I grew up in a household of eight. Eight. Do you even have any idea how many dishes eight people produce? Especially considering the fact that it was almost never just the eight of us. My siblings and I always had friends over so a dinner on any given evening could easily have a dozen people or more.
That makes for a lot of dirty dishes. In case you were wondering.
I hate doing the dishes for this reason. I had done more dishes by the time I turned 18 than some people do their entire lives.
Or at least it felt that way. I’m not a drama queen. Shut up.
When I was growing up I used to babysit for a family with three adorable kids. Their mom was young and became quite a good friend. I spent a lot of time with her. One thing she told me was when her and her husband got married they made a deal, she’d do the laundry if he’d do the dishes.
Even at 13 this plan seemed brilliant. I knew I would employee this whenever I finally got married myself. They were such an adorable happy couple* and my friend? Never had to do the dishes. Ever.
When Joel and I were talking about getting married I pitched him on this plan. He did not seem convinced. Always having to do the dishes? Always? Just in exchange for laundry? Yeah, I wouldn’t have gone for it either.
So I upped the ante. “How about,” I said “I do all the housework. I’ll cook, clean, do laundry, everything. As long as I never have to do the dishes.”
He was sold.
That plan lasted a really long time. And by really long time I mean it lasted until the first time we had guest coming in ZOMGthey’llbehereintwentyminutesandthishouseissomessy!!!1!! and I politely asked made him help me clean the house.
I still did the laundry though. Eventually the deal became what I offered originally. Dishes are Joel’s chore and laundry is mine. This may or may not be partially because I am obsessive compulsive a little picky about how my clothes are washed. Also? Joel did manage to destroy several of my shirts in one load the first time I let him help me with the laundry. He says it wasn’t on purpose… but he almost never does the laundry anymore either. So I’ll let you be the judge.
Anyway, this weekend Joel was in Memphis at a conference. Luckily(?) I had the plague and basically didn’t eat** for two of the four days he was gone. I did have cereal Sunday morning and ate some dinner and things though.
Today I realized Joel was going to be home soon and, even though “his” job is the dishes, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count when he hasn’t contributed to them in four days. So, I did the dishes this evening before Joel got back because I am a fabulous wife like that.
Side note: Did you know that milk, when left a day and a half in a bowl in the sink smells and looks just like yogurt? Gah! No wonder he gets annoyed when I don’t rinse it out in the morning.
There weren’t that many and it wasn’t a huge deal. But I was reminded today how much I appreciate having a husband that doesn’t mind doing the dishes all the time. There were a million other little things I missed about him while he was gone this weekend too. But the dishes were a big one.
I’m so happy he’s home.
*They did later get divorced. So maybe not the best marriage role models. At least their dishes plan worked out.
**I weighed myself Sunday after two days of hell. I lost 8 pounds. In two days. Yeah. I wasn’t kidding about feeling like I was dying.