Today I asked my husband to start the dishwasher. He announced he had read that skipping the heated dry cycle saved a tremendous amount of the energy used to run it. I could feel myself getting hot, a prime indicator of a level 4 to 5 irritation. I had actually purchased the dishwasher recently, based exclusively on its drying function. I found, for the most part, the washing of the dishes by hand to be therapeutic and grounding. I liked the feel of the hot water on my hands. I would reminisce about all the projects that Matt and I did before the kids came along while peering out the big double window over the double sink. Then, I would admire with pride the projects I had muddled through, having taken a day off from work for each. The wooden walkway up to the pool deck- I really liked this one. Quite an upgrade over the several sheets of plywood stacked on top of the ever reappearing hole that each season’s woodchucks worked so hard on. I often felt very peaceful while washing the dishes in the sink. But, then, after the washing, things took a turn. I came to despise the wet dishes. There was no good fate for them or for me. They would either need to be towel dried, or air dried-piled high in the dish drainer on top of the counter, and sprawling beyond the dish drainer’s borders, spilling onto the toweled counter to accommodate them. How could clean things make a kitchen look so dirty? This, this is what made my decision to get a dishwasher, to dry my dishes. And now, a hint, a suggestion about not using the heated dry cycle? My irritation level quickly bumps up to a 6. And, I am fully, I mean fully responsible for the dish duty in my household. That being said, who would even dare to put that up for consideration.
The next morning, as the children and the husband sleep, I unload the dishwasher. The ludicrous suggestion from the day before quickly re-enters my thoughts. I find myself estimating the pieces of silverware in this load- about 9 pieces in each slot, six slots total. That’s 54 pieces. My weekday morning routine begins the fill process for the dishwasher. Yes, a spoon for stirring my morning coffee. Then, a butter knife to stir my protein shake an hour later. Now , a spoon for the husbands coffee just after this. Now, another butter knife for cream cheese for one child’s bagel as part of his lunch. Next, a sharp knife to cut the crusts off the cheese sandwich for the other kid’s lunch. Into the dishwasher they go. Damn, I could have gotten away with one more use of the sharp knife by cutting an apple for the lunches. On and on it goes. Needless to say, the dishwasher is filled to capacity and run on a daily basis, less frequently when I am to tired or to lazy to cook and we eat out. A full dishwasher, now that is a lot of dish drying time to be done by hand by me. I find nothing therapeutic about this.
This reminds me of the time I experimented with saving money by not running the dryer. This experiment lasted for exactly three loads of laundry; one load of towels, one load of dark clothes, and one load of white clothes. The towels went easily, quick and easy to hang. I can do this. Next, dark clothes. Okay, this takes longer. There are a few small shirts and a few big shirts, some boxers, and a few small pairs of socks. Lastly, the white load. I am aghast. This takes forever. So so many pairs of white socks, big and little, a few t-shirts, big and little, and more socks, lots and lots of socks, with a clothespin, or two, for each item. It was time to analyze the results of my experiment, albeit a brief experiment. The dryer would now be used for the rest of my natural life.
Now, back to my dishwasher. I just know that I will be using the dry cycle on it for the rest of my life. My resignation for this now brings my frustration level easily and quickly to a zero.