By DARREN HANDSCHUH
When it comes to loading the dishwasher, there pretty much are no rules for guys.
There are no boundaries either.
When my wife loads the dishwasher it is with a purpose and grand design. Everything is symmetrical with plates, bowls and cups all in their own special little spot.
Should a utensil dare to get out of line, a wrath would befall it that would result in it being put back in to place.
Personally, I tend to be a little more liberal in my stacking of the eating apparatus.
While her loading could be compared to the Mona Lisa, mine is more along the lines of a Picasso.
Sure I have a basic design of where things should go, but the word symmetrical does not necessarily apply.
My vocabulary of what goes in the dishwasher is more extensive as well.
I have narrowed it down to just about everything.
If I can some how get it to fit, then it pretty much qualifies as eligible for the machine. The only other restriction is it cannot melt nor disintegrate, and believe me, that leaves a lot of options for automatic cleaning.
I bought the dishwasher to do dishes - not some of the dishes, not a few of the dishes, but as many dishes as possible.
I also classify pots, pans and associated lids as fair game. Casserole bowls? No problem, if it fits, it goes in.
It has come to the point where I consider it a challenge to do as few dishes by hand as possible.
It is an insult to my personal ingenuity if an item ends up in the sink when I believe in my heart it could go in the dishwasher.
Lately I have been expanding my view of just what can be washed in the machine.
“Honey, the dog needs a bath.”
“Hmmmm, really. It’s a small dog, I wonder…….”
I am kidding of course. I would never put a dog in a dishwasher, (that would take up far too much room and I might be forced to do some dishes by hand.)
While I never had dishpan hands as a kid, I did my share of washing, but the only time dishes were done willingly and with enthusiasm was Christmas Eve.
My family opened their presents on Christmas Eve partly because it was my Grandmothers birthday and partly because it is a German tradition of some sort that my dad inherited from his parents.
At least that’s what we were told. Maybe they just didn’t want to have a house load of kids wake them up at 5 a.m. to open presents.
Perhaps my parents were smarter than I give them credit for.
I always thought being born on Dec. 24 would be a drag because Christmas would always over shadow your special day.
However, a friend of mine had it even worse. He was born on Dec. 26. That is possibly the worst birthday going because by then the party is over.
On Boxing Day, people are unwinding from their gift-giving hangover of Christmas Day and don’t feel like going to another party.
More often than not most of the cards my buddy received were Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday all in one. The upside was he usually got a present for Christmas and cash for his birthday and he made out like a bandit in the finance department more than once.
Anyway, us kids were always eager to do dishes Christmas Eve because no one was allowed to open any presents until the table was cleared and the dishes sparkling clean.
That meant the kids would hover over the adults as they ate, asking every 3.7 seconds if they are done with their plate yet.
“No, I’m not done yet.”
“Well you should be. I didn’t want to bring it up, but you are getting kind of fat lately so it might be a good idea to push away from the table, and there’s no time like the present to start. I’m just thinking about your health. Now, let me take that plate for you.”
All four of us would be crowding around the sink frantically scrubbing pots, pans and dishes. I asked my mom once why she doesn’t just get a dishwasher. Her reply was she already had four of them.
Eventually the dishes would be washed, dried and stacked, the table wiped down and the frenzy of opening would begin.
Oddly enough, none of my sisters ever asked for a toy dish set, I wonder why.