Thursday, July 6, 2017

Collect the Whole Set

I am the dishwasher in my house. My wife isn't always thrilled at that especially when it comes time to find the dishes and pots and pans, etc., that I have put away since I have almost no idea where any of the plates and silverware we have had, in some shape or form, for most of the nearly four decades we are married, are supposed to go.

Washing dishes allows me to attempt to think Great Thoughts (as opposed to mundane) since the actual activity itself requires very little frontal lobe involvement and interaction. Sometimes, I admit, it means I don't always get all the mashed potatoes off the blades of the watchamallit that makes them mashed in the first place but you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs (which reminds me, I'm not really good with whisks either).

I can ponder what caused dinosaurs to die out, why the Yankees since close to Memorial Day have been awful, and why other animals don't make a big deal out of their opposable thumbs while washing, rinsing, draining, drying and putting away plates and silverware without any of the activities getting in one another's way. It's like a staycation without staying (I should have thought about that explanation when I was washing dishes; bet it would have come out better).

I get tripped up by my own sense of the universe in terms of numbers and implements. One of the reasons why I suspect I like washing dishes is that there aren't very many. I can recall no memories of joy associated with washing dishes when I was one of six kids growing up and we had actual machines that washed dishes. So this is one of those 'sacrifices' I make because there isn't one.

But, as I mentioned, I linger at the silverware tray wondering what's the number of forks and stuff and where are the ones that are missing, if they really are missing (see my remark earlier, above, about not being good at putting things away). We have six soup spoons, though I can recall no instances in my married life where people came to the house to share soup with me. It's good to know they could, I suppose, but better (for me) that they don't. And why six, and not eight?

Same things for plates and cups and saucers. Who comes up with these numbers? And, because I'm the one washing them, what do you do with the dish or cup, or plate with the chip in it? I cannot pretend that anyone else is responsible for the divot (no other word will suffice) in one of the soup bowls we bought at IKEA. I did that. And that bowl always stays at the bottom of the rotation.

If you just mouthed the words, "what rotation?" you do not have a place in my kitchen (which is probably already true based on how poorly I put things back) since plates, bowls, and saucers are used from the top down and placed back in the cabinet from the bottom up so that their use gets evened out.

DO NOT roll your eyes at me. I may, or may not, write my doctoral dissertation on the washing of dishes and the dissolution and disappearance of civility in our civic discourse if I ever have enough dirty dishes to wash in order to think it all the way through. Right now, it's a saucerful of secrets, no more and no less.
-bill kenny

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