A Life Improving Expense

One of the casualties of our recent home remodel was our dishwasher. I have long hated the dishwasher because my wife had to wash the dishes before she could put them in the stupid thing. “Why put them in there at all?” I asked her on numerous occasions. “If you’ve already washed them there doesn’t seem much point in putting them into the dishwasher.” She would always smile and tell me she didn’t mind at all, and then turn on the machine which would growl and rumble so loudly that we had to yell over it to be heard.

I purchased a brand new Whirlpool, one with a built in garbage disposal, steam sterilizing, delayed or programmed time starting, and a whole menu of different washing routines. It was also claimed to be extremely quiet, and having seen it in operation I have to agree. It’s virtually silent. On the first night we had it, I came into the kitchen to find my wife washing the dishes. “What are you doing?” I whined. “We have a beautiful new dishwasher and here you are doing the very thing I bought it to free you from!”

“I don’t mind.” she smiled.

“I do,” I said. “Cut it the hell out!” I pulled the plug out of the sink to drain the water and shooed her out of the kitchen.

The following day I came into the kitchen and there she was, at it again. “What are you doing?” I asked, sounding like a parent who just found his five year old standing on the counter, reaching for the cookie jar. She reddened and gave me a guilty smile.

“I don’t mind.” she said, embarrassed.

“Jeez Louise! You need to just take the dirty dishes and stuff them into the dishwasher. In fact, you should let them sit out for a day so that egg and marinara sauce dries to a concrete texture and then stuff them in there. Now stop washing the dishes, honey. You have arthritis in your hands and you’ve been told to reduce your activity or you’re going to have to take cortisone shots.”

“I don’t mind.” she said.

I growled and pulled the plug from the sink and pointed at the dishwasher like an overly strict parent pointing their pregnant teen to a nunnery. “Don’t make me remove the spigot from the sink.” I warned.

“You just bought this spigot.” she replied. “You wouldn’t do that.”

She was right. I did just replace the old twin faucet with a brand new single joystick, super fancy, brushed nickel one. I stopped short of buying the one that you merely had to touch or wave at, but this one was an improvement and much nicer than the old one installed in 1978 when the house was first built. I wouldn’t really pull it out again. “Well,” I snarled. “I’d think about it and be upset. Do you want me upset?”

“Of course not,” she said, adding a spurt of Dawn to the wash water after plugging the drain again. She turned the water back on to replace what I’d drained.

“Stop that!” I shrieked. She just smiled. I pulled my wallet from my pocket and took out the sum total of my pocket money. I held both dollar bills aloft and scritched my Bic lighter and ignited them.

“What are you doing?” she asked, waving the smoke from her face.

“The same thing you are. But more conservatively. I spend all this money on a dishwasher and you’re making it a total waste of money!” She took the bills, from my hand and dunked them in the water to extinguish the small flames eating at their corners and then put the soaking bills back into my wallet and handed it to me. I looked at my wallet with my nose wrinkled and she said fine, she would use the dishwasher. “Just the dishwasher.” I admonished. “None of this pre-wash crap.” She held two finger aloft, the Girl Scout promise.

I came rolling into the kitchen the following eveningto find my wife filling the kitchen sink. A stack of dirty dishes stood on the counter awaiting a wash. My eyes narrowed and I said “Don’t you dare.”

“I don’t mind,” she said smiling.

I give up.

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