We’re not leaving this house until the dishes are done
Burt's Eye View
I don’t know why the dishes have to be washed first. Why can’t we leave home without them being out of the sink?
It’s frustrating. Or maybe it’s just being a guy.
We established days ahead of time that to make our appointment, we needed to leave the house by 8 a.m. The night before, we both agreed that both of us knew that the both of us must be in the car by 8 a.m. or we’re both going to be late.
The next morning, one of us — me — sat in the car watching the clock relentlessly click way past 8 a.m. while the other of us — not me — apparently lollygagged at the kitchen sink.
When she finally meandered out to the car, she dumped a bunch more things that she’d gathered up in the interim in the back seat, slid into the front and said, “I had to do the dishes.”
I took a break from my heavy breathing exercises to demand, “Why? They would have still been there when we got back.”
“But now they won’t.” She settled into the seat. “So I can relax and enjoy the ride.”
“Not me.” I squeezed the steering wheel and shot out of the driveway. “I’m going to be a nervous wreck. We’re never going to make it.”
“Would you have just left dirty dishes rotting in the sink?” she asked.
“We’re coming back this evening. They won’t even have time to get a decent scent wafting.”
She shook her head. I muttered a few things to myself. She heard the part about, “When I was single, I’d pile dirty dishes in the sink and go away for a week. They were always waiting right where I left them when I got back, and the house didn’t melt.”
She wrinkled her nose. “They probably had grown fuzzy, moldy legs and scampered around the house.”
“Well, I did find two cups, a bowl and a macaroni and cheese saucepan in the living room watching TV,” I said. “But I figured I left them in the living room.”
“What if a burglar broke in?” she asked. “Wouldn’t you have been embarrassed knowing he saw all those scuzzy dishes.”
“If the masked man rifled the sink, he wouldn’t have been a very good burglar.”
She turned in her seat. “So here’s a question for you. If it was important to leave by 8 a.m., how come you turned off your alarm, rolled over and stayed in bed. That put us a half hour behind schedule from the start”
I squirmed a little. “Well, I was still in the car before 8.”
She reached around to the bundles in the back seat. “Here’s the folder of stuff you need for the appointment. Here are your socks. And you might want to use this comb.”
“Yeah, well… Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” she said. “Here’s another question for you. If you were ahead of time, why didn’t you wash the dishes? You know I can’t leave the house until they’re done.”
“There’s a very good reason for that,” I said.
I bent over the steering wheel. “I can’t talk now. I need to concentrate on driving.”
“That’s what I thought,” she said.
We arrived with two minutes to spare. That evening, when we came home, we flopped into our chairs.
“You know why we can relax, don’t you?” she said. “Because the dishes are done.”
I guess that’s why.
— Send a dish rag to Cole at email@example.com, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.