“Love is the gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everyone else.”
–George Bernard Shaw
I have a secret to share. I’m madly in love with the appliance salesman at Lowe’s. He doesn’t know it, but I can’t quit thinking about him.
Last Friday when I opened my laundry room door, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. I stood frozen in place, watching my washing machine vomit buckets of water all over my kitchen, living room, and family room. The washing machine had finally gone on strike and decided to punish me for 10 years of hard labor in a tiny room without a window.
A few days later, my husband and I headed to Lowe’s to search for a new washing machine and dryer. After a week of schlepping laundry to and from LaundryLand, the local laundry mat, I was more than ready to browse a washing machine selection that included front-loaders, top loaders, and more bells and whistles than I’d ever seen in my life. It was overwhelming to say the least, but I had really not expected the emotions that washed over me when I saw the model I wanted. That’s where the salesman found me a few minutes later—hugging the Samsung 4340-XYZLMNOP Front-Loader.
“Hi there,” he said with a smile that would break any woman’s heart.
“You had me at ‘Hi,’” I said.
He gently caressed the top of the washing machine with one hand as he relayed the wonderful features of the machine such as a deep sanitizing cycle, steam-wash cycle, very little vibration, and quiet operation. I lost myself in the moment. I never knew a man to know so much about the innards of a washing machine and quite frankly, it was becoming a very attractive quality. Somehow I managed to stay focused on the conversation as he continued talking about the silver ions that dispense into the rinse water and kill 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria, but just between you and me, I felt my eyes starting to dilate.
“The front-loading machines spin horizontally,” the salesman continued, “There’s no agitator, but instead, the tub itself moves causing the clothes to repeatedly lift out of the water and then plunge back in.”
“Is it warm in here?” I asked my husband whose eyes were not dilated, but instead had remained glazed over since he glanced at the price tag. I rapidly fanned my face with my hand.
“This machine will save water, use less soap, and has a delayed start feature,” the salesman continued, but it was like his voice was coming from somewhere faraway. I was transfixed on the tattoo on his forearm that read, “I love the spin cycle.”
I held my hand up. “I’ve heard enough. Will you marry me … right here … right now? I’m sure there’s a minister shopping for something in here.” As I looked around for a clergyman or Captain Merrill Stubing who used to marry couples all the time on the television show The Loveboat, I heard my husband clear his throat.
“I’m still standing here, honey,” he whispered in my ear.
“Oh,” I said as I tried to float back down to reality from Cloud Nine where I had been for the last 15 minutes.
“I really want him,” I said, quickly correcting myself in an attempt to save the only legal marriage I knew at the moment, “I mean … it.” I pointed to the Samsung 4340-XYZLMNOP Front-Loader.
“Shall I write up a ticket?” the salesman asked me. He grinned and showed me the whitest teeth I’d ever seen while I wondered if he washed his teeth in the front-loader machine.
“YES!” I screamed a little too loudly. As he walked away with my husband, I whispered to the salesman, “I love you!” My husband turned around, “Love you too, honey.”
Sometimes in life, relationships just aren’t meant to be. It wasn’t the right time for the Lowe’s appliance salesman and me. I’m sure whatever woman manages to snag on to him and all his positive attributes will be one lucky girl. In the meantime, every time I wash a load of clothes in my new machine, I’m going to think about him, his winning smile, and those silver ions.
God, I miss him already.