The Dishwashing Experience
The phenomenon of “Dishpan Diarrhea” really seemed to strike a chord with many readers.
(which I’ll admit is a strange metaphor, but who’s to say that diarrhea is not melodic?)
But I digress.
Since so many of you could relate to dish-washing avoidance, I figured I could
milk the idea expound on the subject for one more post.
I don’t mind doing dishes. I have a dishwasher – which I didn’t have for most of my marriage – so it’s really no big deal. Stack the dishwasher, wash the pots and pans or delicate stuff, and clean the stove, table and countertops. And since we don’t have kids, it’s usually pretty quick work. (When my parents were empty-nesters, my father used to ask my mother why there were sometimes three forks.)
When we have company, it’s nice, though, to have a little help. And I almost always do. My husband is a model husband with an audience.
But not so much when we’re alone.
But as I said, it’s not hard and I don’t usually mind.
And he helps. I calculated the rate of help back in 2011, and it turned out he had helped with the dinner dishes at least 100 times – out of 7,045 dish-washing days. That’s 1.3%. But we’re halfway through 2013 now. I am sure he has helped out quite a bit more. He may be approaching 2%.
And he’s retired, so he does the breakfast dishes after I leave for work in the morning. It’s usually in the morning, anyway. I know because I have had a few calls at the office to ask, “Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?” We’ve all had those calls.
Sometimes however, I have a strong suspicion that the breakfast dishes were put in the dishwasher when he heard my car coming up the driveway at the end of the day. But I have no proof of this.
And doing the breakfast dishes is certainly a big help. We have toast.
And let me digress again. I have stopped asking him at breakfast what he would like for dinner. Because it’s breakfast time – he ‘can’t even think’ about dinner. Meal planning requires a difficult shift in perception. It’s akin to time-travel.
He does help at dinner though. He brings the dishes to the counter near the sink. And he often asks me if I need help. He usually phrases that question as “Do you have enough room to let them drain?”
He’ll dry though, if I really don’t have enough room. I like it when he dries the dishes. Because I get even more help that just the drying. He generously points out the occasional infinitesimal spot I have left on a pan. I am thankful that he is so observant. I love the opportunity to improve my dishwashing skills.
He’s also a big help with stubborn stains. I have a favorite travel mug that I bring to work every day. It holds a lot of coffee and I can fill it at 7:45 and at noon I still have enough hot coffee for lunch. I hate to plug a brand (that hasn’t paid me), but let me just say that Thermos really knows how to make a thermos. It’s beginning to show its age though, and scrubbing the narrow inside can be hit-or-miss. So my husband offered to give it a good cleaning. And the next morning it was all shiny inside! The coffee tasted like carburetor cleaner for a day or two. But the mug was very clean.
And just this morning, Hubby was thoughtful again. We have one of those big Viking stoves with a built-in griddle on the cooktop. Because it was Sunday, I had made for breakfast a banana quiche that he likes. But I was speculating that I could turn that recipe into pancakes and cook them on the griddle, which would be quicker than baking the quiche.
“Oh, don’t do that. I don’t mind the wait, and cleaning that griddle is such a pain in the ass.”
And it is! And he knows it is! Because he has cleaned it once.
This week my husband has been extra helpful. I’ve had a stomach bug, and important deadlines at work. And he’s been great.
He did the dinner dishes TWICE this week.
And I didn’t ask him. He just did them.
And I’m sure it is just coincidental that also TWICE – after the dishwasher was loaded, and it was time for the pans – he said,
“I think I’ll just let these soak.”