Friday, February 6, 2009

Because Reading is REALLY Fundamental

Ever since we've been married, Daniel and I have done a funny little dance with the dishwasher.
I don't know why this is the one thing that seems to be destined to cause confusion in our marriage, but the use of our dishwasher is just something that we can not get in sync, and when one person secretly decides to give up and accommodate the other, the other will simultaneously secretly decide to do the same to hilarious results. Even with our annoying quirks, we are completely in tandem.
Basically, there is an unwritten law in our house that Daniel will not attempt to put a dirty dish in the dishwasher unless one of the following situations arises, at which point he will inexplicably and randomly have a burning need to assist in kitchen clean up.
1) If the dishes are already clean, with the clean light on, he will miraculously lose the ability to see bright green lights and decide to squeeze several dishes of varying nastiness in with the clean ones, making it impossible to determine what is clean and what is dirty. End result has us running the entire load again, while we all drink out of oversize plastic novelty cups, since our glasses are in the mystery load. As an added bonus, the load usually doesn't get cleaned well, since it was already full before the added dishes got shoved in.
2) If I try to set the timer before bed so it runs while we are sleeping and electricity is cheaper, Daniel will (sometimes for no reason known to man or beast) open the dishwasher. Sometimes, he has a dish to put in, sometimes, it's because I told him not to open it and although he did not hear or become cognisant of the request, his subconscious is suddenly telling him that he simply HAS TO open the dishwasher. Even he does not know why. Without fail, he then forgets to hit the start button again, so I wake up planning to unload the washer during breakfast, and find all the dishes still gross, and now I have to run it during peak hours and with the TV blaring to cover the noise.
Like I said, it's a funny little dance we are always doing. It's not really a major thing, but I'm not sure what else to do about it. Normally, I would try to let it go, but the other day, I was having a particularly frustrating day, and decided to take action to ensure, once and for all, that my dishes would come out the other side 100% clean and at the expected time. In a world where I was losing control, I was going to take control over this. Just this once.
I set the 4 hour delay, and then proceeded to get a piece of notepaper. On this paper, in sharpie marker, I put a large frowny face and wrote "No Touchee!! Timer is ON." I then stuck this paper on the counter, wrapped over the edge and onto the washer so that in order to even open the dishwasher, Daniel would have to remove (and therefore read) the note. Yeah, I thought, this will work perfectly.
Two hours later, Daniel walked in from a long day at work. We all said Hi and gave hugs and kisses, and I told him it was a rough day. Sam was driving me crazy and I felt like she was getting into the same things 100s of times a day and all I did was run interference. Then Daniel, (as if drawn by magnetic forces) walked to the dishwasher. He picked up the note, looked at it, then set it aside and without a dish in his hand or in his proximity, opened the dishwasher and looked inside! Just looked!!! I thought my head was going to explode, but I tried to remain calm as I said "Uh, honey, what in the world are you doing? Did you see the note?"
Daniel looked up innocently and proceeded to say with a completely straight face, "Well, yeah, but I thought it was for Sam."
Was he kidding me?
I reminded him, charmingly and sweetly, you can be sure, that our 9-month-old daughter does not yet possess the ability to read (or open the dishwasher for that matter).
To this rather superflous and unnecessary reminder, he smiled and responded "I know that, but you said you had a really bad day, and I thought you might be losing it."
That's right folks, rather than think that a note on the dishwasher applied to him, my husband assumed I could get frustrated enough to lose the ability to realize that our baby can't read and had started to leave her letters regarding unacceptable behavior. Yeah, it didn't make sense to me either.
Even when I'm hanging by a thread, I've never once gotten that removed from reality.
This is when I realized without a shadow of a doubt that this dishwasher thing is much bigger than Daniel. It's bigger than me. It's bigger than both of us, and we can either embrace it and laugh when yet another load gets mixed up or left filthy, or drive ourselves to new heights of absurdity trying to "fix" it. Neither of us can help it, so instead of being a point of contention, the dishwasher has officially become the running family joke.
Besides, even if no one else reads this, I'm sure Sam will when she's surfing the web later.
What, your baby doesn't read, yet? Weird.


Skiba Family said...

Burt won't touch the dishwasher...ever. Unless he skips church and wants to show me that he can clean. I've gotten mad at him for the way he does dishes so he'll never touch them.

Natalie said...

Aaaggghhhh! This is not reflective of your husband at all, I don't know him and I am certain he is truly, having said that, I feel your pain. I am NOT kidding, as I read that, it made me feel like I was going to jump right out of my skin. Why?? Because I understand the frustration that these people we love more than life itself can bring to us. :)How wise you both are to make this a running family joke rather than a battle. Impressive!!

Also, thanks for your hilarious comment the other day! I laughed out loud.