Friday, October 2, 2009

A Girl and Her Dishwasher: A Love Story

Recently my husband suggested that we hire a monthly cleaning person.

I hesitated.

It wasn’t an I-can’t-believe-how-much-I-love-this-man hesitation.

It was more like a But-at-what-other-time-can-I-drink-beer-at-noon-on-a-Monday-in-my-underwear-blaring-Electric-Light-Orchestra-and-Queen-wearing-tap-shoes-while-I push-a-vacuum-around-a-bit? type of hesitation.

I should've jumped at his offer. But actually, (surreptitiously looking over left shoulder then right) I don’t mind cleaning.

It relaxes me.

Mainly because as I'm doing the actual cleaning the last thing on my mind is the actual process of doing the cleaning. "Don't forget to print the lyrics to Yellow Submarine. Why don't I know the words to Yellow Submarine? Yellow. I look terrible in yellow. I really need to edit my wardrobe. Ooo, this is a good deep leg stretch. I'll have to incorporate this into my routine. Hmm, what is the Chinese word for 'routine' anyway?"

And that's how things can go very wrong.

Take for example my relationship with the dishwasher. I met Dishwasher when I moved to Washington, DC in 2002.

“Hello, Dishwasher. Nice to meet you. Oh look. You open.”

Our first time together was pretty typical. Dishwasher got loaded and then turned on. But not before I filled the receptacle-tub-indentation-place with liquid dish soap and then, thinking that wouldn't be enough, randomly squirted the dishes and inside the machine as well.

There. Easy. Dishwasher whirred contentedly.

Ten minutes later, though, on my way to the kitchen, I ran into a three-feet high, three-feet thick glacier of suds inching its way into the hallway. My kitchen looked like Studio 54. And Dishwasher, spewing and frothing from every available crevice, was the life of the party.

Instinctually, I jumped into action. Meaning I quite literally jumped into the suds, clapping and stomping. (I didn't say which instincts kicked in.)

My husband’s untimely return home to see my par-tay in full swing initiated a brutal line of questioning.

Him: “Um, what did you use in the dishwasher.”

Me: “Dish soap.”

Him: “We don’t have any dishwasher soap.”

Me: “Whaddoyamean?”

Him: “How much did you use?”

Me: “Why? I don’t know. I didn’t measure. There aren't any instructions anywhere. And just what are you trying to say anyway??"

I mean, you couldn't really call it a mess. Messes are dirty. These were suds. Suds are clean. But they do take a surprisingly long time to clean up. Well, at least, I think they do. After my husband kicked me out of the kitchen so he could clean up the suds, it's all a bit fuzzy.