Monday, May 16, 2011

Dishwasher Debacle

When you're in a relationship, it is very important that you and your significant other see eye-to-eye on important matters such as which way the toilet paper goes on the holder, who sleeps on which side of the bed, and -- this one should go without saying -- who gets primary custody of the TV remote.  If a couple can't agree on the big issues, there's no way they'll get through the smaller ones like whether or not they want to have children.

Another potential topic for debate, by which I mean heated argument nearly leading to fisticuffs, is the proper procedure for loading the dishwasher.  I've recently learned that there is more than one point of view on this.  In my experience, most household appliances are named for their function.  For example, a food processor is for processing food, the cheese grater is for grating cheese, and the wooden spoon is for disciplining your children.  Using my Sherlock Holmesian powers of deductive reasoning, I came to the conclusion that our Whirlpool 1000 Series SheerClean Tall Tub Built-in Dishwasher was for washing dirty dishes.

Clearly, that was where I went wrong.

According to the International High Priestess of Dishwashing who, because I don't want to sleep on the couch for a week, shall remain nameless, no dish, glass, fork, bowl, plate, knife, spatula, spoon, mug, or especially pot with burned chili crusted all over it God-dammit should be put in the dishwasher unless it has been thoroughly washed first.  To me, this is ridiculous because dishwashers are expensive and therefore I am not going to do their job for them.  The dirtier the dish the better, is how I look at it.

We have a policy in our house that states, "Whoever is responsible for dirtying a dish (defined as a plate, bowl, cup, utensil or other dishwasher-safe piece of cutlery), assumes the additional responsibility of loading it into the dishwasher."  There are also sub-sections of the policy covering when to run the dishwasher and who's responsible for emptying it when the dishes are clean.  The problem with this system, as you've probably figured out, is that the International High Priestess is the only one who bothers to follow it.  The rest of us have a much simpler procedure, namely, the "put the dirty dish in the sink and the dish fairy will take it from there" method.  It's a system that serves us well most of the time.

Which brings us to last night's events.

I was attempting to give the dish fairy a break by taking the dirty dishes from their comfortable resting place in the sink, and loading them into the dishwasher.  As I was bending down to put a plate in the rack, the International High Priestess materialized out of nowhere and said, "You're not putting that in the dishwasher, are you?"

Remaining in my hunched over position, with one hand on the plate and the plate in the dish rack, I replied, "Why no, of course not.  What ever gave you that idea?"

Sarcasm.  Not just an attitude, a way of life.

"You know you can't put a dirty dish in the dishwasher."

"I can't?"

"No, it needs to be washed first."

"Then what does the dishwasher do?"

"The dishwasher just finishes -- here, just give me the plate, let me show you.  Again."

I handed her the plate and paid careful attention to the lesson that followed.

"Okay, you take the sprayer and rinse the plate like this."  She demonstrated.  "Now, take the soapy sponge and scrub both sides of the plate.  Rinse off the soap and now it's ready for the dishwasher."

I thought to myself, The dishwasher?  It's ready to be inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and used to serve dinner to the Boy in the Plastic Bubble.  "It's not the difficulty, it's the pointlessness," I replied.  "If you're going to run it through the dishwasher anyway, why go through the trouble of washing it by hand?"

In the end we agreed to disagree, which means she's right, I'm wrong, and we're all going to do it her way.

As long as she doesn't find out how I do the laundry, I'll consider myself ahead of the game.


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Judie said...

Okay..that is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time, because it is sooo true! and the laundry needs to be pre-treated, and the plants still need to be watered because the sprinklers don't always do their jobs, and fridge needs to be cleaned (it doesn't ONLY keep the food cold) and the BBQ needs to be scrubbed because the leftovers don't just burn themselves away, and lastly the remote actually turns to other channels besides SportCentral!! Not that I'm one of those women. No, not me.

Mariann Simms said...

You know, I never did get this "logic". My in-laws would do the exact same washing and rinsing thing, which in my house growing up was called "washing the dishes" as we never had a dishwasher other than my Mother.

I put them in there all dirty, dried on, etc. The most I do is scrape off actual chunks of food. The rest is what I bought the dishwasher to do.

EmptyNester said...

I'm surprised at you. I thought everyone knew how to use a dishwasher! LOL

Hubs is not allowed to TOUCH the laundry around here. Unless it's his own.

SherilinR said...

that's great! i love that you think the dish fairy will arrise and attend to the dishes after you march them to the sink. apparently i've gotten stuck with dish/laundry/vaccuum/litter pan fairy duties.

