Sunday, June 30, 2013


I didn't grow up with a dish washer. I remember the nightly ritual of someone washing and someone drying. I'm not sure at what age or if I was ever part of it. I know my job was to set and clear the table so I may have been excused from dish duty. We moved into a brand new house in Maryland with a dishwasher. I remember having to scrub the dishes thoroughly so that food wouldn't "bake on" in the dishwasher making me wonder why I didn't just go ahead and wash them.
When I left home the first time I stayed in a friend's grandmother's house and she happened to have the same dishes my grandmother had. I remember standing at the sink washing the dishes and feeling sentimental. From that moment I loved washing dishes. Really. If you invite me to a party the odds are you'll find me in the kitchen washing dishes.
So now I have a dishwasher. I doubt I have enough dishes to use it on a regular basis. It's on the small side so maybe. I use a dish or two at breakfast, wash them by hand and use them again for dinner. I have been filling up the new machine with dishes as I unpack them and I do notice a difference. I'd been scrubbing a coffee pot and not feeling like  it was getting clean. I put it in the dishwasher and wow. It looks new. But I'm still washing my daily dishes by hand.
My refrigerator might be the only thing I don't love in the nest. It's heavily compartmented and feels small and overly instructive. I'll put my dairy where ever I want to thank you very much. Because I don't drive I tend to do Armageddon shopping. Not easy with this refrigerator. And it's noisy. It makes weird thudding noises. It also so beeps at me if I have the door open too long. I actually find that part funny.
I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. I have a washer and dryer in my bathroom. Yeah. That is the Holy Grail. I have always wanted that. Back in SF a neighbor and I talked about how neither of us knew about cleaning a lint trap. We'd both done laundry in laundromats. I did grow up with laundry machines in the house and I think my mom made an attempt to teach me how to use them in my teenage years but in my adult life I've never had them. Well once I had a washer but it didn't work well and there was no dryer. It was easier to go to the laundromat. In New York everyone I knew had their laundry done no matter how much money they made. But I dragged mine up to a laundromat on Broadway near 95th and sat there reading with the hum of the machines filling my ears. My new washer and dryer are complicated and I'm sure I'm not using them perfectly. It took me a long time to find the lint trap.
I have a notebook the size of a New York City phone book. It's filled with manuals and warranties. It's the instruction book for how to live here. I've never needed such a thing. These are the problems of privilege.


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