wasn’t really all that concerned. I snipped and cleaned it up, then put it all back together, and turned it on. Same problem.
Joe came downstairs and had a look. He’s better at fixing things than I am. He’s got that engineering education and understands how machines work. I have to rely on intuition – it’s way less effective. Anyway, he spots the issue straightaway. The cylinder ends go into the yellow doohickeys and as Joe pointed out, the doohickeys stay still, and the cylinder turns. Therefore the yellow doohickey should turn freely- which it doesn’t. Joe conducts an experiment with the other side to see if the yellow thing comes off, and it does, so he tries to pull the other one off. It doesn’t want to come though, and as he’s pulling he says "Damn, it’s like there’s something in there, wound around it."
I freeze and start wishing again. This is a pretty new vacuum, and I am now pretty darn sure that Joe is going to get that thingie off and there’s going to be yarn in there, and he’s going to make that tight face, and I’m going to feel terrible and he’s going to not-so-secretly wonder why I can’t keep track of my yarn/fibre in a way that doesn’t keep breaking appliances, and I’m going to say I thought I was, and that’s really only two major appliances in 10 years, which is totally not bad (right?) and it’s going to be a thing. A total thing. I’m going to end up saying something like "maybe the vacuum wouldn’t have yarn in it if you ever vacuumed" which is totally a low blow… Oh, I can feel it. The whole marital thing is written in stone now. I’m me and he’s him and it’s just the way it’s going to be. I vow not to let it be that way. I vow to keep my mouth shut. To apologize and not say a thing, no matter what he says. There can be peace, and it can begin with me.
He struggles to get the end off, and says it might be too tight to get off "because of whatever is in there" and we both know what’s in there now, and I keep thinking "don’t be yarn, don’t be yarn, don’t be yarn" and then there’s a crack, and Joe swears, and looks in his hand and the yellow thingie has broken off, because it was too tight because of what’s in there, and what’s in there?
Of course. It’s yarn. It’s totally yarn. I take a deep breath, Joe takes a deep breath, and he looks at me, and I look at him – and I think we see the way it’s going to go, and then Joe says "Well, the yarn was really around that… " and he pauses, and says "…not that this is your fault."
I look at Joe and say "Thank you for pretending that might be someone else’s yarn." and he looks at me and says "No problem" and laughs, and I realize that we’re getting pretty good at being married (that took a while) but that Joe probably does wish that I’d stop letting yarn get somehow into appliances.
Me? I just once want something to break because it has his wire around it. It would really help.