finally, something good came of my hesitation and indecision!
a couple of months ago, our washing machine broke down. it had left oily black smears on our sheets during a couple of loads. when i looked inside the machine, i could see oily streaks had dripped out of some of the holes in the drum. we described the predicament to several people and got the same response: sounds like the transmission; you'll need a new machine.
that was a bummer, but not the end of the world. just go buy a new washer, easy peasy. until we measured our old machine and found that they no longer made washing machines in those dimensions. which also wouldn't be much of a problem in most cases. unfortunately for us, the laundry room had basically been built around those machines, and there wasn't a hair's width of space to spare! so then we began talking about knocking down a wall, except that would also involve trying to rearrange the piping. or we could find a top loading machine that could fit sideways into that spot. it would be awkward to do laundry, but doable.
we looked several times at washers. we even came very close to buying one, except i decided to be stubborn (blah blah, i wanted to wheel and deal but the salesman wouldn't knock off the $50 delivery charge, so i tried the walk away bluff... but just ended up walking away). the whole ordeal gave me a headache and i didn't want to deal with it. so we kept putting it off. we did laundry at the parents', and at my sister's, and at the laundromat. we kept saying "next weekend, we really have to buy a washer".
but then in telling my washer woes to the laundromat owner, he gave me hope. said it didn't sound like the transmission if there was no oil leaking beneath the washer. ANYHOO, we popped the front off the machine and didn't see anything suspicious. we did a test load with grungy towels we don't use. no oil. test run number two on the dish towels: also fine. ramp up the testing to underwear, socks, and gym clothes. CLEAN! so finally tonight i did real clothes. everything looks a-okay!!
We just saved ourselves several hundred bucks and a whole lot of hassle! so of course the moral of the story is: always put off til another day, because it may never have to get done at all.
such a valuable lesson.