Monday, May 31, 2010

A Change of Pace

I’m not whining. Really, I’m not.

But I hate unloading the dishwasher. I don’t mind loading it. Heck, I don’t even mind washing dishes by hand. But I can’t stand opening the dishwasher door, with the unexpected steam facial, and putting away all the clean plates and silverware.

I know in the scope of tough things in life, this doesn’t even qualify to make the list. I should be grateful (I am) to have a dishwasher. I should be grateful (I am) that I have food to make those dishes dirty in the first place.

But after a million years of marriage (all wonderful, I assure you), and raising four kids (to steal from Garrison Keillor, all good looking and above average) – I am tired of household chores. Sure whoever is at home helps, but I'm still the captain of this cruise ship. Absolutely, my husband does more than his fair share (he’d probably argue that it’s waaaay more than his fair share), but let’s just agree to disagree.

But unless we’re prepared to eat takeout food on paper plates with plastic forks (and risk the wrath of "save the earth fans" the world over) – I’m looking for some invention (or person) to do the following tasks:

1. Unload the dishwasher and put away the contents in a timely fashion (within an hour of the completion of its cycle). This is to avoid the “who can wait longest to see if somebody else will do the job.”

2. Carry upstairs from the basement and distribute to the appropriate drawers, all the clean laundry I’ve done. I point out that it doesn’t count if you merely plop the clean clothes on the bed, to be pushed to the floor before crawling into the sheets, which will necessitate either refolding or washing the clothes again because the dog with the muddy feet has walked on them.

3. Put away the groceries. I don’t mind shopping for food, sometimes at more than one store to get the best bargain, I'll even lug the bags into the house. But I hate to put the foodstuffs away. Yes, there is a pattern here. I sometimes fantasize that if I only had a walk-in pantry, then putting away dishes and groceries would be a snap. But since I don't have a pantry, walk-in or otherwise, putting these things away involves much squeezing and rearranging, always doubling the time of the original task.

4. Iron tablecloths and t-shirts. Yes, I know about wrinkle-free tablecloths, but mine are never unwrinkled and if I’m going to the trouble of putting a cloth on the dining room table, it’s an occasion and should look nice. When I iron, it does not….look nice. Same for summer t-shirts which are grabbed right out from the dryer and still look like they have shrunk two sizes, with permanent creases. (Of course, as a writer, I never see anyone so who cares).

5. Mark the sheets so that it’s clear which way they fit. On a twin, this is never a problem, but on our Queen-sized bed, I inevitably put the bottom fitted sheet on the wrong way and have to start over again. I’d also add that I’d like sheets that didn’t pill or shrink – and as long as I’m asking, I’d like someone else to put them on the bed in the first place. Actually, to take a step back, I’d also like someone else to fold all fitted bottom sheets, a task I've reduced to rolling them up in balls because I can’t get them to fold flat.

What chores would you like to dump, er, exchange with a loved one?



  1. Marian, I think we're on the same wavelength! Most of the time, I don't mind doing the household chores and some of the yard work, too (except mowing--I'm not allowed to touch the mower, thank God!). But there are times when I think, "If I have to do another load of laundry this week, I'm gonna pop!" My hubby does help unload the dishwasher (most of the time) if he's home. I think I'd be afraid to let him do my laundry. I do wish he cooked though! That would be great (since I'm hardly Martha Stewart in the kitchen--heck, I'm hardly one of Martha Stewart's cats in the kitchen!). I guess since I work at home (and, yes, am female) I end up being responsible for the care and feeding of persons in the home and care of the home itself. Still, that means I get to do things my way, which isn't such a bad thing!

    Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Hope you get away from the chores and do something fun and/or relaxing!

  2. Just returned from Mayhem in the Midlands and it was great. Couldn't get my little computer to let me leave comments on blogs.

    Anyway, I must confess, we always use paper plates because so many people eat at our house all the time--and I still have a full dishwasher. I don't like emptying it either. I'm also the laundress, etc. My d-i-l always cleans up after dinner and she also cleans a lot of my house. I do my office, our bedroom and bath.

    What's a pain is having to do the same things over and over, right, ladies?


  3. I typed a big long comment and it was under the wrong name. I have been sharing my computer with my niece in law. She came up to help me pack. I have a sore throat, a headache, and just feel yuck. I have a week left to finish packing and get moved.
    I have a tip for folding the fitted sheets. You tuck all the corners into 1 then fold that side in and the top. The you fold neatly from the bottom up. My mothr was a fanatic about folding sheets they had to be just so. PFFFT not me I fold them however I feel like. I avoid ironing like a cat would avoid being bathed in water. Spent 3 years in the army, hubby retired after 20 years no thank you ironed enough then and helping when I was growing up. Take and put the shirt on hanger stuff it in the closet. Does it look all neat after you drive somewhere? I only have those type shirts lol. Washer and dryer are in the kitchen here. We don't have basements very often in Texas. In Oklahoma the laundry area was between the garage and the kitchen. I never figured that out who decided the kitchen was a good place to do laundry? You can't find my table for the "stuff" on it. It's shoved against the wall in the area that used to be a dining room, now an office. It started off to be a processing table and collected stuff instead. I have my own tax business and had grand plans for using it. I use it to pile stuff on.
    I have one maybe 2 loads of laundry at a time. I strip my sheets and wash them put them back on the bed straight from the dryer. Saves laundry that way besides there are only 2 people in this house and they both sleep in the same bed. Hehehehe. my niece in law parked herself on the couch said it was more comfortable than the spare bed. She came to help I don't care where she sleeps lol. Usually when she comes she has her two daughters age 6 and 8 with her so they are in usually in the bed anyway lol.

  4. I just pretend all my clothes, tablecloths and sheets are linen so they should be wrinkled, right? Isn't crinkled the new look?

  5. Cindy, I think crinkled is in, baby! (I hang most t-shirts and pants after 10 minutes in the dryer so I don't have to iron!)

    Kathy, feel better, chickie!

  6. Thanks for the tips - especially the one about how to fold fitted sheets. I agree completely that crinkled is the look that is always "in."

    Hope everyone has had a lovely holiday. Off to grill some dinner -- and definitely plan to use paper plates! No dishwasher tonight!


  7. Absolutely, Positively DOING ALL LAUNDRY, which would include sorting, washing, folding, and putting away. EVERY LAST BIT OF IT.