Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Do You Do When Your Dishwasher Stops Working?

The Original Perfect Post Awards

The warranty on the dishwasher my husband acquired through marriage has long since expired. Daily, and with a sigh, he resigns himself all over again to glasses that are not quite clean and teflon pans that are indelibly traced with soap scum. This dishwasher--never a finely tuned machine to begin with--gets more unreliable by the day.

Still, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't trade me in even if he could.

I'm a bad housekeeper. My mop is the dog's tongue and my vacuum is the handheld Black & Decker I nose into corners to remove blatant webs of dust. Only when there is not a single family member left with a clean pair of underwear to his or her name will I do the laundry. Upstairs, where no house guests may roam, it is hard to see the floor for all the clutter.

I'd like to clean it all up. I really would. But my messes are slow-growing and layered like certain fungi. To wipe out the scourge would take at least 4 days devoid of any other commitment, including motherhood, writing and sleep. And I'll tell you this: If I had that kind of vacation time coming to me, I'd spend it on the terrace of a spotless, beach-front hotel room with maid service before I'd waste a minute of it cleaning my own house.

I know some of the beliefs I hold, like this anti-cleaning one, are not easily supportable, so I have taken to collecting witty aphorisms that bolster my cause. I will end today's post with one of them, which I discovered on my mother's refrigerator when I was about ten years old. It's been there ever since.

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~ Phyllis Diller


Lauren said...

I'm the same way. Lucky for me, Sean cleans. If he didn't we'd be buried alive in mess.

Mrs. Chicken said...

And I'll tell you this: If I had that kind of vacation time coming to me, I'd spend it on the terrace of a spotless, beach-front hotel room with maid service before I'd waste a minute of it cleaning my own house. - yes, please. Where do I sign up for this?

Mary-LUE said...

That is one of my favorite quotes. It used to be on my family blog!!!

Isn't it the best?

I am sitting in a living room that is a total disaster. It isn't that I like it that way; it is just that there are thousands of other things I'd rather do.

jen said...

i think your priorities are soundly in order.

the dirt will still be here when we are all long gone.

you crack me up.

Lauren said...

If I don't have to work tomorrow, wanna see cows? I'll call you.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm a terrible housecleaner, yet I aspire to be Martha-freakin-Stewart. Why? I have no idea.

But cooking? Now that I really suck at. To go with your mom's magnet I'll add one that was given to me by my grandmother when I got married (the first time):

I'd cook if I could find the can opener.

Kate said...

Here's a few more of my favorite little quips about this subject that that my mom had hung in her kitchen:

"If there is no tomorrow, how will I wash the dishes?"

"Four letter dirty words: Iron, Wash, Cook"

"You can touch my dust but please don't write in it. "

"So this isn't home sweet home, Get Over It."

and the unequivocal, "Martha Stewert Doesn't Live Here."

I am also not much of a housekeeper, though I think I feel more guilt about it. But I don't think 60 years from now on my deathbed I will say, "I wish I had spent more time cleaning" and so that is life :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever appreciated Phyllis Diller enough. I am not a housekeeper, and I live in a barn that really isn't ever going to be a finished dwelling. That's not to say I'm a peace with the mess, but I'm happy to hand over a couple dozen dollars to someone once a month to do a little housekeeping for me. I figure it keeps the economy rolling along.


Thailand Gal said...

My environment is messy. Not dirty..but messy. And I truly couldn't care less. There are so many more interesting things to focus on. I agree with Phyllis Diller.



Veronica Mitchell said...

And there is always the tombstone inscription: "At last, her laundry is done."

Our dishwasher (the electric kind, not me) broke this spring, and we struggled without it for two weeks before I decided it was necessary for a happy marriage. Without it, I come perilously close to loathing my husband.

michele said...

I am a really good housekeeper, and it is exhausting and stressful and completely unrequited. I get one room clean and move on to another and the kids go mess up the clean room. The circle of life in my house. You are better off your way.