The Broken Dryer: A Poll


Here’s the situation:

Tonight, my ex-husband came over to visit and offered to wash a fluffy foot-thing. (Don’t ask, but the tag says it’s washable.) I offered to wash it but he insisted on doing it. He probably thought he’d do a better job. (Men.)

Then, he put it in the clothes dryer, which is in the garage, because that’s where we do the laundry. He came back inside for a while and then went out to check the dryer. He came in again to report that the dryer stopped working. It worked when he turned it on, but now it’s broken. Dead. Won’t go on again.

I said something like, Shit, you broke the dryer?! He said something like, No, I didn’t break it, it broke.

I said, Well, my husband will be heartbroken when he comes home from work at 2: A.M. and finds that the dryer is broken. (My husband has been graciously doing the laundry while I have the fucking walker and can’t carry anything.)

This is like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but without Larry David.

I told the ex to pay for a repairman. The ex was aghast, and furious. Because “he didn’t break it.” But it wasn’t broken before he used it. In my addled mind, HE SHOULD PAY FOR THE REPAIR. Not only that, we have no money. (I’m aware that this has no moral bearing on the issue, but still.)

Should the ex pay? Or not?

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44 Responses to The Broken Dryer: A Poll

  1. Rosée says:

    He should pay.

    If something breaks when/after I’ve used it, I pay for it. Simple. I also feel some remorse and at least OFFER to pay for it. It’s common courtesy, plus when it’s an item which belongs to someone else you should treat it better than you’d treat your own. It’s simply showing respect

  2. emmi says:

    ex pays !

  3. dexter vandango says:

    Let the repairman decide.

    If what your ex put in broke it – he pays.

    If it died of old age he doesn’t.

  4. Leslie says:

    I’m going to have to agree with Dexter on this one. Although he’s (your ex) is being a bit of a douche about this whole affair.

  5. Moda says:

    No, only get your ex to pay if you hate him but apart from that no.

  6. Sharne says:

    I’m with dexter but this too. Though I doubt he will pay, seeing as he didn’t offer in the first place.

  7. Kate says:

    Over-eager well-meaners always ruin shit: the fine print of Murphy’s Law. Question: is the fluffy foot thing now ruined in a manner that suggests it shouldn’t have been put in the dryer? If so, and if he did not ask permission before putting said thing in said dryer, he’s culpable. Otherwise, maybe an appliance alimony clause applies.

  8. He broke the dryer we all know he broke the dryer. He pretended it had stopped and wouldn’t work again. The repairman will confirm this.

  9. arline says:

    Did the fluffy thing he put in the dryer cause it to break (because it has too much fluf)

    Yes he should pay.

  10. Juri says:

    If he or his fluffy foot thing broke it he should pay.

    If he won’t, you have the right to go to his place and break something there. Or you could take and sell something of his to cover the bill. That should fix the problem and get you all into Christmas mood.

  11. David Duff says:

    What is a “fluffy foot thing”?

    Is this used in some sort of weird Californian sexual practice hitherto unknown to an elderly British gent like me? If so, an explanation including a diagram would be appreciated. Only when I have decided on the moral rectitude of the “fluffy foot thing” will I give judgment on who pays.

  12. AngelaPea says:

    Oh my…David D. has me spewing coffee all over the keyboard this morning! I’m with him, though…what is a fluffy foot thing?

    Other than that, I toss in my two cents with Dexter – if the FFT broke it then the ex pays; if not, then your dryer just expired from old age, and it’s up to you to repair or replace.

  13. Hélène says:

    In my opinion, you should check if he did anything wrong whith the dryer (ask which button he pressed etc.). If it did nothing wrong, he shouldn’t pay for the reparation. He was nice to offer to do the job for you. The fact that he is your ex doesn’t mean he has to pay. If it was a girl friend instead would you ask her to pay for your dryer ? (sorry for my poor English, I’m French)

  14. David Duff says:

    “David D. has me spewing coffee all over the keyboard ”

    I frequently have that effect on the ladies, it must be my aftershave!

  15. Deni says:

    On principal (an ex coming to use your appliances for FFTs and not regular laundry as in t-shirts and undies) and situation (you’re unemployed, using walker, tending others that have to do with ex) he should be a gentleman and honorable and pay for the fucking repair! Sometimes it’s not about who is responsible or not for breaking something but who can help whom when that whom needs assistance. It’s about doing the right thing even if you’re not responsible (not that I’m say he’s not responsible, since like everyone above I don’t know what a FFT really is and what damage it can do let lose in the world). Damn it Sister, if I weren’t on the verge of being sans living quarters myself (doctor bills up the yingyang) I’d help you pay for it!

