Sonja’s Guide to Life: Dishes

Because the dishes won’t wash themselves, and letting the dog lick them doesn’t really count.

To give yourself a real sense of accomplishment, be sure to leave the refuse from several meals on your kitchen counter before attempting to do the dishes. It’s really not a problem until they start to smell. Or get bugs on them.

Step 1: Load the dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher and you don’t use it, don’t tell me, because I will come and slap you myself. It’s a dishwasher. Its only function is to wash dishes. You are not a dishwasher. Load the damn thing and use it. It doesn’t use that much more water/energy than you would trying to get your dishes clean in the sink under water that burns the top layer of skin off your hands and having to throw away your nasty sponges all the time and still not getting your dishes really really clean. Just use the dishwasher.

Step 2: While loading the dishwasher, it is inevitable that you will break something. (Don’t start with me, because you are just as likely, if not more, to break something washing your dishes by hand. Did I mention that I think you should use your dishwasher?) When you drop a glass on the counter, you will also inevitably reflexively reach out to grab that glass before it hits the floor. This will be unproductive in several ways: (1) You will probably not catch it. (2) If you do catch it, you will probably get cut. (3) Either way, the glass will break and something will bleed.

Step 4: Preventative maintenance. Obviously you can’t leave glass on the floor/counter, so if you’re not bleeding too profusely, try to hold it together until you can scrape up the broken shards and dispose of them. Don’t worry if you cut yourself again while sweeping them up. You’re already bleeding anyway.

Step 5: Assess the damage. Depending on how great your reflexes are (mine are tremendous), you probably have a giant gash somewhere that is slowly sapping you of life and attracting virtually every vampire in the vicinity. (For the love of god, don’t invite anyone in your house until you get this taken care of.)

Run to the bathroom, unwrap the paper towel you were using to hold everything together, and take a look. If you are me, this is the point where you pass out/throw up/wet yourself/cry/all of the above. It’s probably not really that bad… however, putting your head between your knees and taking a little 20-minute block of “me time” is never a bad thing, right? Even better if you are at work when this happens (because you are a dedicated employee and will sometimes contribute to the cleanliness of the communal kitchen, for which you get nothing but a bloody thumb); then you get to sit on the floor of the public restroom. It’s still better than passing out in the public restroom. Trust me.

Step 6: Staunch the flow. When you have regained your sensibilities, a bandaid will be in order. Good luck trying to get a bandaid on any finger on your right hand (which is most likely the one you effed up because it’s the one that would reflexively grab a falling sharp pointy thing). Wipe the cold, clammy sweat off your face, check your makeup, and go back to the kitchen.

Step 7: Do the rest later. The nearly mortally wounded cannot be expected to do dishes, after all.

  • There are always those few items that can't go in the dishwasher. These stack up until I have a sink full. Things like the good Wusthof knives, our ice cream scoop (too many got pitted in the dishwasher), non stick pans, etc.

    But glasses (plastic and glass) get put in the dishwasher. Dishwasher is a god and should be used at all times. Now if only I had someone to load and fold the laundry.

  • My husband does all of this.

  • I put my non-stick pans in the dishwasher… Bad, Sonja, bad. Yeah, there are only a few things we hand wash (and by “we” I mean “Robbie” because I am a mean wife and make him do it).

  • Ha! I told a friend of mine that I cut myself while unloading the dishwasher the other day and she asked me if her husband taught me how to do dishes. I'm now detecting a pattern. 😉

  • ACW

    Step 3: Curse a blue streak. If you're alone, this serves to lower your blood pressure so you don't bleed to death from the cut(s) on your finger(s). If you're not alone, this serves to clear the room so no one else is injured. #martyr