500 Words: Endings
Dishwasher? Shmishwasher! Who needs one? My mother certainly didn’t – she had kids. Three of them. One to wash, one to wipe and the youngest to put away.
Don’t get me wrong, I have had dishwashers in my lifetime. One house we owned had a dishwasher that was covered in grease, oil and other unidentifiable stuff. Apparently the previous owners had a lot of barbecues and didn’t believe in rinsing their plates. Gross!
Our home has a dishwasher, when we first moved in I refused to use it. It’s quicker to do it the old-fashioned way, I argued. But those around me convinced me that it was more economical to use the machine, plus my time was valuable and I could be doing better things than washing dishes and so on and so forth. So, reluctantly, I agreed.
However, I wasn’t just rinsing our dishes before putting them in, I was completely washing them!
“You don’t have to do that,” they told me.
“I stick mine straight in without rinsing,” they said. ” My machine does all the work.”
Really? Well my machine didn’t. And if I didn’t get every bit of yuck off my dishes before putting them in, they came out with that bit of yuck baked on with super glue-like adherence.
My relationship with my dishwasher was really under pressure. I knew there were other factors that were contributing to the strain, namely our tank water supply and low water pressure, our dodgy electricity due to upgrades in the area and brownouts that happened annoyingly often. But when another electricity cut caused mayhem with the dishwasher, I had had enough.
I threw my hands in the air and screamed that my affair with that machine had ended. It was over and no amount of cajoling or attempts at reconciliation would change my mind.
The kids were devastated. They’d gotten off pretty lightly with me using the dishwasher. Their silly mother washed all the dishes, stacked the dishwasher, put it on, emptied it and put the dishes away. The kids didn’t get a look in.
But now there was a new regime – washing dishes the old-fashioned way! My kids could wash, wipe and put away, just like we did when I was a child.
Closing my dishwasher’s white, metallic door for the last time was totally liberating. To me, this ending was a long overdue and a very happy one.
I now love the freedom of donning a pair of bright yellow rubber gloves, filling the sink with hot, sudsy water and washing and rinsing my dishes to my heart’s content. And I have helpers – I get to talk to my kids and they get to talk to me.
Washing dishes is like knitting, or perhaps fishing. It’s therapeutic. I’ve solved a few problems while up to my armpits in suds and I’ve even penned some of my stories there as well.
Dishwasher, shmishwasher! Who needs one!