  16. Bevitron says:

    I’m with Dexter too, I think. Except that if the repairman is a guy (high probability), he could run some kind of guyhood protection deal on you and fib about the truth – that probably somebody who wasn’t familiar with the knobs and stuff turned something the wrong way or pushed instead of pulled or whatever, and the machine just shit the bed out of sheer confusion. But then, my dryer is ancient and maybe new ones don’t have knobs, maybe you just speak into them and tell them what to do. Oh fuck, make him pay.

    And Kate is SO right about the enthusiastic helpers -I get a friend over who just offers to fix/clean something and they screw it up every time! It’s really nice of them and all, and I do hate to piss on someone’s eagerness to pitch in, but my house and all the shit in it is real old and quirky and things have to be pampered – close a door the wrong way and the whole place could collapse. (And oh yeah – don’t EVER send someone to the store to get someting for you! “I want the can with the blue label, not the red label, and get LOW salt, NOT the NO salt.” You get red label no salt every fucking time.)

    Anyway, if you DO decide he pays, stick to your guns.

  17. Ann says:

    I belong to the School of Rosée on this one. If I use something of someone else’s, and it breaks while/after I’ve used it, I pay for the repairs or I replace it, or at least offer to do so. Doesn’t matter if it’s a wine glass or an appliance or whatever. It’s just good manners. Or my repressed/recovering Catholic guilt. Or both.

  18. Jill says:

    I think all exs should pay…but I’m old-fashioned like that.

  19. aine says:

    we’re all defying you, whats a fft? Is it the microwavable foot warmer thing that comes up second on google? I must know!

  20. Alicia says:

    Umm, of course he should pay. What kind of a “gentleman” is he trying to pass himself off as without even offering to pay for what he fucked up?


  21. Iron Chic says:

    I say maybe you should split the repairs????
    My mom just gave me her crappy old car to help me with my business.
    In order for her to legally sign it over to me, I had to get it safety checked and e-tested blah blah.
    Well, it turns out that a part of the car needed to be relaced and the whole thing ended up costing like, $600 or something.
    My parents offered to pay for half since they had been driving the car for 7 years and caused the wear and tear….
    I don’t know, is this similar?
    Maybe it was your dryer’s time…

  22. As a newbie to your blog, hope it’s okay to put my two cents in. Ask the repairman exactly what happened with the machine. If your ex did indeed break it – give him that proof and request that he pay for it. If it just died of old age, you should pay for it.

  23. theresa says:

    he should’ve offered. because he didn’t offer, you should make him pay.
    why the fuck did he need to use your dryer anyway?

    until then, air drying is better anyway.

  24. tin lizzie says:

    I think you should probably pay but I’d like to see the ex offer to pay. When the repairman does come out, make sure you tell him you are unemployed and need a break. I got 1/2 off a bill because the guy felt bad for us and he got good karma.

  25. K-Line says:

    He should offer to pay – even if you don’t take him up on it. And you should take him up on it.

  26. Suebob says:

    He should offer to pay, and you should refuse. That would be the repressed WASPy way of handling it.

  27. Dr LaLaura says:

    If he was still your pre-ex, of course he would pay. Now that he has full-fledged ex status what makes him think he is off the hook? Have you been giving him mixed messages since you split up? I knew a woman that tossed her boyfriend out of their shared apartment and still managed to keep him paying half the rent. If you were a real woman you wouldn’t be in this situation. Sometimes I wonder if you are not the cunt you claim to be… and just a big pussy.

  28. caitlin says:

    Make the ex pay. Or at least make him OFFER to pay.

  29. TheShoeGirl says:

    He should pay for letting you get away 😉
    (said in sleazy come-on voice with a greasy wink)

  30. Daniel says:

    Let’s keep in mind that ‘the Ex’ was trying to help you out. For all anyone knows it could be YOUR fault the dryer broke because you keep it in the garage and not in an area of the house where it is less likely to come into contact with moisture, etc.

    A dryer is a VERY simple apparatus to use. Monkeys can operate one I’m quite sure. So my belief is, if it broke, most likely it was it’s time to go.

  31. dexter vandango says:

    Jill says: I think all exs should pay…but I’m old-fashioned like that.

    I think I’m detecting a very old fashioned attitude here on the part of some. Because the Ex is a man he should pay. But if an ex-wife used the machine and it broke.. and her ex-husband asked her to pay, most would be outraged at his lack of gentlemanly qualities. “How could he treat a woman he once loved so coldly? What a beast!”

