Skip to main content

Dishwashers

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, short

Recently, my family was visiting some of my mother’s old friends. At some point in our conversation, one of them mentioned that when I was a young adult, I said something to them like,

Why are you rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Isn’t that the whole point of a dishwasher?

Michelle almost spit out whatever was in her mouth [1] and broke up laughing. Why? Because, at our house, I’m the one who rinses the plates before I put them in the dishwasher. Why do I do that? My experience is that the dishwasher works better if you don’t, say, allow large globs of ketchup to drip off plates into it. Perhaps I’m wrong. I suppose we could run experiments, but I’m too lazy.

In addition to rinsing plates, I also try to arrange the silverware and plates so that like is next to like. For the plates, I find it allows us to pack the dishwasher more efficiently. For the silverware, I just think it’s neater. I may be the only one in the family who feels that way [2].


Postscript: I’d swear there’s a Keith Knight comic about loading dishwashers. However, I’ve failed to find it.


Postscript: Maybe we should make one of Keith Knight’s collections the next common read at Grinnell. Then we could bring him to campus to give his Red, White, Black & Blue: Racial Illiteracy in the U.S. slideshow to campus. Or I guess we could do that anyway.


[1] Or she would have, if she’d had anything in her mouth.

[2] I have even been known to rearrange the plates and silverware when other family members fail to follow my preferred system.


Version 1.0 of 2019-10-11.