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Kitchen Woes - An Autobiographical Anecdote

Updated on December 11, 2017
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Jennifer is a writer, editor, feminist, and Potterhead. She also loves her cat and studying cat behavior.

"Unwashed dishes in a sink; an authentic situation."
"Unwashed dishes in a sink; an authentic situation." | Source

Not My Kinda Work

It should be known that I’m not domesticated. I’ve tried, but it just hurts to do housework.

The worst of this is dishes. Logically, I know that doing them every single night means that I will only have to clean a few, and also that it will be easier to clean them. Rationally, I plan to do this. I even set it on my calendar when I want to get serious about doing it.

I don’t approach cleaning with logic or rationality, unfortunately.

The Five Steps of Cleaning

I laugh, but it's so true to what I do when needing to clean. There are these Five Steps I go through before I finally get to the task.

Step One: Bargain

First, I bargain. “I worked hard today at my job! I deserve a day off at home!” Or I look at them, say, “I’ll do ONLY the bowls tonight! That way I can have enough for breakfast for the rest of the week!” And then I only do the bowls and stack the rest into the left of the sink with soapy water. You know, for the next time.

By the "next time", however, the water has begun to stink to high heaven or has slowly drained, the dishes are hardened from whatever was on them that I had failed to properly rinse, and then I'm even more inclined to pretend it doesn't exist.

Step Two: Start

Second, I start a process and then ignore that I need to finish it.

And by start a process, I mean I look at the sink of dishes and say I should start it. “I should really do those!” I'll muse to the kittens skirting by on their game adventures, and then I walk off without a second thought.

"A young girl wearing a pink Coach purse, while dancing."
"A young girl wearing a pink Coach purse, while dancing." | Source

Step Three: Multitask!

The worst is when I’ve bargained and bargained for so long that I no longer have forks, spoons, bowls, plates, or cups! When I lived alone, I had enough dishes to last through an extended drought! It usually meant that I could just ignore whatever was in front of me until there was a smell.

On such an evening where I had bargained for a month (not even exaggerating here) and had so many dishes it looked like I’d thrown a feast recently, I decided to set up music.

Keep a beat going! THEN I could finish! I Just had to multitask! Dance and sing AND clean! That’ll get it done!

Step Four: Prep

So I set up my phone in the speaker set and turned on the hard rock station for Slacker. As Linkin Park started to get closer to the edge, I started to stack the dishes OUTSIDE of the sink's edge so that I could first wash the sink.

Yeah, that was necessary. I even consider it my Step Four.

When I prep, I stack the plates from largest to smallest bottom to top, and then I do the same with the bowls. The glassware and silverware get put into the right sink as I clean the left sink, and then I fill the left sink and dump the silverware and cups in there to soak as I sort through and fill pots and pans with hot, soapy water.

I have sporadic OCD cleaning moments around the house. But then I get lazy and I'm cured. It's a very inconsistent personality trait.

— Chris Hemsworth
STOP sign in Australia
STOP sign in Australia | Source

Step Five

By the time three more songs had gone through, I had just finished all the silverware! I was feeling accomplished! I dried my hands! I could go eat something and THEN come back later! It was going to be fine!

I almost slapped myself. No more bargaining!

This is my Step Five. I have to use all of my willpower to keep myself from STOPPING in the middle of the task just to pat myself on the back and ignore it again for another however many days (*coughweekscough*).

After You've Completed All Five Steps

It's a good feeling to pass that last step. You know you can do this. You're looking at the task in front of you, and you're thinking, Woah. Look at how far I've come! I can finish this!

And you don't even have a second thought of not finishing it.

So I tucked my elbows into the sink of suds and got back to work. I danced and sang and focused. I was the most focused focuser there ever was. I was doing so well. That's usually how you know you're gonna fudge something up royally.

My foot was stuck under the corner of the oven

Let it be known that boisterous activity while dishwashing isn’t (or shouldn’t) be encouraged.

Apparently, I'm a messy dancer.

Messy enough to splash water on the floor. Messy enough to then STEP in said splashed water on the floor. Messy enough to fail at balance while stepping on a slick floor.

Luckily, the corner of my oven saved me from falling over! (har har) My foot was stuck under the corner of the oven.

Here is a cute, short video by one of my favorite Youtube Personalities: The Domestic Geek

"A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor that has recently been mopped."
"A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor that has recently been mopped." | Source

I yowled one short, high-pitched, yowl. My cat and the two foster cats came running to see what I was doing. I'm sure it was a sight to look up at me, one hand braced on the stove top, one braced on the counter next to it, and my foot wedged under the corner of a very large, very pointy, very heavy appliance.

I took a bracing breath. I slowly puuuulled until my foot unstuck. I let out a small, "ow" as the sound of music in the room, coming out of my small Coca-Cola Polar Bear speaker set trickled back in, registering with my brain. I felt brave and bent my foot at the ankle, making sure everything worked. Relieved, I took another breath.

So much for doing dishes. At least without a mat in front of the sink.

(You’d think I’d have bought one of those by now.)

Make me feel better! XD

How many of YOU have had cleaning related injuries?

See results

© 2016 Jennifer Kessner


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