For those of you who visited Mother Hen when she was still a chick growing up, it would be fair to say I was not raised to be a neat freak.
This is not to say my mother was a slob. She was just a woman working full time and trying her best to provide for six children on a shoestring budget. And if that meant a sock box overflowing with 496 unmatched socks, heaps of laundry in varying stages of completion, and a kitchen liberally sprinkled with toast confetti and dried bowls of shrunken Cheerios littering the sink on a good day, well, then so be it.
You would think that having so many kids would be a disadvantage to my overtaxed mum, but such was not the case. Household chores fell almost entirely to us, and we girls carried out the cleaning in a strict rota. This taught us the value of hard work, of course, but it also had the knock-on effect of making us into neat freaks in our own adulthoods.
Hey, you try saying goodnight to your boyfriend while standing in a kitchen doorway framed by a mountain of dirty dishes stacked cupboard high behind you. (I can’t begin to describe the humiliation – *cue violins!* ha!) A Friday night date was no excuse for missing my turn on the dish rota. To this very day, I detest the sight of unwashed dishes littering my counters. This is not to say it never happens. It’s just that it makes me CRAZY!
HH’s mum, on the other hand, was a proper neatnik and food never dried on the dishes before they were scraped, cleaned, and run through the dishwasher. She was and remains a hard worker, yes – but she also had the added advantage of being a stay-at-home mom in a long and stable marriage.
Perhaps this is why, having never suffered the humiliation of the dish graveyard, HH seems almost completely oblivious to the irritating sight of dishes stacked up. So unbothered is he that, when most of the dishes are dirty, he will resort to weirder and weirder eating and drinking utensils: Cereal in a mixing bowl eaten with a measuring spoon… juice from a dessert glass… wine from a coffee mug… I could make some wise crack here about the Dish Fairy coming to disappear the unsightly mess, but I know it would only boomerang into some conversation about the Paycheck Wizard materializing cash into our bank account each week! Like HH’s own mother, I am at present stay-at-home wife and have few complaints, really.
On those rare occasions when HH takes up the dishcloth, certain conditions must be met:
- The dishwasher MUST be pre-emptied. A full-but-clean dishwasher ranks alongside the full wastebasket and the overflowing recycle bin: It is completely invisible to most people.
- Any dish not able to be put through the dishwasher (i.e. Calphalon or other anodized aluminum, wooden utensils and chef’s knives) will either be left in the dishpan, or “left to soak.” It doesn’t matter if the Calphalon was only used to boil water – if it doesn’t go in the dishwasher, it gets left on the counter top full of soapy water for the Dish Fairy.
- Any food that needs putting away must already be put away. If it is left in the pan, it is subject to being left overnight. For the Dish Fairy. And the Salmonella…
Ah, I’m not complaining. The Dish Fairy has both a set of sturdy Marigolds, and a sense of humor.
Now, the Sock Fairy… she’s a whole other story!
- feature photo: Shutterstock
- Cinderella pic: fanpop.com
- Dish ecard: pinterest
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