I hate washing dishes. I can never motivate to do them, which is why I use so few of them to begin with. My main dish usage here is of bowls and spoons, primarily for cereal in the morning but also for the occasional pasta dinner. Why then, if I just washed all of my dishes on Sunday, do I have no more left today? It’s Wednesday. I did not eat eleven bowls of cereal between Sunday and Wednesday. I don’t know what happened, but this is the time I wish I had a dish washer. However, if I had one, I would not likely unload it.
This was my chore as a child. My mother asked me to do very few things around the house (apart from keeping my room clean, an order I ignored as if I’d been born with no ears at all). Some of my chores were feeding the birds in the winter at night in the deep snow before my bedtime, walking up my driveway early on weekend mornings to get the paper from the mailbox, and feeding the dogs and cats. For these chores and others I received a small weekly stipend, which now that I look back on it, would barely cover the cost of a bus ride to school here, and which I would have gladly given up had my mother simply removed the chore of unloading the dishwasher from the list. Oh how I loathed unloading the dishwasher. And how my mother loathed nagging me to do it. I can’t tell you how many times I unloaded the dishwasher in the dark, first placing a towel down on the counter, opening up the door to get a face full of soapy steam, and then getting my hands and forearms drenched in the warm leftover dish water that had collected on the bottoms of the upturned glasses as I turned them over to dry more completely on the towel.
I guess I wouldn’t have hated it so much if my mother were not an expert at packing the dishwashers full, using absolutely all of the available space. Trust me: you think a dishwasher is full. My mother will shake her head in disappointment, remove all the dirty dishes and replace them so that, lo and behold, you still have room for thirty seven more wine glasses and four-piece settings for a party of twelve. She could fit a chair into a mitten.
In any case, I have carried with me the distaste for dishes for years. Having lived in several places that had dishwashers, I avoided unloading them like the plague, and while I had no problem loading them, I never got it fully together to get the plates and bowls and cups back into the cupboards, preferring to grab what I needed from the dishwasher. All of my dishes were on a sink-dishwasher rotation: grab from the dishwasher when I needed it, leave it in the sink until all items had been removed from the dishwasher, and then placed back into the dishwasher. Rinse, repeat.
Many of you are thinking, among thoughts like “Gross, Gina. Just do your dishes,” “So what? It was a chore. Suck it up and do it.” I know you’re thinking that and if I didn’t know the rest of the story I’d think the same thing of myself. HOWEVER, on my recent trip home to Vermont to visit Old Mama, I learned of her own distaste for unloading the dishwasher. “Oh, I hated the dishwasher! It was the worst chore!! I was so glad when you came around so I wouldn’t have to do it anymore!” Grin, grin, chuckle, chuckle, ha ha ha. “Isn’t that funny, Gina?” Imagine my face.
So she had pawned it off on her daughter as soon as her daughter was stable on two feet and could lift five pounds of china. And was I compensated for my work? I don’t know, do you call $2.50/week for five years compensation? I think there are some child labor laws that would like to disagree.
But listen, placing my morals on the side for the time being, if this is why we have children, then I’m going to prime my ovaries for a serious undertaking. I don’t like dusting, either.
For details about this Comment Karma thing, read this.