Dishes

I’ve long defended the chore of dishwashing. Certainly, I’ve favored it over all others. Vacuuming is loud, dusty, and I always end up having to empty the container or change the filter. Dusting is the chore of evil; a terrible, tedious, and futile duty. I suppose snow shoveling counts as a chore and I’ve certainly had my fill of that for this year.

But dishwashing, no, I’ve never quite minded it, at least not as an adult.

I’ve always found dishwashers a frivolous expense. And then there’s the environmental question. Though, this article did throw some question to that particular aspect:

The Guardian- What’s the carbon footprint of… doing the dishes?

Of course, I’m probably the rare careful guy. I mean, I’m also the guy who turns off the shower water while he lathers the shampoo in his hair. So, yeah.

But I did see this on NPR last week:

NPR Health- Kids, Allergies And A Possible Downside To Squeaky Clean Dishes

It appears the Guardian’s praise of the dishwasher’s hygiene (And even if you do wash up carefully by hand, compared with the dishwasher you still lose out both on hygiene (with nearly 400 times more bacteria left on the dishes after washing)) could actually be a fault, so I’m gonna take that one as a win for my side.

“But really, Justin,” you’re saying. “Dishwashing?”

Here’s the thing.

My grandmother, probably the most influential person in my life, once told me a tale that changed forever the way I’d look at washing the dishes:

She and my grandfather had three children, employment, housework, and all of the other things that tend to take from adult one-on-one time in life, all without the modern conveniences we have that help to cushion the impact.

But they had the dishes.

Each night, after dinner, while my mother and my uncles played, did homework, or whatever it was they did as kids (I’ve heard a great tale about my uncle trying to run my mom over with  his toy train), my grandmother and grandfather would tackle the chore of the dinner dishes.

Together they’d stand by the kitchen window, one washing, one drying. And in those moments, they had a pause of all the day required from them. They’d recount their days, discuss their plans. In short, they had each other.

So yeah, dishwashing.

I guess it really comes down to paying attention to what’s going on while you’re living life.

I’ll try to remember that the next time Kristin and I are out tackling the snow filled driveway.