Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thank You for Helping . . . Sort Of

I work from home and I do the majority of the chores.  The kids did most of them, but I'm back to taking care of the daily bits like the dishes.  And so when every once in a while my family helps, I appreciate it, I really do.  Sort of.

It starts when I open the dishwasher.  I have to say last night wasn't too bad.  I mean I didn't have to re-wash anything.  But the system used to load the thing boggles the mind.  I just stared.

Do they have no sense of how the machine operates?  There is a reason tall stuff goes on the outside and the utensils go pointy parts up.  Sigh.  We've had this conversation before.  In fact, I held a workshop - How to Load the Dishwasher and Why.

Opening the cabinets to put the stuff away I just stopped - and stared - again.  All I could think was, "Are they new here?"

My cabinets have been arranged the same way for 14 years.  A lot of thought and planning went into how my dishes and other cabinet dwellers are arranged.  14 years ago most of the house from about counter height down was ripped out to repair the sub-floor.  I'll tell you all about that nightmare in another post.  Suffice it to say that my contractor came to me one day and said, "You know, if you wanted to make any changes in the kitchen, right now is your only shot."

Joy!  Cartwheels!  Gasp!  Every woman's (and man's?) dream!  A new kitchen lay out.  Well, not so much.  I couldn't change where any of the services like electricity, gas, or water was - too expensive.  But I could decide what the lower cabinets would look like.  I moved the fridge and the oven around and installed pot drawers instead of cabinets.  I designed cabinets for food storage stuff, baking stuff, small appliances - you see where I'm going here.

In other words, for 14 years everything has been in its very carefully considered and built to accommodate place.  Yet not another soul in this house can mange to empty the dishwasher without randomly cramming stuff into the first available place they see.  Even my husband.  It's as if they have never opened a cabinet and gotten out the exact item they were looking for.  And because they can all cook, and often do, I know they know where stuff is.  The logical - I think - conclusion is that they also know where it goes BACK.

The evidence in the cabinets suggests a different conclusion.  I don't say a word - I already learned that lesson - and quietly start to rearrange, just glad for the help and the helpers who wanted to give it.