My husband and I are enjoying our extra “together” time during this stay-at-home marathon. We’re the model couple for romance and fun. Sitting together while reading, watching movies and sharing candlelight dinners is all wonderful. Once we finish the romantic meal and the extinguished candles send a snaking stream of smoke to the ceiling, the real sparks begin to fly — because that’s when someone has to load the dishwasher.
Relationships can endure illnesses, cross country moves, busy-body in-laws and job changes. But what eventually drives us to the point of murder is the loud chewing, humming, nose sniffing, crunching ice and in our case, reloading the dishwasher.
My darling doesn’t understand that provoking me while I’m surrounded with sharp utensils isn’t in his best interest.
Katie Clooney, who lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts and writes the blog, “The Preppy Empty Nester,” posted photos of her husband rearranging the dishes in the dishwasher about 43 times a day during his COVID-19 sheltering time. It was probably his way to find comfort and order during a world-wide crisis. She was amazed by his attention to the job and nicknamed him, “Captain Reorganizer,” but what she didn’t know is that I have lived with General Dishwasher Bossy Pants for 26 years. Our husbands are Cascade twins.
My husband steers clear of the kitchen 99% of the time, yet when it’s time to load the dishwasher, shows up as if he owns the place and not only wants to load the dishes, but also has to rearrange any I’ve already loaded and tell me what I’ve done wrong.
I strategically place the items in a particular order for optimum cleaning potential. I can get 500 pounds of china and silverware spotlessly clean with the push of a button. The way my Bob loads them looks like the brochure for Whirlpool yet is so tightly arranged you couldn’t fit a piece of paper between the plates, much less a jet stream of water.
It wouldn’t be so bad if he loaded the dishwasher and went on his way. I’d actually be glad to hand over the task, but it’s the running commentary that pushes me over the edge of sanity until I whack the colander against my head.
“A spatula on top of the forks?” “These dishes will never get clean.” And the standard question of, “Who loaded the dishwasher like this?” —well, let me think for a moment. It’s just the two of us, you jackalope, so do you think Elvis stopped by this afternoon to give me a hand in the kitchen?
We launch into the age-old debate of “silverware up” or “silverware down.”
“I read an article that says . . “
“Well, the article I read is more recent and says forks should go . . .”
“Well, I read that 20 Americans were killed last year falling on knives pointing up.”
“But they were really clean knives.”
It looks as if a stay-at-home summer is ahead with more quality time spent with my darling. Although I’ve written many times in the past about using only real dishes and never ever in a million years using paper plates, it may be time to reconsider. Weighing my options between “paper” or some form of “murder.” Hmmm. I’ll let you know what I decide by the end of the summer.
This story first appeared on AL.com and will be in the Mobile Press-Register, Birmingham News and Huntsville Times.