Front Load or Top Load?

By: Dennis Bates

Front load or top load: that is the question of  my day. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it. Still, as my wife is quick to point out, that’s the way life is.

I learned Friday that washing machines are supposed to remain dry outside as they clean the clothes inside. It is not a good thing when water pools around the outside edges at the base of your machine. It is even worse when the pool of water takes almost as many towels to sop up as the machine just washed.

When I say I learned, I mean my wife told me all this, so it has to be true. As a guy, I figured as long as I had one or two dry towels left, I was okay. I can stretch two towels for several weeks, even a month if I’m careful. My wife is more demanding. Several days with the same towel is her absolute limit. I’m thinking, as long as it’s dry when I use it, what’s the difference?

All of that to say that today we have to shop for a new washing machine. It’s a complete waste of time as far as I’m concerned, but if  I have to so do this to maintain domestic tranquility around the home front, okay. I guess.

Now we come to the top load verses front load decision. Would that it were that simple. You can’t stop there. There are high energy machines, some with spin cycles, some with small hand wash cycles, some rinse only, cotton only, permanent press, and some  for delicate fabrics. For the record, none of the things that I wear are delicate, or require special treatment. At least you guys know what I’m saying here.

Like almost everything else these days, there are far too many options. Back in the day when I was in college and did all my own laundry, it was simple. The white cotton clothes got washed together on “Hot.” Everything else got thrown together and washed on “Cool” or “Cold.” And, oh yeah, nothing got washed at all until it was mature enough to walk to the laundry on its own.

Hey, it worked.

You women married us didn’t you? So don’t wrinkle up your noses. 

I don’t know why it needs to be any more complicated today, but for some reason it just does. Some people (mostly engineers and techie types) have made careers out of taking the simple and the obvious and making them complex and mysterious. It doesn’t have to be that way, and that is from a retired lawyer. Nobody can obfuscate better than we can. Well, almost nobody. I forgot about theologians.

In the Old Testament God said to the Hebrews, “You are my chosen people; here are Ten Commandments; follow them.” They didn’t. Eventually, the elaborate set of rules and laws that their religious leaders developed became so confusing that nobody understood them, but that was great for the religious leaders because they had a full time job explaining them.

In the New Testament, God tries to clear things up for us. He sends His Son Jesus to tell us we’re making things too hard. All we have to do is “believe in him and love one another.” Period. Beginning and end of the story. We didn’t. Instead, we got more rules, more interpretations and more leaders ready to take advantage of the confusion they helped create.

A washing machine cleans our clothes; God cleans our souls. It doesn’t really take multiple cycles or constant reinvention for either of those things. It just takes us. We have to listen and do what we’re told. Nothing more.


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