Sometimes life is good without you even knowing it.
A week or so ago, we started talking about logarithms and exponential functions in my Calculus 1 course and I wanted the students to graph a function involving an exponential function. On paper, we would write ex, but when you go to graph it, we use the longer form of exp(x). One student was having trouble with the graph, it wouldn’t show up. By the time I got to the student to see what the problem was, another student had already identified the problem — the student had typed “ESP” instead of “EXP”. I walked back to the front of the room and made one of those corny jokes that teachers like to do … “You didn’t have to be psychic to see that one.” Then I did a faux buckle over laugh and said “I slay me” like I was being super funny instead of just corny.
In case you’re living in a black hole and haven’t heard, we’re having a baby and they occasionally wear clothes. Kona had sent me to the store to by Dreft detergent because it’s supposed to be this ultra-pure, no dyes, no perfumes, no detergent, detergent for baby clothing and blankets. Being the person I am, I saw that Sam’s Club had Dreft and figured it was probably bigger and cheaper than I would find elsewhere so I went ahead and bought the big bottle.
While I was in Sam’s, I picked up some other stuff that I normally buy in bulk and was running low on. Dove soap, Bounty paper towels, Northern toilet paper, and Era laundry detergent. This was before we got the new washer and dryer, so I was buying normal detergent.
Then, less than a week later, the washer and dryer went out and we had to get new ones. Well, “had to” is a bit strong. We could have continued to wash clothes without getting them clean in a washer that had no cold water unless you turned off the hot water at the faucet and then you didn’t have either hot or warm water, only cold. Oh, and on top of that, it wasn’t spinning properly and it was pretty loud. By loud I mean the kind of loud where you have to close every door between you and the washer or you can’t sleep at night. We also could have continued to dry clothes in a dryer with no heat. Some people do that with certain clothes anyway, it’s called fluff dry. It takes about three times through to get some of the clothes dry, but the good news is we could have saved on propane. Or, we could have called someone out to repair the washer and dryer and it probably would have been cheaper for now, but in the long run, we agreed that it was better to go with new ones. Not only would they work, we would also get to increase the capacity of both of them, and there would be new features that the old one just didn’t have.
We went ahead and got the new washer and dryer the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the washer was a High Efficiency washer. This means you can’t use normal detergent, you have to buy a special low-suds kind marked with the HE label. When I bought them, I knew I’d need to get new detergent, but I figured I would get that some time while I was at Walmart, rather than trying to find some at Lowe’s.
When the washer and dryer was delivered the next day, I want to try it out, but we didn’t have the right HE detergent. I knew I didn’t have the right detergent, so I resign myself to just looking at things and pressing the pretty buttons. Besides, Kona wanted the door reversed on the dryer, so that was the first thing I did.
Then, when I started moving the old detergent out of the way, I noticed that the Dreft I had bought from Sams had the HE label. I had somehow purchased High Efficiency detergent without even realizing it. Had the old washer not gone bad, we would have had detergent we couldn’t use or that wouldn’t get the clothes clean. So I went ahead and did laundry that night using the Dreft and decided that I would go to Walmart the next day while we were in Champaign for our doctor’s visit and pick up some regular (not baby) HE detergent.
I’m sensitive to smells. We have to get the fragrance free Bounce or I can’t stand the smell of the clothes to wear them. Perfumes cause problems and after Kona’s baby shower, I couldn’t sit in my chair for over a week because someone with perfume had sat there. I finally had to Febreeze it to try to clear it up and that didn’t completely get rid of the problem. So, when I went to Walmart, it was important to try and find a detergent that won’t make me go nuts. Era is my normal brand, but Walmart didn’t have the HE kind and the Sam’s website said the HE variety wasn’t carried in stores. Tide and Cheer both had high efficiency detergents at Walmart and one of them was even free of scents and dyes. Yet, I knew that I had used Era for years and it didn’t cause a problem so I was willing to test a new brand, without resorting to fragrance free — but I got the smallest size possible just to see if I would be okay with it. Maybe the smell from the washer would disappear in the dryer?
So, I went ahead and got HE Tide and Cheer at Walmart in Champaign and then came home and used the Cheer to do some laundry. There wasn’t really any smell, but I had also used the sanitizing setting on the washer, so I wasn’t sure if that’s why there was no smell or not.
If you remember from earlier in this story, right before we got the new washer and dryer I had just bought a new super-size (because that’s what you get) container of Era from Sam’s. With our new HE washer, we now weren’t going to be able to use it or the rest of the Era laundry detergent we had left from before. What should we do with it? The decision was made to give it to Kona’s Mom and let her use it since she has the regular kind of washer.
When Kona’s Mom came for Thanksgiving, I explained the difference between the detergents and why you needed the high efficiency one and what to look for on the bottle so you would know it was high efficiency. She agreed to take our extra detergent, but when she went to take the new container of Era she saw the “HE” label on it and asked about it.
It turns out that I had purchased High Efficiency detergent for both Dreft and Era without knowing I was buying it in either case. Had the washer not gone bad, I would have had two new bottles of detergent that we wouldn’t have been able to use because they wouldn’t have gotten the clothes clean. But, as it turns out I instead had two bottles of the right kind of detergent and they were waiting for the new washer that I didn’t know we needed at the time I bought the detergent!
Sometimes life is good without you even knowing it.
Or, maybe I’m psychic and knew that the washer would go bad and we would need High Efficiency detergent for them and that’s why I bought them without realizing what I was doing and thinking I was buying regular detergent.