July 31, 2009

Clouds, Grease, and Bits of Orange — Lynda Schultz

This is not my story, but arises out of the conversation between two friends of mine. She really does need a dishwasher.

“I’d really like a dishwasher.”

We were discussing the move into our new apartment. When we’d done the walk through with the real estate agent I noticed that there was a space under one of the kitchen counters that seemed like it was just made for a dishwasher.

I planted the idea with my husband, though I should have known better. His response was predictable.

“No, no. We don’t need a dishwasher. I always thought it was foolish to have a dishwasher. Every person I know who has one ends up washing their dishes before they put them in the thing. Seems silly to me to wash them twice. All you have to do is take a little extra care to make sure that you clean them right the first time.”

I sighed. It seemed as though we had had this conversation before. I always lost, or gave up; overwhelmed by the tidal wave of verbiage he is so gifted with.

“Besides, there’s the electricity it uses.”

Then it was back to the double washing.

“And you know what happens if you don’t get all the junk off before you put the dishes in the thing. Those traps are really small, and they get easily clogged. The next thing you know the water can’t escape. You open the door and out comes all the water all over the floor.”

I nodded my head. Okay, I get the message.

“Then there’s the bill to repair the thing.”

He finally noticed my facial expression.

“But you know, I do anything for you. If you really want a dishwasher, then it’s a dishwasher we’ll get.”

He was trying and I appreciated it. However, we both knew where this argument was going and what the conclusion would be.

“Honey, you really don’t need one, you know. I’ll do all the dishes. You won’t have to worry about them ever again, I promise. I already do my own after breakfast, right?”

“Yes, that’s true, dear,” I said, gamely. He had been doing his own breakfast dishes for a while now in an effort to be a husband more aware of his wife’s needs. I didn’t want to discourage him.

He nodded, satisfied that his point had been made, and then took off down the hall as I cleared the kitchen table of my cereal bowl and coffee cup.

I turned toward the sink and picked up the first of the breakfast dishes already stacked in the rack. I examined each one, putting aside the still cloudy glasses, the frying pan with grease still stuck to its side, the pieces of the juicer to which bits of orange still clung. As I washed—for the second time—the dishes he had so “carefully” done after his early morning breakfast, I breathed a prayer:

“Lord, bless him, but I’d still like a dishwasher.”

There is no man so deceived as he who, being blind, thinks that he can see.


  1. Yup! Needs a dishwasher indeed! Part of me asks what would happen if those dishes didn't get their second wash... would the first washer notice eventually?

  2. Bev Wamboldt9:56 am GMT-7

    Sounds very much like a conversation I've had with my husband on several occasions. Not to discourage anyone, but I've been married 50 years today and still don't have a dishwasher -- that is not an electric one. I do have a manual one who stands upright at the sink -- he does a very good job!

  3. For many years I did not want a dishwasher. Then my children flew the coop and I realized how much I needed one. Yet, there's naught like having a get together and sharing the 'fun' of washing dishes and chatting! However, my vote is definitely in favour for you, Lynda, to get a dishwasher - and you even have a hole in the wall! :)


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