My mom was telling me a while ago that when we were little and she would stay home with us all day, she would be rewarded with free time when my Dad came home from work. And when was that? After dinner, while she did the dishes. That's right my Dad would play with us after dinner so she could have alone time while cleaning up the kitchen.
Now don't get me wrong -- I realize this statement reflects very poorly on my Dad. But stop in your tracks. To clarify -- this was my Mom's idea and my Mom's choice. You see, apparently she really likes doing dishes, and finds this very reflective. And this is the point when I realize that no matter how much I become like my mother, I am so not going to be my Mom.
Im not an overly literary person to begin with, but it would not be possible for me to find the words to describe how much I hate doing dishes! When Rob and I first moved in together we had an apartment without a dishwasher. Things did not go over well. See when Rob was little his Mom and Dad worked nights (remember, his Dad "saved lives" by sleeping on the job at a med-tech lab) and they had a housekeeper who doubled as day care. They also had a dishwasher. While I can't speak for what they learned to do when they were little. I know this rule of thumb from the Fussell family. Fill up the dishwasher, then Fill up the sink. Then buy paper plates. I quickly told Rob, at this time when we had been living together for 2 years and there was still no sign of a ring on my finger, "You are sooo lucky you haven't proposed, because if you had you'd be 24 and divorced right now." The logic wasn't really there at that point. I get angry when I was dishes.
See Rob was really calm about this because see he didn't WANT to have dishes in the first place. It wasn't that he wanted me to clean up after him. He didn't. In fact he saw no problem with not ever cleaning up. And he saw no reason why we couldn't just get paper plates and neither of us ever clean up. He also sees no problem with me never cooking and instead buying take-out or pizza every night. In his mind there's no downside to this.
In retrospect, I have only had dishwashers at 2 points in my life -- Senior year of college, and in our last 4 years in Chicago in the apartment that shall always be known as Awesomeville. We're looking for apartments now and a dishwasher shall be a requirement. Meanwhile, I'm living at the cottage. Where there is no dishwasher. And where all the silverware is actual silver. And therefore must be immediately washed and dried. And never soaked. Oh that's going over really well. Really Well.
But I must say -- Rob has learned over the years. I'm not saying that he does the dishes. I'm not even saying that he put his dishes in the dishwasher when we had one. But he has learned to take the dishes out once we're done eating and put them next to the sink. AND somedays I will wake up or finish work to discover that he has put away the clean dishes. I consider all of this step 1 & 2 of my plan. We are well on the way to Mr. Clean.