r By Joe Capell
As I sit here writing this, I should be doing the dishes. I should always be doing the dishes.
Of course, before I can do the dishes, I need to unload the dishwasher and put everything away. And then, as soon as the dishwasher is empty, I can start filling it again.
The guilt is driving me crazy. I’ve got to go do the dishes. Give me a few minutes while I go unload the dishwasher and re-load it again.
Let me get started ….
Wow, that’s a lot of dishes ….
Just about finished …
Okay, I’m back. I unloaded the dishwasher. And then I loaded the dishwasher again. The dishes are done! Wait – what’s that you say? The dishes aren’t done? How can that be? I’m telling you I just finished loading the dishwasher. All the dishes are done!
Oh, wait, here’s a cup by the living room chair. And there’s a bowl on my nightstand from that late night Cinnamon Toast Crunch binge. Oh, and there’s a kid cup. Why didn’t I see that cup when I was loading the dishes? It’s sitting right there in plain sight, how could I have missed it?
So, I’m not actually done with the dishes. No big surprise. Because, you see, I am never done with the dishes. There is always something I missed or something that just didn’t quite fit in the dishwasher.
And even if, by some strange quirk, I actually find all the dirty dishes and get them all to fit in the dishwasher, I’ll feel strangely compelled to dirty another dish. I’ll get some juice and dirty a cup, I’ll zap a burrito in the microwave, or I’ll celebrate finishing the dishes by getting myself a bowl of ice cream.
There must always be at least one dirty dish in the house. It’s one of the laws of nature, as sure as gravity or the rising of the sun.
Knowing this, I don’t even try to get all of the dishes clean anymore. I consider myself “ahead” on the dishes if, by the time the dishwasher has finished its cycle, I don’t immediately have enough dirty dishes to fill the dishwasher full again.
So, yes, doing the dishes is an endless, futile endeavor. The dishes are never done. But, it could be worse. It could be the laundry.