The Hardest Easy Thing on My 101 List


When I first created my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, Dave praised the fact that there were very few “gimmies” on the list, but suggested that #82 (go to bed every night for a week with all the dishes cleaned) would be an easy one to knock off the list. And, you know, probably for most people it would be. In fact, probably most people do this every single night without even thinking about it. I, however, am a different story.

I hate doing dishes. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. But I do love waking up to a nice clean kitchen. Or, at the very least, to not having piles of dirty dishes in the sink. So it was something I wanted to do that I knew would be a stretch for me – in fact, when I first wrote my 101 list, I did not have a dishwasher and so this item was going to be quite a chore.  And I knew I had 994 days before I *had* to start it, so I didn’t.  Fast forward to last February – I moved into my current apartment, which came equipped with a shiny new dishwasher1. So you’d think that “cleaning” the dishes each night – which I’ve redefined to “all dirty dishes must be in the dishwasher” because I’m not going to run a partially full dishwasher and waste all that energy and water – would be a breeze. You’d think that anyway. But at almost a *year* after I moved in, I still hadn’t done it!  I mean, I’d get in a few days and then I’d mess it up. Usually it would involve forgetting to put my tea cup – or even worse, just my teaspoon – from my evening cup of tea into the dishwasher. And then I’d get annoyed at myself and stop trying. And repeat. But when I got home from my holiday trip, realizing that I hadn’t really knocked that many things off my 101 list, I decided that I was going to just do it.

Dec 30 was my first day back and since I returned in the evening, I didn’t have time to mess up any dishes and, since I’d put all my dirty dishes through the dishwasher prior to my trip, that was day 1 complete.  And every night since then, I’ve been extra, extra careful to ensure that all my dishes went right into the dishwasher. Even my teaspoon right after I stirred my cup of tea. I figured that I have a lot of teaspoons, so after I stir my cup of tea, into the dishwasher it goes. The spoon, not the tea. If I get a refill of tea, I just use a new spoon. That way I won’t get tripped up by thinking “Oh, I’ll put that spoon on the spoon rest and when I’m done *all* my tea consumption for the night, then I’ll put it in the dishwasher.”  Because that’s how you end up with all your dishes *except* your teaspoon in the dishwasher.

Two days ago I did a whole slew of cooking and dirtied more dishes than I can fit in my dishwasher – so I did the extra ones by hand. That’s how dedicated I am to this attempt to get this item crossed off my list. I *almost* got tripped up that night too, by nearly forgetting my lunch Tupperware container in my bag. Fortunately, I went to get something from my bag right before bed and saw it there, so I washed it, thus saving the day.

Which brings us to today. When I went to bed last night, all the dirty dishes – every cup, every spoon, every Tupperware container from lunch – was in the dishwasher. My journey to a week of all dishes being clean is complete!

And that, my friends, is probably far more than you ever cared to know about my dish neuroses.

  1. It did not, however, come equipped with laundry machines and don’t even get me started on the living hell that is going to the laundromat! []

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