Opinion: Giving it my worst


For 40 years, I have shared in loading and unloading the dishwasher (I’d rather clean the toilet with my toothbrush or clean out the gutters with a teaspoon).

Today, my wife informed me that I’m now forever relieved of dishwasher duty.

“Just scrape the dishes and stack them in the sink,” she said. “You’re terrible at loading and it’s gotten worse by the day. Ever wonder why when you unload the dishes, everything you flung into the machine willy-nilly has miraculously lined up perfectly in the appropriate slots? Who do you think did that?”

“Well, it takes almost an hour to run a load of dishes and I hear a lot of odd noises, so I assumed a mechanical realignment was one of the cycles.”

“You just toss the dishes in, with no regard for how the process works.”

“Mary Ellen, I load the dishwasher like I load our clothes washer. I don’t put socks in one part of the machine, then my pants in another. Why would I do that with cups and saucers?”

Mary Ellen claims I was getting progressively worse at unloading as well. I dump the entire utensil holder into the silverware drawer. She has this odd notion that knives, spoons and forks go into their own compartments. She wants them separated — even before we set the table.

She also says I’ve been messing up the inside of our fridge. Apparently, again, everything has its proper place, so that’s why the mustard has been moving from the top shelf to the fridge door and why lettuce has often crept south to a thing called the “vegetable bin.” Jars have to go on the third shelf. That’s gotta be wrong, because when I was 6, the pickles always stared me right in the face. Going eye to eye with kosher dills goes back to the Old Testament.

I also may have a shot at never doing laundry again, but I won’t get complacent about my lack of accomplishments. There are beds not to be made and rugs not to be vacuumed. I’m very proud of myself. I’m doing the worst I can.

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