Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dishes, Dishes, Dishes!

Oh the DRAMA. Who knew that dishes could cause such gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair???

Sheldon and I have hit a brick wall when it comes to dishes. While on most things we can communicate fairly well, when we discuss ways and means of daily dishes we might as well be speaking two entirely different languages. I am not writing this post to beat up on him, or to garner sympathy for myself, but this is a conversation we have had over and over in the past 10 days and this is what is on my mind.

Let me start off by saying that Sheldon and I are both in our mid 40's and were both married before for more than a decade. We each spent several years as single people before this new blending of households began. I say this because it is important to understand that we have done things our own way for many years. We each tend to think that the way we do things is the RIGHT way. Period.

Sheldon believes that dishwashers were invented so that we should never do dishes by hand again. He refuses to wash anything by hand and refuses to own anything that is too delicate to be put in the dishwasher. He grew up with a dishwasher in his house and never even a saw a dish draining rack on a kitchen counter until he was in college. He maintains that no one under the age of 65 ever washes by hand, except me. I think he just called me old.

While I do enjoy the benefits of a dishwasher I do not believe that everything should be put in there and I do own things that are not dishwasher safe, like my collection of hand carved wooden spoons. I do not mind washing my wooden spoons by hand. I also have never put my metal pots in the dishwasher and seldom wash my glass baking pans in the dishwasher. This is not so much because they will be ruined in the dishwasher as it is that they take up too much room. I'd rather wash one pot and leave room for 4 more plates and bowls. Plus the dishwasher does take the finish off the pots and they don't look pretty anymore.

So, when I am done with a big dinner I put all the dishes in the dishwasher and I hand wash all the pots and pans and any dishes that didn't fit. I leave all those items on the counter to air dry. I sit in front of the tv, or the computer and enjoy my leisure. The next time I wander into the kitchen to cook or eat or visit with whomever is in there, I put away the clean dry dishes. The sick is empty and clean. The kitchen is clean.

When Sheldon is done with a big dinner he loads as much as he can into the dishwasher and starts it. He leaves the rest in the sink to await the next dishwasher load. He can't stand the clutter of clean dishes on the counter, but he doesn't mind the dirty stuff in the sink because he thinks of that as a holding pattern, not clutter.

Do you see the disconnect? Can I just tell you that we have spent no fewer than 3 hours of our lives discussing this issue in the past 10 days? There has even been yelling and crying. I can't tell if the children are worried or delighted when they hear the ruckus. We have tried to think of a system that pleases both of us, but so far nothing is working. We have attempted to NOT do the thing that drives the other person crazy, but so far that is not working either because although I don't remember leaving stuff on the counter for well over a week, he assures me that he has had to put away clean dishes on at least four occasions.

I'm sure this will blow over with time. Everything is an adjustment. I just hate the daily tension over something so minuscule. I mean Yankees vs Redsox, that is a fight I can see happening, but dishes?

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