Doing What I’m Not Good At

February 17, 2008

I started doing the dishes. I don’t mean every day, because too afraid to commit to the task before I know that I really like it but I do. I’m the anti-dish-washer. Never liked it.

One of my high school jobs was to shuffle dishes into the washer for a 2000 person convalescent home. That’s a lot of dishes caked with bland, mushy food suitable for a mouth full of gums.

My Beloved does the dishes and I’ve always known that the key to a woman’s heart is at the dirty dish filled sink. I really wanted to do the dishes and show her that I love her, that I’m not above this simple chore, and that she was doomed to do every load of dishes for the rest of our lives.

So over the last month I’ve been enjoying a kind of renewal with her. It started with me in the dumps last year and turning a difficult corner this year but now we’re on the other side of that mountain…and I’m having fun doing the dishes.

My favorite part of dishes is strategizing about which part of the pile gets cleaned first. I like the illusion of progress to both motivate me and make my Beloved think I’ve really done a lot so I like to wash the bigger bulky dishes that are easy to clean first. It also frees up space in the sink to move around other dishes.

Some dishes are like a dirty nuke, put em’ in the sink and they will make every other dish hard to clean. Those are greasy pans because grease is evil in the sink (but gooooood in the tummy).

This just gave me a flashback when I washed dishes in that convalescent home. This lady who cooked was named Sharon I’m pretty sure. Frying pans couldn’t go in the dishwasher so we had to fill an industrial sink to wash those by hand. Keeping the water clean by pre-washing dishes was my strategy and as soon as I turned my back on that sink SPLOOP! Sharon would dump a giant dirty pan of scrambled egg shit in my clean water. Sharon. Dirty nuker.

I read this book by J.P. Moreland and one of my favorite quotes goes like this: “You’ll never amount to anything and you’ll never accomplish anything of significance unless you learn habitually to do those things you don’t like to do.”

Since it’s a deep philosophical book it’s implied that the things I don’t like to do include living a life of virtue, discipline and study. But I already like living a life of virtue (uh, sort of), being disciplined in the mind and studying. I didn’t like to do dishes. So this is part of my living a life of significance. I’m starting to like it and amazed that I’m half way through a sink of dishes before I realized I was doing them without even thinking.

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8 Responses to “Doing What I’m Not Good At”

  1. Nev Says:

    I used to wash dishes at McDonalds and that was lots of fun. They gave you your own suit which covered most of your body and a very, very high pressure hose to blast hot, foamy water on the dishes. I really liked it.

    Washing dishes at home is a pain in the ass though, so I try to use dishes as little as possible.

  2. Lemm Says:

    That’s awesome, Doug.

    Well Done. Oh and btw, take Angie to France sometime! It’s lovely over there. Not too hot, not too cold…fresh air. And when it gets dark, there’s no light pollution – you can see all the stars. :)

  3. doug Says:

    Lemm, you don’t have to tell me about the wonders of France. Angie has been there a ton of times and speaks French well enough. I got to take her one year that I lectured in Bordeaux and we expanded the trip into Paris just about ten years ago.
    It was amazing. Though I’m not big on travel, I would be pretty happy to end up in France again with my Beloved.

  4. Lemm Says:

    Groovy. :)
    The only thing it’s missing really, is hard cheese!

  5. Max Says:

    Oh god, I hate doing dishes… all those germs and the rotting food that fell out of peoples mouths, its a cesspit of disease! Ugh!

  6. Will Says:

    It’s the exact opposite for me. I have to learn to be disciplined in other areas. She’s used to me doing house work.

  7. joshnunn Says:

    I thought I could learn to like doing them, but after doing them almost exclusively by myself for 5 years (ok, I get a hand from outside occasionally) I’ve decided that I HATE them. It hasn’t gotten easier.


  8. Once I was with two ladies busy with the dishes.
    One was cleaning. The other one was busy to dry the dishes.
    I was supposed to put the dry and clean dishes in the storing place.
    These two ladies where really talking.
    They did not have an idea what was happening.
    They worked a long, long time.
    Special because I was collecting the clean dishes and put it
    with the dirty dishes again.
    They did not notify it and washed the dishes about three times.
    I had fun.


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