Who washes the dishes in your house? Do you hand wash? Load the dishwasher? Or, are you like me and wash the dishes first by hand, then put them in the dishwasher for a deep clean? Sounds like a simple task right, washing the dishes I mean. Well, when you’re by yourself in your own apartment or house, it is a simple task. Wash the darn dishes however you want to, as long as they’re clean- that’s what matters right? When you live with your husband, spouse, partner, significant other, roommates, kids, however your house is made up can present challenges for those of us with mild obsession on how dish duty should be accomplished.
In my house, dish duty has really opened up the world of compromise for my husband and me. We have very different perspectives on life. We typically have the same end goal, but wildly different ways of getting there- dish duty included. We’ve been together almost six years, living together for most of that time and dishes is an on-going discussion we frequently visit.
I often like to load the big plates first, easy of course. Then small plates, bowls, coffee mugs, and pint glasses. Then once the bigger bulkier items are away, that usually leaves the utensils remaining. I like to face all the utensils downward in the utensil tray. That may be weird for some, but for me I was the cause of my dad stabbing his hand as a child because of a rogue fork. It seems like a safety hazard now if you don’t put the forks and knives facing downward. If you’re reading this, sorry again dad. This utensil tray has been the cause of some headaches as of late. Less with the loading and more with the unloading. My husband and I found our way into a decent system of I wash and load if he unloads the clean dishes. Well, it apparently saves him time if the utensils are separated. Meaning, the spoons are together, the forks are together and the knives are together. It’s irritating for me as it doesn’t save THAT much time, but alright. I’ll do my best to separate accordingly. A few weeks later, the kid’s utensils come into play. Now, I have to separate the kid’s utensils from the rest of the already separated utensils. Seriously? How does it save THAT much time? It’s just irritating.
It dawned on me while explaining my dishwasher problems to a good friend, that I know I’m absolutely silly for being upset about separating the utensils. It really is a minor issue in the grand scheme of life, especially since it’s a privilege to have a functioning dishwasher to begin with. Then again, aren’t a lot of issues in a marriage small initially? I find these disagreements to be the building blocks for our communication style. For example, at 4:30am (before coffee), I don’t freaking care that the kid’s utensils aren’t separated. If you don’t want to unload the dishwasher, then FINE. I will do it. I am absolutely allowed to be irritated. Then again, so is he. He wants to help, and he politely reminded me about his goal to separate utensils the night before and I plainly ignored it, because it’s inconvenient for me. Sure, a lot of things in marriage and life are inconvenient, but we do them to ensure happiness.
Things aren’t always done the way you’d like them done in marriage, but that’s okay. Difference and change is good, not always welcomed, but they ARE good. It keeps things interesting. I’m one of the last people you’ll ever see welcome change, but once I get off my stubborn pedestal and adapt I know it’s for the best. Things as they are will never be the same, life is constantly moving forward. It’s important for couples to change and progress, and I’m thankful to have a husband that constantly reminds me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. It took some time before I started to separate the utensils originally, and I’ll give it some time before I start separating the kid’s utensils too. I have to keep things interesting.