One of the things about living in Paris is that you’re always searching for ways to maximize every little square millimeter of living space you have. This means buying beds that can pull up to reveal vast storage spaces beneath or, as one Parisian outfit has it, beds that can be pulled up to the ceiling. Couchs, poofs, chairs, all of these ideally have storage for your various odds and ends.
The upside of this is that cleaning is a bit easier (less stuff and less square footage to polish up) and sometimes instead of a few silly little things, you get one really nice cool thing. So that’s cool.
But this also means that, if you’re like me, you spend an inordinate amount of time in your cramped little apartment wondering about what you’re missing out on… like, for instance, installing shelving above the wall moulding to get rid of that ugly Ikea bookshelf you found on the street or demolishing that Haussmanian-period chimney to squeeze in an extra seating space.
In fact, just the other day, I was staring at the swirling box beneath our stovetop: the washing machine. You see, my wife and I made our choice shortly after we moved in. Most apartments in Paris force you to make this choice. Here is your dilemma: clean clothes or clean dishes?
What will it be?
If you choose to wash your clothes at home, that means for every dinner party you’ll be hand washing all of those crusty plates and pots for your pot au feu.
If you choose to wash your dishes, then you’ll be shlepping down to your nearest laundromat once a week (and if you’re like us with a kid, then you know you’ll be spending two or three evenings a week at the laundromat and this is just not an option).
So yes, you read that right. I did mean a machine that can clean dishes AND your clothes. Obviously, they wouldn’t be done at the same time (though that would be a dream) but there should be a machine somewhere that can both wash dishes and wash clothes.
It turns out, there was such a machine! The Thor Automagic!!! Oh. If only we could bring back the 50s, if just for this slice of heaven.
Alas… we’ve made our choice. Now we have to live with it.