ReformingGeek said...

Hilarious! I just read the whole thing out loud to Hubby complete with a shrilly voice for the High Priestess. :)

Some people never got past the pre-washing/rinsing that HAD to be done for the older dishwashers. Some people just take it too far. Like my dad. Soap and hot water and then the dishwasher.

The Good Cook said...

In this house the argument was always over how to load the dishwasher. Cleverly I allowed my husband to win the argument. He WAS way better and that is how it became his job. BWAHAHA

Jonah Gibson said...

Okay, this will only work if you are going to load and run the dishwasher when the sheriff is otherwise occupied because, one thing I know about sheriffs is that they will not change their minds about shit like this unless their mother tells them they have to, but get yourself a box of Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent and hide it in the garage with the camping gear that you know you're never going to use again because the sheriff prefers 4 star hotels to the humus and pine straw floor of the state park campground. You have to get the Complete stuff because it will digest all the food you can stuff into your dishwasher. It will eat up a full grown bison if you can get enough water pressure to blow the hair out of the drain. If you can get the dishwasher loaded and turned on with this stuff before she knows what a slacker you are being, the dishes will come out all shiny and gleaming like you actually did your duty by them.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I'm sorry to say that I'm on your side. It's like cleaning the house before the cleaning ladies arrive. Just plain silly.

I read an article online somewhere that dishwashers these days can handle dirty dishes quite well and washing them first actually damages the pattern (silly idea as well) on the plate, cup, bowl, etc.

Sue said...

I just can't trust the dishwasher to get the dried food and I can't train "them" to run water on the dishes they pile up in the sink.

Stacie's Madness said...

"Sarcasm. Not just an attitude, a way of life."


I never thought I was set in my ways until some else comes in and does everything the wrong way. ;)

laughingmom said...

Shoot. If my kids get their dishes near the kitchen sink, I get excited. If they rinse them off and leave them in the sink, I feel exhilarated. If they put them in the dishwasher, I do a happy dance! After my victory dance, I take their dishes out, rinse them properly and put them in the correct location within the dishwasher.

Suldog said...

I'm with you. So is MY WIFE. And I want her back, you philandering bastard! She knows that a dishwasher washes dishes and I refuse to live with a woman who doesn't. I saw her first and you can't have her.

I could go on (as a matter of fact, I think I already did) but I'll just say this is one of the funniest things I've read in at least the past twenty minutes, give or take a fortnight. And if you've ever spent a night in a fort, you know what I mean. And I'm sure glad somebody does.

Danger Boy said...

Wifefish and I are in your camp on this one. It's called a dishWASHER. It is supposed to WASH dishes. Scrape it clear and load it in, or hire an undocumented worker. Just sayin'.

00dozo said...

A glorified dish-drying rack. When our dishwasher broke down, that is exactly what I used ours for.

Really, why waste the electricity and water on the thing if the bloody dishes are already clean? Oy!

Anonymous said...

I'm actually with you on this one. I've never understood the concept of washing to put into the dish washer!


"According to the International High Priestess of Dishwashing..."

In other words, actually NONwords, your i-HPOD!



You're most welcome! Anytime, buddy, anytime.


Fred Miller said...

The Priestess is strange, kind of like me. I'm a wash-before-you-wash-it kind of guy, too. But our new dishwasher has a rinse setting. So everytime it's loaded, you just run the rinse cycle which uses about a gallon of hot water and the dishes are "ready for the dishwasher." See if there's a "Rinse" button on that bad boy.

Jenn of Many Cabbages said...

My mother was also a High Priestess of Dishwashing. This was her process. I didn't complain because I got allowance for washing the dishes before they got washed.

Otherwise I would have experienced downsizing.

Steph said...

Haha! I remember trying to teach people that I lived witht he concept of "rinse and put to the side" in the event that the dishwasher was full or in use. It was like I was speaking a different language!

Nanodance said...

I am the dish fairy at my house. Is isn't as great of a job at it sounds. No wings. No wand. Just un-fairy like dishpan hands.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Just as well that I don't have a dishwasher... I'd definitely be using it the wrong way. (Hey, I wonder if I could just put the dishes in with the clothes?)

lime said...

i'm with you on this. i mean i don't want actual chunks of food stuck to things but i never had a dishwasher ever until about 7 years ago so i'll be damned if i am doing its job for it now that i have one. i will however, debate the configuration in which the dishes should be packed into said dishwasher....

Grumpy, M.D. said...

We have medication for people like her. Ask your doctor.

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