  32. Lila says:

    I actually struggle with understanding how you got the conclusion that your ex should pay to fix the dryer. Talk about a deficit of logic!

    This makes me think of the good Samaritan law. If you unintentionally exacerbate somebody’s injuries in the course of assistance, you should not be held culpable.

    Ex tried to help, dryer malfunctioned (either through mechanical failure or fault of his own), you should not hold him culpable for the repair cost. You bet your ass I wouldn’t offer assistance again if I were him!!!

    This makes me think of the Friends episode where Joey’s fourteen year old refrigerator breaks and he tries to hold everyone responsible for it.

  33. Beck says:

    I think he should have offered, and because he didn’t do the decent thing he should now definitely be made to pay.
    If he HAD offered, I wouldn’t let him pay. If someone recognises the right thing to do, they do’t have to, but if they don’t see why they should, then they should. Illogical I know. Sort of like witch-ducking.

    But because I’m English, I could never have asked him outright, preferring instead to simmer with resentment for a disproportionate amount of time, whilst dissing him to anyone who would listen – especially the repair man.

    I certainly didn’t have you down as a fluffy foot thing wearer Sister. Maybe he did you a favour!

  34. Sally says:

    It’s not like he took a hammer to it. You own the dryer, it was your item that was being dried, and it sounds as if you were going to wash/dry it anyway. It’s your responsibility.

  35. Chas says:

    Jeez, let’s leave the baggage at the door for a minute and ask a few questions.

    Is the dryer as old as the one in the picture? If it is 8 or more years old, blaming the ex (however blameworthy he is) probably isn’t the right thing to do. Old appliances break.

    Should he be gracious and offer to help? (Yes, particularly if he has been puttin’ miles on the dryer all these years.)

    BTW, what the hell is your ex doing still using your dryer? Might your life be a little better by having a boundary that precludes use of the facilities?

  36. Sister Wolf says:

    Rosee – YES!

    Emmi – YES!

    Dexter – Shit.

    Leslie – Shit.

    Moda – I hate him for breaking the dryer.

    Sharne – Shit.

    Kate – Shit.

    Make Do – YES!

    arline – YES!

    Juri – YES!

    David Duff – See me after class.

    Deni – YES!

    Bevitron – God, so true.

    Ann – YES!

    Jill – YES!

    aine – It’s a thing you wear when you break your leg and your foot needs to be held in a neutral position.

    Alicia – YEs!

    Iron Chic – But at least you got a car out of it!

    Caroline – Shit.

    Theresa – YES!

    tin lizzie – Shit.

    K-line – YES!

    Suebob – YES!

    Dr LaLaura – I can assure you, I’m a cunt. You are, too!

    caitlin – YES!

    TheShoeGirl – YES! (ha!)

    Daniel – Do you live in L.A.? You can come and fix it!

    dexter- Haven’t you caused enough trouble??

    Lila – I can’t respond to anyone who refers to “Friends” for life-lessons.

    Beck – YES! (the ex is English too)(the FFT is for our son)

    Sally – Shit.

    Chas – It’s not THAT old, but it has already had a major repair. The ex was over to visit our son, who is recovering from some serious injuries.

  37. Alana says:

    If he was intending to help you when he tried to wash the foot thing, he should be prepared to fix any repercussions. It just feels completely wrong him leaving you to pay for this, especially when the seriously injured son (who I’m sure will be needing clean clothes) is his as well. If he leaves you to pay for this all I can think is: What a useless clumsy oaf.

  38. Alana says:

    let me rephrase this. Especially when the seriously injured son (who I’m sure will be needing DRY clothes) is his as well.

  39. Alana says:

    And I bet Max could also do with a mum who can provide the best care possible, by being as unburdened with other worries as possible. Not to mention having as much extra money as possible.

  40. Sister Wolf says:

    Alana – YES! Damn right.

  41. Bevitron says:

    What Alana said – exactly. That’s the point, very well put.
    I do hope he realizes that and pays.

  42. Iron Chic says:

    Hey, I inheirited a car that is probably going to die on the highway in a middle of a blizzard.
    Too bad there isn’t a CSI Dryer team available….

  43. Sister Wolf says:

    Bevitron – When hell freezes.

    Iron Chic – Too right. And look how the vote was against the ex paying.

    As luck would have it, my husband appears to have fixed the dryer but I won’t know for sure until he comes home and goes to get the laundry.

  44. hammie says:

    He should just go and buy a new dryer – in order to help Max. xx

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