Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kitchen Math and the Secret of Adulthood

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Don't let him fool you. He has never washed a dish in his life.

Last night I stood at the sink and tried to force a kind of math that I know just doesn't work. But I tried anyway. I had exactly one dishwasher load-worth of energy in me. But it had been three days since I'd had time to wash any dishes. So, as you can imagine, it was going to take me (probably) about as long as it would take one to do three days worth of dishes. Instead of just sucking it up and spending that amount of time in the kitchen, I tried to rush and rinse fast and scrub like a madwoman and make it happen in less than an hour because I was tired.

Duh, it didn't work. I pooped out too fast and ended up getting only one load in the dishwasher. The rest of the dishes I left in the sink to soak--the grossest ones--and stacked on the stove so they could continue to form a crust of filth.

Last night wasn't my most shining moment, but I have been relatively successful with kitchen upkeep lately, and it's thanks to acceptance of something I've basically been trying to avoid for my whole life.

Now, I'm a fan of The Happiness Project, and she has a feature there called Secrets of Adulthood (good stuff, check it out): simple truths about making life easier. And if I was going to contribute, this would be mine.

Because dammit, there is just no way around it. And my mom will read this post and say "Heather, I told you so," and I will say "of course you did, but then I didn't always see it happen in our house growing up, either, because life is crazy, you know, and I get why that was, too... but I also never let go of the hope that you might have been wrong and I might not have really had to do this every day."

Anyway, this. Time to let go of hope and accept reality. This is my great realization. My secret of adulthood. My reluctant truth:

You have to do the dishes every damn day.

Damn it.

I don't want to. But I have to.

I am at a place in my life, an age--34--where there is no more getting around this. No "I'll just wait until tomorrow," no "maybe I can do them every two days." No "maybe someone else will do them for me." Who was I kidding? And I have put some serious avoidance behavior into this task. Since I was a child, I've been avoiding and putting off this job. Even though I know how to wash things--Quiet, husband, this is not the time for debates about my dishwashing skills!--and get the job done when the job needs doing.

The unavoidable, ridiculous, no good, very bad truth is that my life is just better if I do one load of dishes in the dishwasher every single day. And if I don't do a load every single day, tomorrow I will be looking at two loads of dishes in my sink.

Don't tell me it's so easy. I've heard that whole bit from Grandma already. That thing about how if you just put them right into the dishwasher when people use them, it's no big deal. Nobody EVER puts anything right in the dishwasher when they use it around here. And rinsing after they use a plate? Forget it.

I'm just gonna spend some time scrubbing. Every. Single. Day. Until I die.

I am a smart person. You would think this would be a conclusion that would have come to me sooner than the age of 34. No. I was hoping there was a magical solution, one that didn't involve me scrubbing cheese from plates on the regular.

I don't like living in filth, so I have no choice but to accept this truth. Stupid truth.

1 comment:

  1. My goal this school year is to have washed all of the dishes before I go to bed. Our rental house does not have a dishwasher. UGH

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