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Suburban Island

Dishwashing Dispute
Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2004, 10:44 p.m.

QUESTION: Hey, didn't I do that?

WHAT I LEARNED: Make your friend call back.

I was having a Zen moment this evening as I was letting myself just go with the kitchen cleaning process and feel the goodness of transforming the after dinner mess of a kitchen into a nice neat kitchen I could walk into without cringing. It calmed my spirit. I was almost done when the phone rang. I kept washing up but it was hard to do while holding the phone in one hand. To make matters worse, my husband had entered the kitchen and was now doing rustling things with the garbage bag and performing other non-cooking tasks that created a major distraction to my call.

There was one pot, one plate, one spoon, and one glass in the sink. I decided that I would leave the room to finish my phone call and finish up afterwards. Are you going to eat dinner now? I asked my husband as I made my brief exit from the daily drudgery of KP duty.

We are on the staggered eating schedule favored by many families with teenagers and working parents. Everyone had eaten except my husband who had worked late. We had a dinner of tuna sandwiches and soup - something that my husband wouldn't sign on for under any circumstances. First he was going to have the frozen barbeque chicken pizza in the freezer, and then he changed his mind and was going to pick up a salad at the grocery. I know this because he told me over the phone. And then when he arrived home he decided he didn't know what he wanted anymore. Maybe it was the scent of tomato soup, double noodle chicken soup, and tuna salad on white toast that confused him - I don't know. But he had gone from pizza, to salad, to indecision in a heartbeat and now seemingly had no good answer to my question.

So I thought my inquiry - are you going to eat dinner now? was a reasonable one under the circumstances. I wanted to make sure the man was fed.

Yes, he said without missing a beat and with the practiced sigh of a martyred soul - after I get this mess cleaned up.

That blew the Zen thing. I was sputtering.

Sponge in hand; he put the last few dishes into the dishwasher with as long-suffering an attitude as he could muster up. He didn't want me to clarify the situation - i.e., I did all the work and he was getting all the glory - because he didn't want to talk with me about this while I was on the phone with someone. It was hard for me to not set things straight. I did try to do so in fact - friend on the phone or not - but it was not to be. Lalalala - he had shut his ears to my plaintive cry for credit for a job well done.

Now that's having your cake and eating it too. I had to talk to my friend so I let it go. Tomorrow is another day and promises to provide another sink of dishes, spattered stovetop, crumb laden kitchen table, and untidy countertop. What it will not provide is me in the mood to clean it up.

image by Flagg

Tomorrow the honor can be all his and the credit too.

DETAILS: Coffee: irish cream latte + Listening to: big band music+ Observing: thunderstorm tonight + Thinking: I love storms. + Weather: lots of lightening and a downpour.

Today’s Suburban Strategy: Who doesn't love a scenic webcam?

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