I appreciate the peace of mind that tidiness has to offer. Who doesn’t? My parents would tell you otherwise but when I have spare moments throughout my day, I do tidy up the areas in which I live and experience the comfort that orderliness has to offer. Especially when I’m about to do something requires “brain-power” (i.e. studying/writing LifesLemons) I pick-up my surroundings to a certain extent or I can’t focus. My sandals haphazardly tossed aside should be put away properly and the hair tie which was flicked across the room at Weston when I took my hair down before bed last night must be picked up as well.
One area of domestic duties that Weston and I see eye to eye on is the upkeep of dishes. We wash them at least twice a day and rarely let dirty dishes sit in the sink after a meal, they are done immediately. I sympathize with my college friends who live with messy roommates and more specifically live with people who are slobs in the kitchen. I can’t imagine coming home day after day to a kitchen in shambles and being forced to do the dishes or worse- look at and share living space with them. Been there, done that. One of my worst nightmares when living at home was returning from a long day of school or work starving to a sink of dirty, crusty, smelly dishes that were not mine (some were.) All I wanted was to make a delicious little Lima bean omelet before bed and all the skillets just had to be dirty before I could even begin to cook. Nothing dampens the spirit of cooking and baking more than knowing that you must chisel dried food off of half of your utensils just moments before you use them. Mom, in your defense, expecting you to jump right on them upon walking through the front door after work is unfair and absurd because nobody wants to wash dishes; and they certainly don’t want to wash them when they were dirtied by someone else, have unidentifiable foods stuck to them or have molds that have yet to be classified. As long as they are kept up with, doing dishes isn’t so bad. Dirty Dish Mountain doesn’t pop up over night but if you let them sit long enough, my Grandma says, “they’ll have babies.” Weston and I do our best to wash them right after eating because when you wash them promptly, you at least have an idea of what you’re wiping off. Nothing is worse than having your pruny finger swipe bumpy pale slime at the bottom of an old oatmeal bowl and notice after it’s too late. The Horror!
For the almost 9 months that Weston and I have lived in our little apartment, or “house” as I like to call it, we haven’t once used our dishwasher. It’s not that we don’t have dishwasher soap, we do (from Moms’ care packages when we moved out) and it’s not like we’re saving the dishwasher’s virginity for a some kinky special occasion, because we’re not (we didn’t think to.) Like I said before, we see eye to eye on the topic of doing the dishes and feel that it takes more time to rinse, load, and unload than it does to clean them yourself. He comes from a family that is used to washing the dishes by hand and just prefers doing them that way, but I dread unloading dishwashers more than anything else in the world (stemmed from deep-rooted childhood tortures of my past.) It was my “chore.” Cold splashes and drips of water would stab my ankles and bare-feet like knives whenever I would quickly retrieve Tupperware lids with pooled water. The need to look close, but certainly not too close was frustrating, because you never know what sort of little “gifts” the dishwasher fairies would leave behind for you: A slimy sliver of french-cut green bean clung tightly to a butterknife, a kernel of sweet corn that suctioned-cupped it’s way onto a coffee mug handle, and those two peanut butter spoons that corrupted surrounding silverware…(why are you surprised?) Beware the oatmeal bowl gone through two cycles already. It must now be inspected by placing your hands on the visibly clean outside area, turned over gingerly but quickly placed back on it’s belly once you realize that the little dishwasher man, who lives beneath the water sprayer and hand washes things if you’re lucky, did not answer last night’s prayers.
For some reason tonight on a whim, I thought that it would be fun to use the machine for something other than textbook and winter shoe storage. I’ve been rather impulsive all day. I had an ice cream cone before lunch without thinking twice, just returned from the gas station with a root beer in the middle of writing this post and an hour ago decided to make my day even more exciting by using the dishwasher (for it’s intended purpose) for the first time. If I would have read that last paragraph and reminisced back to my dishwasher days before I loaded it up tonight, I may have thought twice about doing so. The noisy machine has since stopped “cleaning” but now I’m nervous to open it up and retrieve our “washed” dishes. What’s the status of my peanut butter spoon? Will they still be damp? Will they have beans stuck to them? Will the lid of my tupperware be lodged under the water spinner and I’ll have to stick my whole arm inside the drippy machine to get it? For God Sake…I hope not!