You know what I miss? The dishwasher.
I’ve been living a dishwasher-full lifestyle for the past 6 years, and before that, I am pretty sure I lived alone and therefore consumed only meals that did not require dishes or silverware, and if I did, I made sure to do so at either a restaurant, where you pay them to do the dishes, or at someone else’s house, where I’d bring with me a minimum of two bottles of wine, better to excuse myself from dish duty at the end of the evening.
In Seattle, we had a high-class Bosch dishwasher, so quiet you could have easily fallen asleep while laying right next to it. And besides, while I was working, J did all the dish rinsing, dishwasher loading, and if I was very lucky, dishwasher unloading (what can I say? This was my designated chore as a youngster, and I don’t know if y’all are genetically programmed to hate doing your childhood chores as adults, but I am, and therefore hate both unloading the dishwasher and setting the table).
And then I had to go and lose my mind, and quit my job. Ok, not really, since if I’d kept that job, losing my mind was ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED, but I do think I hadn’t quite thought out what exactly being at home all day with no tasks would actually entail.
Namely, all the chores, including loading and unloading the dishwasher. It’s a good thing that a pile of dirty dishes is enough to drive me right over the edge, because otherwise the dishes would have sat, odorous and crusty, for days on end. Thanks to the miracles of German engineering, I didn’t have to do much more than rinse the plates and make sure the silverware was oriented correctly (fork tines up, although I hear this can be a significant source of conflict amongst live-in couples. And sharp knives always get hand-washed, so no stabbing incidents at our house), even though I, as is my wont, found myriad ways to complain about it.
And then we moved to California, where we eschewed tiny apartments with modern amenities in favor of a 1929 Craftsman with original fixtures and a claw-foot tub. And, OF COURSE, no dishwasher. “Good thing you’re unemployed,” J laughed when she realized there was no dishwasher in sight. She slept on the couch that night.
With only one income, we eat at home more often than not, and in our attempt to reduce our intake of packaged foods, there’s a lot of cooking going on here. Which generates a metric fuck-ton of dishes, is what it does. Combine this with our dismal amount of counter space, and pretty soon the entire kitchen is covered in greasy, food-coated, plates, glasses, pots and pans. All of which I get to wash by hand.
I don’t think I’d complain about it so much if I actually knew how to DO IT correctly. Every day, I walk away from the sink with my entire midsection soaked through, and a dangerous puddle on the floor. I don’t FEEL like I’m spraying water everywhere (we don’t even have one of those hoses), but the small swimming pool that accumulates at my feet indicates otherwise.
And the worst part? It just starts over the next day. More dishes, more putting away, more soaked shirts and slippery puddles. I don’t really like to admit that there are tasks beyond my abilities, but dishwashing might just be one such task.
Keep your pool boy, someone send me a dishwasher.