Washing dishes was something I never learned to do as a child. Don’t get me wrong; my family was not rich. I was not pampered. It was the opposite. My parents believed I should significantly contribute to the household (and outside) chores, and when I was young, my parents were poor. Dirt poor. Wrong side of town poor.
So why did I not learn to wash dishes? It was because my parents were poor that I did not. They were terrified that I might break a precious dish that they could not afford to replace. In fact, many of our dishes came from “green stamps” and from the county fair. When I was little there was a place on the midway at the county fair where one could throw nickels and dimes at dishes. If said coin landed on a dish, the person throwing the coin got to keep the dish. My mother mastered a technique that won us enough dishes to get by.
(One might wonder if my parents were so poor, why did they spend the money to go to the fair in the first place? I do not know. I never asked. I have a theory that the entrance fee was worth the dishes won. I also believe that there was pressure from friends or family that all children must have this experience. We went on Free Ride Day.)
But I’m getting way off track.
I remember begging to wash dishes, but to no avail. My mother simply would not risk it.
When I was 10 years old, someone gave my parents a portable dishwasher. That forever solved the issue. I never learned to wash dishes. I remember living in one house in which the dishwasher broke. My brother and I had to wash the dishes one day. It was horrible. (I finally made him leave and did it myself so it would get finished more quickly.) But having lived with a dishwasher for several years, my parents bought one the next day and had it installed as quickly. (They also were no longer dirt poor.)
Every place I lived after I left my parents’ house had a dishwasher. The last house I lived in had a broken-dishwasher-problem, but I took care of it as my parents had.
My attitude about washing dishes, I will admit, has become a bit cavalier. I love to cook, and loving to cook usually means getting a lot of dishes and pans dirty. I do not care. I put them in the dishwasher. If it gets full, I run it. I even will hesitatingly admit that I have been more than a little proud when the dishwasher runs 3 or 4 times in one day because I have made such a feast—and not on a holiday! I do not hand-wash dishes unless it is of vital importance to re-use an item before I can get it back out of the dishwasher. This drives my husband, S, a little crazy.
Monday night I was out of the house rubber stamping with some friends. Oh, the bliss. When I returned home, I could feel the tension in the house and my children were still up! I must make it clear that Prince Charming never, EVER waits for me to get home to put the children to bed. He does it every single day (whether or not I am home) unless he is out of town. Something was definitely wrong.
Our dishwasher was broken. A part of me was relieved because I always hated that particular machine. It came with the house and is the type that comes with houses that are put up in just 3 months, like all the houses on our block. We moved into this new house just under 6 years ago, and we have never liked the dishwasher. So this was our opportunity to go out and get one we liked better, even if we had to wash dishes a day or two.
WRONG! Oh, so wrong! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS CITY???
We My husband did hours and hours sort of enough research online and decided on this model. We found a reasonable place in town that had them in stock (and gave a discount for a military ID, which my husband has because he is in the inactive reserve), and went to shell out a fair amount of money. Our plan was that by today we should have been washing dishes in a dishwasher again. But NO! So far we have not even received the call to SET UP the installation. The sales person at the store said that they will call BY FRIDAY NIGHT, and then it will probably be another week before it can be installed.
Imagine the sinking feeling in my weary, little, I-do-not-know-how-to-wash-dishes heart. Almost always S cleans up after dinner because I make the meal. Mind you I clean as I go and do not leave the kitchen a disaster area, but I clean up by rinsing and putting everything into the dishwasher. Now I have to WASH DISHES all day long. And I have actually washed the dinner dishes the last two evenings because no matter what a Prince I’m married to, he just doesn’t wash dishes fast enough. (It reminds me of washing dishes with my brother when I was younger.) Needless to say, my lifestyle has been disrupted, and I am more than a little cranky.
Today’s menu featured one of the biggest meals I make all year. (My menu planning might be on another post. Maybe. No guarantees.) I was really busy today checking my blog and reading other blogs getting ready for a stamping class I am teaching tomorrow night, plus swimming lessons and some swimming laundry, and I sort of forgot to start dinner early—which is required for me. So I thought I should just make it anyway and stop goofing around on the computer being productive in other areas. Then I remembered the dishwasher. This meal would require a great many dirty dishes and pans. Even if we were to eat on paper plates (which we did last night), the clean-up would be a nightmare. I was tired just thinking about it.
So as I write this, S and the girls are at Burg*r K*ng getting food to bring home. What a wimp I am!