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I write a lot about the Sisyphean task that is the laundry, but the dishes are just as arduous or perhaps more so. Dirty duds can be shoved en masse into the washer machine, but not so with dishes. Our dishwasher, a Kitchen-aid I believe, is next to the sink, which is divided into two parts: one with the disposal, and the other without (don’t mix them up). The machine and the sink seem to say ‘pick me” when I face them. Despite being deep as Lake Michigan, the sink quickly piles up with plates, glasses, and utensils. These must not sit too long, lest Gregor Samsa and his brothers come a-viking. Also, it looks bad. There is nothing so slatternly as the sight of dirty dishes piled in the sink. Oh the horror.

There is the question whether to do them by hand or by dishwasher. Being an older person, I have it engrained in my mind ‘handwashing is better’ as it uses less time, less water, and does a better job than the dishwasher. I was also told the warm fumes emanating from the dishpan would do wonders on my complexion. Even then I smelled a rat.

In a climate where it is 40-50C most of the year you would think hot water would be quickly on tap, but this is not so. It takes several minutes to get the hot water going. In our house, the pipe from the water heater to the kitchen sink takes a circumbendibus route, somewhere through Scottsdale, before reaching the kitchen faucet. This is a terrible waste of water. For small loads or little time, we’ve learned to heat water in the electric kettle. It is fast, hot, and just enough to do the job – like my men.

We would have less things to wash if I was a better cook. I always seem to use every pot, pan, and knife to make a simple meal. Then there is the problem of The Cup Sprites, who constantly move about my cups and glasses, obliging me to get new ones whenever I am thirsty. They know better not to pull this sort of shenanigan on Someone, uses the same container all day long. The many cups drives him to distraction. What drives me to distraction I will write anon.

I recently heard today’s modern dishwashers are far better than their predecessors at cleaning dishes using a fraction of water. Bottom line: dish washers now use less water than when doing them by hand. It also saves time and I don’t get poked, JAWS-like, feeling around for knives lurking under the suds in the sink. The dishwater is better than the dishpan is still hard to believe. Worse of all is the notion of not having to rinse plates prior to putting them in the dishwasher. Cassandra-like, the dishwasher manufacturers say rinsing dishes a) isn’t necessary and b) wastes water. It is a hard habit to break.

If Someone and I were ever to resort to savagery and subsequent divorce, it will be over the dishwasher, particularly its protocols. I have told him repeatedly do not put good knives in the dishwasher, and put knives down and forks and spoons up. I throw my ‘Bene Gesserit voice’ but to no avail. Oh the pain.

On the other hand Someone is very good, nay excellent, at loading the dishwasher. If I can bide my time and let him load the damn thing, it will be a better job.

I will share with you my dishwasher loading technique:


Do you wash dishes by hand or by dishwasher?

Do you rinse the dishes?

Are there ructions over how to load the dishwasher?

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September 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018