Monday, November 14, 2005

Historical Reality

When I was in college I developed a habit of doing all the dishes I used as soon as I was done with them. This was partially in self-defense. I knew that arguments over cleaning the kitchen would develop, and I wanted to stay out of them. This was mostly successful, though I think my roomies resented having to acknowledge the mess in the sink wasn't mine. Or maybe they resented my forcefullly observing the mess wasn't mine. Over and over. Nah.

When I got my own apartment, I continued the habit. I didn't enjoy doing dishes, but I also didn't have enough dishes to fill a dishwasher before running out of stuff to eat on and with. A little silly, I suppose; who cares of the washer is truly full before running it? But it seemed wasteful. So I did 'em myself after every meal. It wasn't until I got married that the generation of soiled dishes outstripped my ability to keep up and I had enough to fill the thing before needing to use large banana leaves to put my cereal on. If memory serves, Trish had a hand in convincing me the dishwasher was an actual labor-saving device, and used less water to boot.

Anyway, last week the dishwasher had a problem. The water wouldn't drain out, so I've been thrown back to hand-washing for the better part of a week. Washing all dishes by hand for one person for 1.5 meals a day is a minor pain. Doing so for three while also cooking etc. is a royal pain. I can’t even just stuff things into the washer for later cleaning. They sit on the counter or in the sink taking up space I need for other things.

Okay, so its not hauling all the water needed for drinking, cooking and cleaning two miles from the community well. Sue me, I find it a serious hassle. And it certainly serves as a forceful reminder about all those history lessons that mentioned the introduction of labor-saving devices for the home back when. For the (mostly) women of those eras, it must have been like…having a stay-at-home-parent. Or something like that.


Alex Camacho said...

It does have a way of putting things a little in perspective. Things could always be worse but I still feel your pain. I clean after my seven year old, my wife and her dear dad who lives with us. I seem to be the only one who's unlocked the secret code for opening the dishwasher...

Jim Online said...

I can relate with your dishwashing situation. Well, I just try to keep in mind that I am doing my part, although it could get to me sometimes.