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Two guys appliance shopping

March 30, 2009

by Ivan Raconteur

On a recent Saturday morning, my friend D. and I set out on a mission to find the holy grail of laundry equipment to outfit my new bachelor pad.

He later indicated that this trip was very different than similar excursions he has taken with his wife.

I don’t know what women look for when they shop for appliances.

As a recovering ex-married person, I can say with some confidence that I don’t know what women are looking for most of the time.

I am not convinced that they know what they are looking for either, but perhaps we are straying from the point.

On the day in question, as we set out to do our part to stimulate the economy, I had a pretty clear picture of what I wanted in a washer and dryer.

I was looking for a front-loading washer. Front loaders feature efficient operation, use significantly less water, and are easy on clothes.

I wanted equipment that was solidly built, reliable, and equipped with stainless steel interiors.

I knew that I wanted front-mounted controls, rather than the more traditional style with the controls mounted on the top and back of the machine.

Guys of a certain age and girth do not like to have to lean over a machine to get at the controls.

Despite the fact that I already had a clear idea of what I wanted, I knew D. would be the perfect wingman for this mission.

He is a pretty sharp cookie, no matter what his missus might say, and he is a wizard with all things mechanical.

In addition to that, he had just become the owner-operator of a spiffy new enclosed trailer of a size and configuration ideal for hauling household appliances.

I would in no way exploit this fact. He volunteered for the mission, and, recognizing that a guy who has a new piece of equipment is just itching for an excuse to use it, I added him to the roster so he could put his new baby through its paces.

Our mission took us to several stores, from bare-bones scratch and dent outlets to specialty shops with carpeted showrooms and soothing music in the background.

We encountered a number of salesmen, who ranged from confident to confused.

When we came upon the winning machines, we knew them instantly.

They are a spectacular matched pair from LG Electronics.

Due to a well-timed sale, I was able to acquire perfection for not much more than I would have paid for the tawdry “bargains” at the scratch and dent emporium.

The washer and dryer each have an immense capacity and are solid as a rock.

The washer has a 4-cubic-foot capacity and a maximum spin speed of 1,100 revolutions per minute, enough to extract the water from anyone’s bathing suit.

The 7.3-cubic-foot dryer is as quiet as clouds passing overhead on a sunny afternoon.

In addition to being technically superb, they are drop-dead gorgeous, owing to the fact that the sale allowed me to acquire models in glorious Bahama Blue for the same price as boring white.

From that point forward, there was no looking back.

Our man Ray gave us a thorough accounting of the features and benefits of the equipment and wrote up the sale.

Contrary to popular misconception, guys can have a sense of style.

The new Bahama Blue beauties have become the focal point of my laundry room back at the bachelor pad.

I am going to build the decor of the room around them.

I am still looking for a palm tree and a parrot to complete the look (the low-maintenance kind, not live ones).

I plan to get some stylish beach prints to adorn the walls, as well.

When I switch on the new machines, they welcome me with a happy little electronic greeting that just oozes fresh air and sunshine.

When I launched the first load of laundry on its maiden voyage, I couldn’t help but draw up a chair and a beaker of rum punch, and just watch in fascination as the new machines worked their magic.

As I sat in my oasis of paradise and watched the clothes gently tumble around in the massive drum, while listening to the quiet whisper of the direct drive motor, I could almost hear the waves lapping against the white sand beach of a tropical island.

While D. and I drank a toast to another successful mission, it occurred to me that, although it is true that guys often focus on the technical side of things, no one can say that we don’t have a sense of style.