Saturday, April 04, 2009


Ron worked on cleaning the kitchen after dinner last night. I had made a yummy meal of walnut-miso noodles from There was not a ton of clean up but I'm the first to admit I'm a messy cook. The fact that the kids are either trying to help me or bother me while I try to do it doesn't help either. Usually I'll make a three component meal-- soup, salad and bread or salad, main dish, side dish. Tonight I really just made the noodles and a small salad since it seemed like enough. What I'm trying to say is, it wasn't that much to clean up.

Ron had ample time to finish the job, as the kids were in bed. He also had just loaded up his ipod so boredom shouldn't have been a major deterrant. When he came upstairs after "finishing" I asked him to give himself a grade on the job he did. "B+" is what he said. I warned him-- "I don't care so much if it's not done, I just want you to be honest with me." He stood firm and again insisted it was a B+. When I was in high school an A grade started at a 92% therefore making a B+ an 89% instead of an 86. I will, however, use the standard curve by which to judge. And let's not forget that we've had this problem many many times before.

Let's start with the dining room table-- because that's where normal people start the clean up process. They bring the dishes to the sink. I also completely clean the table and the floor because I know I will not go back to it later. Now, I know better than to expect Ron to wipe the table off, clean up the noodles Alex threw all over the floor or the lentils that are scattered in a circle around Talia's seat. Behold, the dining room table was littered with unwiped placemats and a few random dishes. And all those chairs pushed out from the table just makes my skin crawl. That's a total pet peeve for me-- just push the chairs in!

Moving on to the back counter. I don't expect Ron to take the compost out to the bin or even use the special granite cleaner that I love so much. I was even surprised and delighted to see he took some initiative and tried to seal the wine bottle up using a vacuum pump. Of course, he left said vacuum pump and wine out on the counter. Along with an empty dirty bowl, a green plastic bag and empty bag of salad greens, a measuring cup, the salt and pepper grinder, the wine bottle opener, a rag (unused by him of course), a bag of walnuts, a bowl full of sliced scallions, the food processor, and he even left the utensil holder sitting in the middle of the counter instead of pushed out of the way like it normally is.

On to the front counter. Rubber bands and asparagus left sitting right out, not to mention the cups of water. How hard is it to clean a few cups that have held only water? And then the mound of dishes. I should be thankful that he cleaned them at all. Look at that huge pile! There are a lot of reasons why we clean so many of our dishes by hand. Mostly it's a space issue in the dishwasher. It's poorly designed to hold anything but the flattest of plates. Plus, we don't run it that often so we don't put things in that we might need the next day, like a vegetable peeler or something. And Alex always has his hands in there so we never put sharp things in. We also have nice pots and pans and knives and serving dishes that just don't belong in a dishwasher. Despite all those many reasons that would lead you to believe that we simply have a lot of dishes that need to be hand washed, the truth is that Ron didn't unload the dish drying rack from the coutner before he started the dishes. And if I had done that many dishes AND the kids were asleep AND I had just loaded up my ipod you damn better believe I would have stood there and dried them off and put them away.

I'm just saying.
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Holly said...

Too funny...I'll have to have Chris read this post (none of the others mind you lest he see any more of your delicious dishes and get any crazy ideas), he'll get a chuckle out of it...

Robyn said...

this looks familiar. :0) You're preaching to the choir. But the trade off for me is that my husband doesn't get upset when I leave dishes in the sink to clean in the morning because if he's not going to do them or even attempt, then don't complain when I don't feel like doing them. :0)

Jessi said...

I used to use the dishwasher fairly infrequently too, and for similar reasons, but now I just load it up with every single plate, spoon, glass, cup, chopstick, saucer etc that crosses my path during the day, then I run it every night, even if it's not full. I never wash a single dish. And Al unloads it in the morning before I get up.