Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Last week we ran out of dishwashing detergent. Almost. Again. Clearly I have a subconcious desire to run out of dishwashing detergent. When we moved into our house 11 years ago it had a dishwasher. When that one died, we replaced it, lest we have a hole in our cabinetry.

The thing is that lately I've realized that dishwashing is a great opportunity for family communication. There's something about working beside each other at a relatively mindless, routine task, that opens the communication floodgates. Between Chuck and myself as well as between we parents and the child-of-the-day.

I love the empty counters and the satisfaction of actually finishing a job while enjoying time with one of my family members. I love the quiet routine of warm water and clinking plates at the end of a day. Knowing we're on the verge of renovating our kitchen, I decided to see if I could make a case (to myself and my family) for not having a dishwasher. I put off buying the detergent for many days.

I failed to make my case. We enjoyed clean counters not filled with "leftover dishes" destined for the next load, the clutter that attracts other clutter. We enjoyed working together. We enjoyed chatting as we worked. I enjoyed the help the kids gave. They felt useful. But for whatever reason, doing without a dishwasher is just to radical for the rest of my family.

Ten months ago when our breadmaker died I started madly baking the traditional way and managed to convince everyone this was better than a new breadmaker. Alas I haven't managed to convince them when it comes to the dishwasher.

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