Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Dish Tale

The sounds of a running tap, stacking plates and jangling flatware come from the kitchen. My husband is at it again. He's "cleaning up." And while this should fill me with pride, gratitude and a sense of calm, it tends to have the opposite effect.

I think a lot of people know what I mean when I say this. There are certainly many spouses, room mates and domestic partners who do an excellent job tidying up in the kitchen, but mine still needs some micro-management, er um, supervision.

As I sit in the living room, trapped by the nursing infant in my lap, my mind races through the possibilities. Is he hand-washing the good knives? Will he remember to wash the handles, or does he still think they "don't really get dirty?" Or maybe he's placing the non-stick surface of the frying pan against something sharp and abrasive? And what about those crystal champagne flutes? I picture them crushed under the iron weight of a dutch oven.

Suddenly I hear a sound that truly makes me shudder - the dishwasher being opened. No doubt I will find any number of atrocities the next time I peer inside. Delicate plastic containers, remnants of last night's clean-up efforts where a half cup of berries found themselves swimming in a six-cup Tupperware bowl and a drumstick was crammed into a far too narrow square box, will be carelessly placed on the lower rack, directly above the heating element. Forks and knives, un-rinsed and caked with thick, fatty sauces, all crammed into the same compartment of the silverware tray alongside nested spoons, stacked three deep. And my personal favorite: cereal-encrusted bowls, laid face down, so as to take up the maximum amount of precious top shelf real estate. I'll have to reorganize the entire load before I run it.

But seriously, what gives? How is it possible that a highly intelligent homo sapien with higher math skills far superior to my own can be so utterly lacking in spacial awareness? If I ask him what he was thinking when he used the entire top shelf for the three-piece food processor, his reply will be some sort of indignant grunt about efficiency and "not wanting to hand-wash." Never mind the fact that this little stroke of laziness, er um genius, will require an entire week's worth of coffee cups to sit idle in the sink.

So I wonder, if efficiency is the goal, what's next? Will I find the cactus wedged in between the dinner plates, so it can get "watered" during the rinse cycle? Picturing this makes me chuckle out loud, which gets my husband's attention.

"What's so funny?" he asks.

"Oh, I was just thinking about your bizarre dishwasher loading skills, and it made me realize that I wouldn't put it past you to stuff a houseplant in there with the dirty dishes."

"Why would I do that?" he asks with mock affront.

"Well, you know, so you can check 'watering the plants' off your list when you run a load of dishes."

"Hey! That's actually a really good idea! I wonder if it would work?"


Note to self: Move all plants out of the kitchen. If they aren't in his line of sight, they should be safe. Better yet, buy one of those baby slings so I can get back to dish duty, stat!


wordbones said...

Very funny and perhaps a little to close to home. I am not authorized to operate the dishwasher in our home.


Anonymous said...

My husband is the exact same when it comes to the dishwasher! If I say anything at all, the dishes just stay in the sink next time, so I have learned to keep my mouth shut and just reorganize once he's done. Come on guys, its not rocket science!