Well, it’s been an exciting day of waiting for my new washer and dryer to arrive. Given that the delivery date is in December, it looks like I’ll be waiting for a while. And, as you know, the waiting is the hardest part.
Since I like to second-guess my own choices, however, I took a moment to read through Consumer Reports on their washer testing. And that’s where I saw the above bio.
The car guys at CR are very far from the shambolic gasket-measurers that Car and Driver portrayed them as for most of the Eighties and Nineties. Jake Fisher, as you can see above, will gleefully abuse a car every chance he gets, and he’s fun at (auto show) parties. Ms. Janeway, on the other hand, seems really sad. She looks sad in her photo. Like she was testing a washer, and she really thought it was going to work well, and then the spin cycle hits and the washer throws an “F35/SUDS” error code and all of a sudden she realizes: Christ, I’m past forty, I’m alone, I’ve spent the last eighty-three weekends watching “Sex And The City” reruns while grooming my cats, and this GOD-DAMNED WASHER CAN’T EVEN MAKE IT THROUGH MY TESTING, it’s as unreliable as every Match.com date I ever had who fucked me and didn’t bother to call the next day even though I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t looking for anything serious, that I’ve long since given up on that dream, all I really want is to be touched, is that so fucking wrong? WANTING TO BE TOUCHED?
And that bio! She thought she would write in New York City, and she’s stuck with the washers! It’s her job! It’s what she has to do! Given the chance, she could have been a Joyce Carol Oates, but instead she’s the Joyce Carol Oates of washer reviews, minus the part in “You Must Remember This” where Felix lets Enid straddle him in the truck, she takes his thirty-something prick to the hilt in her teenaged snatch and somehow we, as Serious Readers, are supposed to be totally okay with this, it’s all in the service of the plot, never mind the fact that if I was hobbling across the parking lot of Lowe’s on my way to buying a new washer and I saw some ex-boxer with a fourteen-year-old straddling him in a pickup truck I would put my crutch through the window and then take that Felix guy to the ground so I could put him in a rear naked choke until he agreed to, you know, stop fucking his underage relatives.
There are times I feel like Kimberly Janeway’s bio. Like, I was made for greater things. I was going to write a brilliant, perceptive first novel in my early twenties then spend the rest of my life on book tours, becoming ever more professorial and dignified even as I shotgunned my books full of the most disturbing middle-class sex scenes possible. The New Yorker would ask me to review my contemporaries and I would graciously accede or decline as my whims dictated. I’d live in quiet wealth on the East Coast and every morning someone who loved me would cook me a real breakfast, and I would sit and eat the real breakfast because I would have nothing but time. Periodically, I’d have an intense sexual relationship with a vaguely Latin or Native American-looking graduate student, someone with firm, ripe breasts and a flat stomach and an intense desire to know me from the inside out. The relationships would always end in under six months. We would part ways as friends and she would always treasure the various bon mots I’d trotted out in our postcoital glow. It would make her a stronger, better woman and in the years afterwards I’d occasionally see her at parties, often in proximity to other women with whom I’d had similar intense sexual relationships. I would wear tweed more often than I did not. I’d graciously accept a tenured position at an Ivy. The co-eds (can we still call them that?) would see me riding my GSXR-1000 to class and they would twitch with anticipation of the scandalous and exciting things that I’d be saying in that afternoon’s lecture.
Instead, what do I do? Yes, I’m currently on the cover of the best American car magazine, my name and words reprinted 1.2 million times on glossy paper and another few million times via the wonder of the Internet. Yes, I go to all these wonderful places and do these wonderful things. I’m aware and I’m grateful. But both of my legs hurt all the time where previously only one of them hurt all the time and I’m consumed with guilt at the terrible things I’ve done to all these wonderful women and I don’t sleep as well as I’d like and, I’m only mentioning this because it’s relevant, I’ve started to think that I’m just never going to get any better at playing the acoustic guitar no matter how expensive an acoustic guitar I buy to practice with.
It’s also possible that I’m reading too much into Ms. Janeway’s bio. She might just be a fun, self-deprecating person who doesn’t much care for being photographed. Regardless, Kim — can I call you Kim? — I want to tell you this: You write a hell of a washer review. And though I still feel good about my choice of yet another set of Whirlpool Duets, made in the USA, you really have me thinking about the LG for next time. You’re just that convincing. All the hearts, Miss Janeway. All the hearts.