The 21st Century Thanksgiving Catastrophe Equivalent

Thanksgiving is in a couple days. My husband just finished having a late night snack. He went to load his plate in the dishwasher and start it.

Excuse the filthy stainless, but the dishtowel should explain it

Him: “Uh oh.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Him: “The dishwasher isn’t working.”

In my past, at this point, I can say with all confidence I would be losing my shit. Just in time for Thanksgiving? Of course. Why not? That makes perfect sense. Even with only 7 people dining, that’s 7 dinner plates, 7 dessert plates, 7 glasses, 21 pieces of silverware, assorted serving utensils and pieces, and this would add up fast. Way too fast for this English major to figure in her head. The whole reason I unloaded the china we asked people to buy for our wedding was because I decided I would not ever want to wash all the dishes from Thanksgiving by hand.

Me: (incredulously) “It’s not working?”

Him: “No.”

He is pressing all sorts of buttons, and I can tell from his expression nothing on the display panel is lighting up.

This gives me pause, but rather than lose my mind as I would have done in the past, I simply decide that it’s fine. We can hand wash or we can use paper plates and plastic utensils (not environmentally sound, but desperate times call for lowered moral standards). Maybe we have it both ways and can use some paper and do some hand washing of other items, thereby alleviating some of my guilt for using disposable items out of sheer laziness while still managing to be somewhat lazy.

I watch him for a few more seconds as he pushes buttons. Then, I can tell from a look on his face, it is working again.

Him: “Never mind. It’s working again.”

Me: “That’s a relief.”

Him: “My hands must have been wet.”

I assumed that meant that wet hands interfered with the touch screen. I made my peace with the fact that the whole incident had been a non-starter. And just like back we were back to normal. Steve was finishing the last bite of his toast, and I was back to watching episodes of Seinfeld. Thanksgiving was saved. We could use three plates a piece instead of just two and could put saucers under the cups now if we wanted to. Oh, reckless abandon!

The Great Dishwasher Debate

The way we do it….is it so wrong?

While we were gone on our east coast trip, two of our three sisters juggled taking care of our boys in our absence. Having family nearby is such a blessing. Having family nearby who are willing to take care of your children is an exceptional gift. Because Joe and Luke are the only nephews and the only grandchildren on both sides of our family means that we have plenty of folks who line up to hang out with them. My sister (aka Aunt Kathy) ran the boys to appointments and birthday parties and even took them to the Lego store where she bought them a way too expensive Lego Ninjago set. Steve’s sister (aka Aunt Karen) hung with the boys two days, taking them to a local corn maze and chauffeuring them to and from school. By the time we arrived home late last night, the boys’ homework was completed and they were ready to go for school today, which was a huge relief because I did not have the energy to figure everything out at 6:30 this morning. Things simply could not have gone better.

After I’d gotten the boys to school this morning, run the requisite grocery shopping trip, and returned home, I went to unload the dishwasher. That was when I was reminded how different it can be when others stay in your home. When we travel during the school year, we let our family move into our home to take care of the boys. This seems to work out best in keeping them on track with their school work and sleep at night. As you might suspect, however, when you let others move into your home they do things their way, which is fine. It absolutely is. They should do things their own way. (And I’m not just saying this because I don’t pay them to care for our children so I am happy to deal with whatever aftermath might be in place when I return home.)

At any rate, I went to unload the dishwasher and discovered that all the flatware in the dishwasher caddy had been loaded “mouth-side” up. Years ago, Steve and I decided that we would load the dishwasher with the dirty (aka mouth) side of the utensils facing down. This makes perfect sense to me. I prefer to hold the utensils by their handles when placing them in the dishwasher because it keeps my hands clean. Beyond that, when I go to unload the dishwasher, I am able to remove the flatware from the caddy without putting my fingers all over the part of the utensils that will go into someone else’s mouth. Our families do not follow this same train of thought. So, this morning as I was putting my grubby little mitts all over the mouth parts of our previously clean flatware as I unloaded the dishwasher I got to wondering what if there is some method to their madness.

So, I am opening this up for debate. What do you think is the best way to load the dishwasher? Have I been doing it wrong all these years (as our families believe I have) or am I doing it right? I’m curious. If there’s some reason why I need to rethink my strategy, please enlighten me. I’m always open to change if someone can offer a logical reason to do so. Please take my simple one question survey or leave me a note so I can figure out what I’m missing.

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