slice of life

It’s the washer’s fault.

Go to to read more slice of life stories.
Go to to read more slice of life stories.
The chewed-up sock on its way into the garbage.
The chewed-up sock on its way into the garbage.

Right as my desk was about to be fixed our washing machine broke. Yep, that’s right. The machine started beeping in the middle of the cycle on Saturday morning.  Nothing that we tried from the manual or with the help of a Bosch representative fixed the problem.  We had to wait for someone to come out and repair the machine, which happened this morning.  (And yes, I have a washer full of stinky clothes that smell like mildew that will probably have to be thrown away.)

About 15 – 20 minutes into the repairman’s visit to our home, he called to me from upstairs.  “Ma’am, do you want to see what was clogging your drain pump?”

I cringed — twice.  The first time was for being called ma’am.  I’m in my mid-30’s.  I feel too young for ma’am.  And the second cringing was for what I had to go see.  What if it was really gross?  Did I have the stomach to see it?

“It’s not an animal is it?” I called up.

“No!” he smirked.  “Just come and see.”

I walked to the stairway to see John, the repairman, dangling one of Isabelle’s socks over the banister.

“I was wondering where that sock was.  Only one of them came out with the previous load.  Now I know!”

“Yep, this was clogging up the drain pump.”

“Did you find another one in there?  There was a black sock with silver polka dots that was missing from the previous load of laundry too.”

“Nope. I didn’t see it. That one could’ve made it through the pipes.”

“So where it is?”

“Out of the system by now, ma’am.”  Ugh! There’s that word again!

“So what do I do to prevent this again?” I asked.

“Wash socks in a mesh bag if you have one. Especially her socks,” he said pointing to Isabelle.

Isabelle smiled.

“So all these years I’ve heard people say that their dryer ate the socks, it was really the washing machine eating them?”

“That’s right, ma’am.”


So whenever you have a missing sock in the future, know that it didn’t get eaten by your dryer.  It’s your washing machine’s fault.


31 thoughts on “It’s the washer’s fault.

  1. Who would have guessed? Why haven’t I heard this before? You would think after years of doing laundry someone would have told me. Thanks, ma’am…I mean Stacey. 🙂

  2. Oh my. All those years my dryer was in the dog house, and it was really the washing machine’s fault. I need to go and apologize. Thank you for a delightful story. Sorry about your loss of a load of clothes due to mildew. Did you want to live with less?

    1. I’m definitely going to live without my favorite fleece and one of my favorite sweaters because I don’t really need them. However, the rest of the load were my husband’s khaki pants and unmentionables (as one of my FB friends called it). Therefore, we went to the mall on Sunday and replaced those essential items.

      Now, go and say “I’m sorry” to your dryer! 😉

  3. Ugh, I hate when something else happens. We do need the machines, but… I hope I don’t have to see any more repairman for a long time! I still don’t understand how the clogged drain broke the machine? But I do know socks disappear, wonder how? Thanks for the funny slice of life we all experience, Ma’am, uh Stacey!

  4. Ok, I see a children’s book here! Any takers? If not I’ll jump on it! This is to dang funny! Sorry for your loss of clothing-on a serious note! Omg! Little socks-now you’ve got me wondering about Nattie’s socks!

    We’ll be buying a mesh bag soon!

  5. When my son was captain of his HS football team, the repairman found a few small blue booties that were clogging our washer’s drain for MANY years….(along with some much larger socks) ….YES this is a great book for MOMS!

  6. I know exactly how you feel about being called ma’am! I was in my EARLY 30s when a professor called me ma’am in front of a the whole class. Mortifying! Glad the mystery of the missing socks is solved!

  7. I think the ma’am thing is respectful…much better than “hon” or “sweetie.” In my 40’s (ah-hem and ouch) when a younger person uses a term of endearment on me, I’m thinking they’re sorry for me since I already have one foot in the grave… Get ready for that!

  8. I agree with Chris H. that “hon” and ” sweetie” thing is far worse than ma’am. I long for ma’am but also remember being your age and being startled that the person meant me when using it.
    Now I am wondering if there is something about to stick in my washer’s drain AND it wouldn’t be something as cute as Isabelle’s sock. 🙂

  9. OMG! I was just thinking the other day how in the world does the dryer eat my socks! This is a riot…but don’t throw the clothes away add about a cup of vinegar to the wash…mildew smell will disappear….as you can see I have had this issue before 😉

  10. So the socks get lost in the washer??? Not the dryer?? Good to know. I have one of those mesh bags that I use for nylons. Guess I need to start using it for my boys’ expensive sports socks too! Great story!

    You can get mildew out. I had my washer break a couple of years ago. It’s something like vinegar or baking soda- one of those common household products. Wish I could remember because it worked wonders.

  11. I always thought that it was the black hole or Bermuda triangle that made the socks and spoons to disappear. You led some light to the sock mystery, now I still need to find out where the spoons go.

  12. I. Love. This.

    I love the at-long-last discovery of the truth about washing machines, love the way you told the story, love the cringing (and I cringe, too, even though I think I’m old enough now that I need to accept that I really am a “ma’am”), love-love-love the added detail of “Isabelle smiled.”

    Perfect slice!

  13. Your misfortune turned into delightful reading for all. I’ve got a few lonesome socks looking for partners too. Guess I should just pitch them since their partners have been cruising through the sewer lines. PS – glad it was a sock and not underwear he pulled out.

  14. I guess you never know what you are going to learn about each day! I’ve heard that it helps to use a mesh bag but I did not know that the washer was the culprit! Good to know! I loved when you asked the repairman if it was an animal…I was thinking the exact same thing! EWWW! I’ll take socks any day over an animal.

  15. We recently celebrated the 100th day of school. All the kindergartners were supposed to bring 100 items in a bag. On mom tossed the provided sandwich baggie and sent in a garbage bag of unmatched socks.

  16. Thank you for solving the mystery of the missing socks! How interesting! By the way, I hate being called “ma’am” too! (I think all ladies should just be called “miss”, because I bet even older ladies would be flattered to be addressed as if they were young, and then young ladies wouldn’t be taken aback!)

  17. What would you have rather been called than ma’am? I don’t think “hey you” would have been too professional. I can’t believe this story is actually true, it must be where all of my socks have been going for years!

    1. Rachel: I would’ve preferred “Stacey.” It’s what I tell everyone to call me, minus kids (and then it’s Ms. Shubitz). But if he wasn’t going to go that route, then I would’ve opted for “Hey miss!” That would’ve made me feel uber young. 😉

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