Not wrong I don’t think, maybe just weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to have sex with my dishwasher (although I do sometimes want to hug and kiss it). Sometimes I walk past it and give it a pat. Just to show I care. Cleaning the filter is a labour of love, like changing my child’s nappy. It’s all worth it.
I have an extravagant attitude to dishes. I don’t often cook one pot meals. The food I like to cook usually has more than element, which requires more than one pot. This is a common, but short conversation in my house: I will cook dinner, and Alex will clear the table, take the dishes out to the kitchen and groan. “Sara, what the hell happened out here? It looks like the apocalypse!” I shrug and say, “what do you care? It’s not as if you’re going to wash up.” The Bear would rather clean the bathroom than wash up (for unclear reasons), so the kitchen mess is all mine to make and clean up.
I have my own deep antipathy to washing up. My brother and I had to take it in turns to wash up each night, and if there was a dirty dish put in the dish drainer the errant washer would have to wash again the next night and for as many nights as necessary until all the dishes were clean. I dunno. I just grew to hate washing up.
Which does make it kind of hard to understand my cooking style. My friends say “Oh I just wash up as I go. That way there’s not much mess after dinner.” That’s good if you are a multi-tasker. Unfortunately, I am the only woman in the world who can’t do more than one thing at a time. I fantasise about one day being able to once again focus on one task at a time, to be able to see that task to completion before starting the next one. Oh, the luxury.
Unfortunately, I am forced by circumstance (mother to two small children) to try do more than one thing at a time. I never do it well. I am not someone who can talk and cook at the same time, for instance. If the phone rings I have to stop what I am doing. I get annoyed if someone even asks me a question while I am cooking (during preparation is ok, but stay away from me as soon as the gas is lit). So you see, cleaning the kitchen whilst cooking is beyond me.
Pre-dishwasher (I now divide my life into before and after dishwasher) I had the unfortunate combination of a little kitchen, an extravagant cooking style, a stay at home lifestyle where most meals are prepared by me in the kitchen, a dislike of washing up and an inability to multi-task. Dishes were always piled high in my kitchen, either clean or dirty. It was a constant source of irritation to me – I could never escape!
My parents bought me my dishwasher. Mum said she felt so sorry for me in my tiny kitchen, in my tiny house with my BIG cooking style. You know what it was like, those first heady months of dishwasher ownership? (Do you think my language is excessive? It’s not). It’s like how the 1950s housewife must have felt after she got her first washing machine. Hand washing all those clothes, one whole day dedicated to the task washing her family’s clothes. Resentment, bitterness, exhaustion. Add then one day everything changes. A major source of irritation disappears. Just like that. They are not called marriage-savers for nothing
- In the Kitchen (ontheshoresofkylake.com)
- Unfuck Your Habitat: Dishes? Really? (persephonemagazine.com)