The first piece of irony for the day came when I found myself driving to a store to do my CyberMonday shopping. I had looked at those dishes all day online, but really, I needed to see those colors in person.
So, I had to drive to the store to look at them so I could drive back home to order them. Apparently, I couldn’t get the CyberMonday sale by purchasing them in the store. I couldn’t get free shipping in the store either, but then again, who needs shipping when you drive two miles to the store and buy want you want.
The second bit of irony came when I got back home. I decided against those dishes, by the way. But I found some others that were the perfect colors. That’s when my husband gave me the news.
“It’s dead.”
“Yes, dead.”
How could it be dead? How could our 5-year-old dishwasher have died?
Within minutes, my cyber shopping for dishes turned into cyber shopping for a dishwasher. Because, really? Doesn’t a nice set of dishes sound so ridiculous if you have to carefully wash them by hand? And who can afford to spend more than $100 on dishes, when we now need several hundred for a dishwasher.
I still couldn’t believe that it had died right in the middle of a wash cycle. It hadn’t even bothered to empty the water out of the machine first.
I didn’t like that dishwasher from the very beginning. It has always been temperamental. But, for the last month or so, it had actually been on great behavior.
I blame its attitude on the fact that it’s a “smart” appliance. It has a “sensing” wash cycle. Apparently, it can sense when it needs to do this or that. I prefer a good ol’ fashioned dumb machine. I prefer one that listens to me. I prefer one that turns on when I press the start button.
Not this one! Oh, no. It is so smart and so sensitive that it knows better than I do when the dishes are clean and when they are dirty. I can’t even tell you how many arguments we have gotten into. How many times I have stood counting to 10 as I firmly held the “normal wash” button. I want a normal wash. I don’t want a light wash or a heavy wash. But it usually won.
And now, without a sputter or spill, without so much as a moan or groan, it had died. Just like that. Did I mention it was only FIVE years old?
I wanted to pout, and so I did.
I have been trying to figure out how to be a better house keeper, with all of my schedules and lists and rules and the dumb iCal. But unless I do about four loads of laundry a day and run the dishwasher three times a day, I’m hopeless.
There are six of us living in this house. We work from home. We home school. We host small group once a week IN OUR HOME. We are home for almost every meal. I cook. And all of this creates dishes. Lots and lots of dishes.
The idea of washing them by hand put me over the edge. I had to go to bed, leaving my husband with these instructions. “Add it to your cart.” I didn’t care which dishwasher. As long as it was black. And I would prefer one that wasn’t smart.
I woke up in the middle of the night and remembered the sink full of dishes. I reminded myself that when I was growing up, we also had a family of six. And for many years we didn’t have a dishwasher.
We enjoyed quality time after dinner washing dishes together. One person washed. Someone else rinsed. Another person dried. And one other person carried from the dining room and washed the table. In the midst of it all, we usually flicked wet towels at each other and laughed and laughed. Those were good times.
I realize all of this is very much a 1st World problem. Millions of people survive everyday without dishwashers. Or even running water and electricity.
But I still would like to enjoy a few minutes of whining, if you don’t mind. I’m not ready to spend half of my day washing dishes by hand.
After lunch today, my son said, “How will we wash the dishes without a dishwasher?”
He did not realize there was another way. In fact, I don’t even know where the plug is for the right side of the sink. The side we will need to fill with rinsing water.
I guess that’s a good sign to me. Maybe we needed this learning experience. Maybe we all need to enjoy sticking our hands in a big sink full of soapy water. Maybe we will laugh and flick wet towels at each other.

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