Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where I Begin to Question if I am Just a Luddite

Lately I seem to be taken over by machinery that’s far too complicated for my simple mind.

It started when we moved in and Scott bought this fancy schmancy washer/dryer combo. All the features he listed by way of explanation of why he had spent a small fortune on said machinery made me shudder: it has a feature where it turns the dryer off when the clothes are done, you can set the water levels, you can set it to do jeans specifically, it has a setting for whites. On and on and on.

What the hell happened to delicate and permanent press? High medium and low dryer settings?

I studied the manual as hard as I studied for the SATs, so afraid was I that I would break the damn thing. About two months in, the washer flashed at me “F-22.” I had to search through the manual to determine that “F-22” meant that I had put too many clothes in the damn washer. I mean, the door closed, nothing was hanging out. But it had done its washer computation and determined the size of the clothing would not work with the water levels I had pre-set.

I am ashamed to confess I muttered, more than once, “eff you F-22” in my investigation.

Also? I’m very resentful that this machine thinks it knows better than me when clothes are dry. So many times I’ve set the dryer and gone out and run errands or something, come home to grab a pair of pants and find out the bottoms are still soaked. And yet the “clothes dry” light is blinking.

Oh my God, you guys, the lights! It’s like an effing NASA launch in my utility room!

It took me weeks to figure out how to disable the beeps, because that about drove me to the looney bin. One beep for when the cycle is almost done, one beep when it is done, another beep if you’ve left the clothes in there for an hour (if I leave them in there less than three days, I consider that an efficient week, never mind a freaking HOUR).

More recently, my mother-in-law bought me a new electric toothbrush. You guys, I’m a girl that gets excited about coupons, so you can guess what something like this did to me. I freaking love practical gifts, and my precious electric toothbrush had broken 6 months ago, prompting me to spend those 6 months complaining about how rough the manual toothbrushes are made these days, and constantly licking my teeth, swearing they felt fuzzy even when I had brushed them multiple times.

So I open the box and there’s like 50 pieces to it! And 3 manuals. One for the setup, one for the toothbrush itself, and one for this gadget that’s like…well, I’m not sure. A GPS unit?

The manual says it will monitor optimal brushing pressure, time how long I brush (which actually would be quite useful, as my concept of time goes out the window at night when I just want to hit the pillow), and locate hidden planets in the atmosphere.

It took me about 20 minutes to set up the actual toothbrush and I am ashamed to admit the extra part sits in the original bag, so afraid I am of somehow rendering the whole thing useless by attaching it.

What do you think? Are machines running or ruining our lives? Or am I just turning into a Luddite in my 30s?


Anonymous said...

You left a comment on Taming Insanity that was so funny, I immediately went to your blog. I have never done that before. Re your post: I have a long and tragic history with machines of any kind. I was still trying to grasp 20th century technology as we slid into the 21th. I think I'm at 1912 now.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

It took my husband 6 years together before he learned how to work our washer, and it's just a basic one. I can't even imagine.

But maybe he'd like that because he apparently has no trouble working the complicated game system/dvd combo that I cant even turn on. You're not a Luddite, maybe a 70 year old woman?

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Life: thanks for visiting me and for the compliment! I found your blog and it's bookmarked. You deserve more than a lunch hour read, so I'll be commenting soon, and tons.

Amanda: Amazing how they can get video games but diapers flummox them, no?

Anonymous said...

F-22? I was afraid you were going to say that a fighter plane launch was imminent. I don't want to say that we were blessed to move into a house with an older washer and dryer, but ohmigod, the simplicity of it all.

I'm basically off the grid as far as Facebook is concerned - maybe we need to start a colony?

ManWifeDog said...

"I studied the manual as hard as I studied for the SATs"

HA! I try oh so very hard to avoid anything that makes me have to work that hard to use it. I bought The Man I steam mop and then became overwhelmed when he tried to show me how to use it.

Man Wife and Dog Blog