Monday, June 24, 2013

Finishing the Job: Dishwasher vs. Sink


So, in my house, whenever we paint a room, build a deck, refinish a piece of furniture, or do any type of project, there always seems to be one last little detail that does not get completed, so no job ever truly gets done. And, once the momentum is gone for the project, that last project can go for months or years or permanently staying incomplete. As a "J" on the Meyers-Briggs personality type, I do prefer closure, yet I am just as responsible as anyone else for leaving one thing undone. 

I noticed this morning in our house that most of us prefer to put the dishes in the dishwasher. I think we feel like we are getting the dishes done that way. And when I say we, I currently would have to say excepting present company, because I have noticed that when I wash the dishes by hand, the entire kitchen gets cleaned up, whereas, putting the dishes in the dishwasher still leaves the stove in need of being wiped, counters of being de-crumbed, and the large dishes in need of being handwashed anyway. 

I wonder where else I busy myself with work-y type things and don't actually get the job done. Oh, I have one. When I use my vacuum cleaner which requires six men and a boy scout to put together and take apart. I can usually get it all put together, and even do the vacuuming, but getting it put away -- well, that often takes me a good 24 hours. 

My sink has two bowls. The right-hand one has battle scars. Recently, I switched the direction of washing/drying and I am using the left-hand, nice, shiny, white sink. My family has cooperated beautifully.

This morning, one helper loaded the plates and glasses and bowls into the dishwasher. The counters were all pretty much in need of attention, the stove was sporting some bacon grease from breakfast, and the griddle, broiler pans, and cookie sheet all needed to be hand-washed.

As much as I appreciate my helper putting those items into the dishwasher, I find great satisfaction in washing them by hand, because I know that the odds and ends will be put away, or thrown away, as the case may be. The dishwasher loader can do his or her job confidently, while still leaving the parmesan container on the counter, the griddle on the stove, the drips and spills on the counter, and the lone bread heel still waiting to be taken care of. 

"They" say that handwashing takes more water. Maybe, maybe not. My dishwasher makes a terrible sound while it runs, a sort of grinding, agonizing, pulsating noise that seems wrong. The dishwasher repairman alleges it is alright. I disagree, but I digress. My dishwasher doesn't always clean every dish/piece of cutlery completely. My dishwasher takes at least two hours to wash the dishes. Even without the terrible sound, it doesn't do the job like I do. Sure, there are times that the dishwasher is definitely the way to go, but I find dishwashing by hand to be soothing and calming and satisfying. In all of these things there is a trade-off. More water? More satisfaction? Less noise? Completion of the job? 

It all reminds me to look at the whole picture, not just one single statistic. 

This is my first post since I did the blog challenge in April. I've been away a long time. If you've read this far, thank you. I cherish my readers. I plan to write more often, and look forward to hearing from you. 

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Good to have you back. :) I tend to procrastinate on all cleaning chores. It drives me crazy, but not crazy enough to actually do anything about it.

mathmama said...

Washing dishes by hand while staring wistfully out the window is very therapeutic. The extra water is worth it (and I still think the dishwasher uses more).

Nice writing, Susan. And I can definitely relate!

Rob-bear said...

At our house, we had a dishwasher. But we couldn't have one in this old apartment building. So we are washing dishes by hand, out of necessity.

I don't mind washing dishes by hand. There's a certain mindlessness to it. I do some of my best writing while washing the dishes.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Ida Chiavaro said...

I have the same dishwasher phenomena... I guess all loaders are blind to grease on the stove etc... The same loader did the vacuuming this morning and yes the vacuum is still in the middle of the floor... My biggest problem is laundry, I can never seem to manage the washing, hanging, folding and putting away all in one day... :)