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There’s a problem with the chore calendar.

September 8th, 2016

His new favorite spot.

His new favorite spot.

It’s no secret that I hate doing dishes. I mean, I’ve been washing dishes by hand since I moved out of my parents’ house at 17. Washing mound upon mound of dirty dishes by hand, spending (sometimes) all of my free time up to my elbows in dirty water is fucking depressing. If I can get away with it, I’ll leave dishes in the sink for days, and feel wholly justified…and a little disgusted with myself. But justified, nonetheless.

At some point, shortly after my ex and I moved to New York, we bought a used portable dishwasher, but it never worked right, so I never used it. Instead, I did dishes for four toddlers, an overgrown toddler, and myself by hand after every single meal (or at the end of the day depending on what was going on). And then, when I was in rehab, my “friends” sold my dishwasher and kept the money. I haven’t had the money, or the inclination, to buy a dishwasher since, and low income housing doesn’t generally have neato appliances like dishwashers, so I’ve been doing dishes by hand for 19 years.

It still throws me off when I realize I can say I’ve been doing anything for more than 10 years.

I’ve gone round and round with the dishwasher debate (in my mind, with M, and with people on Twitter) for at least a year, now. It started the first time our friend mentioned us moving into his house (this house) when he moved into his parents’ house. We didn’t know that he had a dishwasher, but we did know that he had enough room for us to buy a portable one, so I started searching online for portable dishwashers. Then I realized that there were some pretty small portable dishwashers, so I started searching for one that would fit in our old house.

And then I realized that we’re just two people. A portable dishwasher taking up space in that tiny house for just two people felt like overkill. And don’t even get me started on the amount of water and power it would use.

But I still hate doing dishes.

When the move became a definite thing, and we found out he had a dishwasher, the dishwasher caused me an insane amount of stress. Was he leaving it? If he did, was it worth it to use it? Would I need to buy more dishes to make it worth it?

I don’t know how many times I told myself and everyone else that the dishwasher would probably be a waste of space. “I don’t mind doing them by hand,” I lied. “It’s better for the environment and our wallet,” I explained.

I’ve been using the dishwasher since we got here.

Okay, not since we got here. It took us three days to fill it the first time. I’m still stuck on Mom’s insistence that pots and pans do not go in the dishwasher, so I do those by hand. But everything else gets rinsed the second we’re finished with it and tucked away into the dishwasher until it’s full enough to run it.

I fucking love my dishwasher.

But this poses a problem with the chore calendar.

The kitchen is on the chore calendar a couple times a week because, as I mentioned before, I will let dishes pile up in the sink until I have no more dishes with which to cook or serve food. Having specific days that the kitchen absolutely has to be cleaned means that they can’t stay there for too long.

But now? Now I put the dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down the stove and counters after every meal. I sweep the floor every single day. What the hell am I supposed to do on kitchen days?

Ah well. I suppose there are worse problems to have.


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