I have a love/hate affair with dishes. I hate doing them, but love them being done right. Which brings me to the question: what is YOUR definition of “right?”
The answer, of course, will be as varied as the person you are asking… but I think finding the answer starts by asking, “who TAUGHT you how to do dishes?” I’ve discussed with some friends the disparity between the genders in regards to dish cleanliness standards. A wise friend once posited that girls are better at doing the dishes because they spent more time than boys in the kitchen during their formative years watching their mother/sister/grandmother figure doing dishes. But what if that wasn’t your experience? It was mine. My earliest dish memory is watching my (13-years-older) sister doing dishes. Apparently, she did dishes so frequently during her teenage years that she wrote a song about it. The lyric I remember is (in a driving, descending tone) “dirty dii-ii-iii-iii-shes…. are a PART OF MY LIFE. PART OF MY LIFE.” Catchy, right?
I watched my mom do the dishes. And although I remember my dad doing the dishes occasionally, it is primarily a mom memory. I watched her soak the dishes. Wash them by hand and then stick them in the dishwasher. And that is how I learned to do the dishes. But there have been moments in my life that have changed how I thought about dishwashing. There was the summer of 1996 in which I did the dishes for 250 people, 3 meals a day for a month at Rockbrook Camp for Girls in Brevard, N.C.- which, believe it or not, was an honor… no, really. There was the apartment that didn’t have a dishwasher. Any experience in food service. Who you are shapes how you do the dishes and what you consider clean.
When you are younger, doing dishes is a punishment. Now? It is still a punishment… but I see the value of doing it well as a way of taking care of your property. We have a dishwasher… and yet I still pre-rinse in the sink. Some people staunchly believe it not to be necessary. Jojo claims that there was a dishwasher he had, two apartments ago, that magically (without pre-rinsing) dissolved and cleaned caked-on gunk that had been sitting there for days. I told him that I wish we HAD that dishwasher… and I wished that we lived in that magical land where pre-rinsing isn’t necessary, but we don’t and it is. So, let me ask you world… what is YOUR dishwashing story? What is YOUR definition of clean? Take the poll and leave a comment!
I’m dying to know! Thanks for participating! I want to make this an on-going dialogue, so stay tuned for updates!