You’ll notice a new entry in the “other people’s stuff” list over there on the right. HP just turned me on to Life in Alaska today, and I’ve spent much of the evening going through the site. It’s excellent, and you should check it out when you’re done here.
There are some obvious differences between John’s life, in Fairbanks, and that of Uncle Crappy in Pittsburgh. For instance, I have yet to spot a moose wandering around in my yard, and I’m not sure what the squirrels would do with that kind of visitor.
But John’s most recent post did strike me, because of his interactions with his wife (he calls her The Mrs. — love it!). They were tag-teaming a pile of logs, cutting them down to the size that would fit in their stove and stacking them near their home. Once John’s chainsaw ran out of gas, he turned to help The Mrs. with the stacking part, only to be told he was stacking the wood incorrectly.
Hm. This is familiar.
Honestly, I can say I don’t have many gripes with The Wife, and none of any real consequence. But there is this one thing that’s been a point of contention for as long as we’ve known each other: Apparently, I do the dishes incorrectly.
Here’s my general approach. All the silverware goes in the sink, which I slowly start to fill with hot, soapy water. While it fills — and while the silverware soaks — I wash any glasses and coffee mugs that are waiting and I use the still-running water to rinse. Generally by the time the sink is full, I’ve finished the glasses, so I turn off the water and use it to wash plates, bowls and other stuff we put food on. Then you drain the sink, rinsing the plates. Wash the silverware and cooking tools and then finish up with the pots.
Summary: It’s all washed in hot, soap-filled water. Rinsed in more hot water. Set in the rack to dry. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Right?
No. From what I understand, there’s a problem with the initial running of the water, even though it’s filling the sink and will be used to wash other things. And some other stuff. It’s a little baffling to me, because I watch her do the dishes, and we seem to have the same general plan: hot water plus soap, scrub, rinse, repeat. And while I have adjusted the order in which things are washed — I never used to do the glasses first, which I guess is bad — I still get troubled scowls when she wanders into the kitchen while I’m standing in front of the sink.
She also says I’m a nancy-boy because I wear gloves. This is a genetic issue. I happened to be born into a family whose members have nerve endings in our fingers; she was not.
At least I don’t get the “Mom” voice. Although it strikes me now that I’m not sure I would know what The Wife’s “Mom” voice would sound like. Hm.
I think we’ve both made reasonable adaptations to each other’s habits and wishes in the 13 years we’ve been together. In this case, though, our differences seem to be insurmountable. Not that washing dishes is a deal-breaker, but it is contrary to John’s conclusion: “If The Mrs. ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” I prefer to see this in the light of Father of Uncle Crappy’s advice on marriage: “If you say ‘Yes, dear’ more than ‘No, dear,’ you’re probably going to be fine.”
And I do. Just not about the damn dishes.