I Forgot I Had A Dishwasher!

by - September 15, 2014

Through three different homes and three different babies I did not have a dishwasher.

But I dreamed of one.

Because who has time for a sink full of messes when there's things like bubble baths or the latest episode of whatever show is cool right now? {I miss Breaking Bad so much!}

Our first apartment had pretty, white, glass paned upper cabinets and barn board walls and the sink stared straight at the wall and there was only two of us and I remember thinking, "if only I had a dishwasher..."

Our second home, the one by the graveyard, it had this huge window over the sink and a view of the overgrown evergreens and there were apple trees stenciled on the wall and they were every kind of terrible and there were only three of us and I remember thinking, "if only I had a dishwasher..."

Our last home was the size of my fingernail and when we tore down the kitchen wall we could see where there had once been a fire and the sink - not only did it attack-spray anyone who didn't know to ease it up gently, but it faced a faux brick wall right over the spot where the river rats chewed through - and there were FIVE of us by that point and I remember thinking, "if only I had a dishwasher..."

There were so many reasons I was excited to move into our current home but near the top, embarrassingly, was the dishwasher.  It wasn't fancy or high-end but it worked and for a while I enjoyed it's help. Kind of like having my own little robot servant and I remember thinking, "finally, I have a dishwasher!"

I was at a friend's house, unloading her dishwasher {kind of like I was her own little robot servant} and as I handed her some mason jars to put away {mason jars are her drinking glasses - how adorable it that!!??} she asked, "Do you have a dishwasher?"

"I do," I told her, "but I do the dishes by hand once a week so I won't get spoiled."

She kind of laughed and raised her eyebrow a bit and I knew she was thinking, "girl, you're crazy!" But I didn't care because I meant it.  Fourteen years of washing up by hand.  That meant I knew how good I had it and that I wasn't about to let myself forget that blessing.  And finally, I also had a sink in front of a window with a view that wasn't a wall or a creepy dark forest.  It was actually a little pleasant, those times I resisted my own spoiling.

But as they say, all good things come to an end.

Case in point:

I forgot I had a dishwasher - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak {John Travolta lover}
{image source}
{Not that John Travolta has reached his end but he's no longer that young beauty that my wasted heart has crushed on since that moment in tenth grade when the history teacher let us watch Grease during lunch hour while she heckled from the back of the classroom. And not that I would ever cease loving him - no matter the facial hair choices or the creepy religious choices or the weird professional choices - because when I love I love 100% for better or for worse! And he and I? We'll always have Grease and Welcome Back Kotter and The Boy In The Plastic Bubble. }

But I digress...

As the great Paul & Art tell us, to everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. For my dishwasher, the death bell tolled on a grey Monday afternoon as I sat at the table writing.  I smelled the burning before I looked up from my computer to see black smoke billowing out the top.

And that was it.  That was the end.  I did the evening dishes by hand and I didn't look back.

It's been months now.

I forgot I had a dishwasher - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

And today, having abandoned last night's dishes for Sunday Night Movie Night with the kids, staring at that leaning tower of mess, I let my eyes drift to the left and HOLY COW, I USED TO HAVE A DISHWASHER!

How is that something you even forget?

How, after years of wishing for it, is it something I don't even miss???

And I realized something.

I don't mind doing the dishes.  I like the soapy water and the view out the window and how everyone mysteriously disappears after the plates are cleared and I'm left in this silence that is peaceful after the chaotic talk-over-each-other that sometimes seems the reality of dinner conversation.  

I don't mind it at all.

I'm not saying that I don't want to repair or replace the dishwasher at some point. I'm not completely crazy. But I am saying that it's not so bad, to go back to my old ways, to use that time for introspective thought or singing {songs from Grease obviously} or to practice standing on one foot.  I have it down to such an art that I know at what point to put the kettle on so that I have a cup of tea ready as soon as the last dish is scrubbed of it's spaghetti sauce and that, in itself, is a beautiful thing.

You want to know what's better than a dishwasher?  A pantry full of ingredients, cupboards full of dishes to get dirty, a family to cook for, and ten fingers that do a way better cleaning job than any old machine!

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  1. Ah! My mom would love to read this! She's never had a dishwasher and she claims that she loves to do the dishes so she can think. I've actually never used a dishwasher. We have one, but it's just not set up. I've been wanting to set it up lately, but after reading this, maybe we won't :)

    1. Oh, don't let me stop you from setting it up! Day to day, hand washing is certainly no big deal but when it comes to big family gatherings - Thanksgiving is coming! - you'll be thankful for it!! It really is a blessing though, to find some peace in a daily chore that so many people hate - good for your mom! Now, if only I could find that peace over the insurmountable tower of dirty laundry... ;)

  2. I can relate to this on so many levels...

    1. I always wanted to live next to a cemetery. I think they would make the best neighbors. My husband disagrees.

    2. My girls used to have to do the dishes after dinner. They repaid us with singing. Top of their lungs singing. They had an interesting playlist.

    3. All my glasses are mason jars. Pints and Quarts. Cheap. American made. What else do you need?

    4. Love Greece. My mom gave me a perm (yikes) and my sister styled my hair to look like Sandy at the end of the movie. My hair has been straight so long, found myself thinking of a perm the other day. What can I say? I live in Texas, and we love big hair.

    I can not relate to the love of hand washing dishes. I always end up a mess. Soaking wet with a puddle on the floor.

    To give you comfort in your weirdness...I find my peace and quiet on the lawnmower. Somewhere in all the noise, I find quiet time to think. Love it. Can't explain it.

    Loved the fire the other day...having a party and bonfire this weekend. Just hoping for no wind.

    1. Every time you comment I am more convinced that we are soul sisters. Perhaps I should park my 'glamped' trailer beside your barn. I could find inspiration by staring out at your Texan fields and you could parade in front of my window, showcasing your new big hair - I'll wash the dishes and you'll cut the grass - it would be a riot :)

    2. You make the tea and I'll bring the honey.


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© Alanna Rusnak