I am going to ask you a question and I want you to think long and hard before answering: What is the correct way to load a dishwasher? Supplementary question: Does the dishwasher cause tension in your relationship?
I think this is an issue that has caused all manner of relationship problems for many couples. In fact, I suspect some shakier relationships have probably met their end because of disagreements about the correct way to load a dishwasher.
Within my family, such disagreements were minor little things. Until, that is, lockdown was enforced. This made dishwasher loading a ginormous issue. Why so? It’s simple really, Mrs Adams and I have both been at home 24/7, very often with the kids, so there’s been much more dirty washing up to take care of.
The problem is that my way of loading the dishwasher is correct. Only thing is, Mrs Adams believes (…wrongly of course) that her way of loading the dishwasher is better.
Mrs Adams will lovingly place cutlery in the cutlery section a certain way. She will place bowls in a certain section of the dishwasher so it is uniform and neat. So far so good, right?
All her hard work goes to waste when she places items in there like roasting tins. The other day I even found a mixing bowl in the dishwasher. A mixing bowl I tell you! It had been used for making pancakes so the carbohydrate-filled, eggy, glue-like mixture had dried on to the surface of the bowl.
We all know what the outcome of this would have been, don’t we? It wouldn’t have cleaned at all and the drying cycle would have baked the mixture on to the bowl necessitating a vigorous and thorough hand washing in the sink, thereby defeating the object of placing it in the dishwasher in the first place. I think it’s no exageration to say this would have been a disaster of Chernobyl-esque proportions.
I, meanwhile, have been accused of placing items in the dishwasher in such a way that the water can’t circulate around the machine properly. Or I put knives in the cutlery section in a way that will guarantee Scotland breaks away from the UK (or something like that).
Of course dishwasher loading is not the only source of tension. Failure to turn the thing on can also cause problems.
I tend to be the one that gets up first in the morning as I am the one dealing with the children. I expect, capital E, to come down in the morning and find the dishwasher full of clean crockery and cutlery. Very often I put the dishwasher on myself before going to bed but if I happen to go to bed first or if I have been out (we’re talking pre-‘Rona days here obviously), I think it only fair Mrs Adams puts it on.
Mrs Adams and I have a phrase that we will use in private: “Do not mess with the morning routine.” Mornings are hectic, especially when you have to get two kids ready and ensure they are delivered at two diffreent schools.
Well, actually, we don’t use the word mess, we use another four letter word beginning with f (use your imagination). Anything that fu, sorry, messes with the morning routine is inherently bad. Failure to turn the dishwasher on at night, well that messes with the morning routine.
Yet Mrs Adams and I are not alone. I hear that dishwasher loading, not to mention switching on, can be a major source of disagreement among couples. That said, I do find myself wondering if this has this always been the case, or whether lockdown exacerbated the situation?
The irony is I never wanted a dishwasher. I was quite happy with handwashing everything but relationships involve some compromise and so we eventually ended up getting one.
Now we have one it’s a source of tension. Mrs Adams never quite knows if she’s going to open the door and find I’ve loaded it incorrectly (in her eyes). I, meanwhile, never know if I’m going to open the door to find a spare wheel, several pairs of shoes and the International Space Station inside of it.
Do you understand this? Is the dishwasher a source of tension within your relationship? Has dishwasher loading led to difficulties within your household? If so, I want to know about it. Leave me a comment as I’d be curious to know how bad this phenomena is, and whether relationship counsellors are familiar with this as a problem.