I don’t care if you ask your next door neighbor or the Pope himself. We all have a certain… order of things when it comes to how and where we keep our utensils and dishes. I never really gave it much thought until I started spending more and more time at Tim’s house when we were dating. He is VERY neat and VERY particular about where things go – and it works out because that means the house is always clean. I like that. I can handle that.
In our early dating days, cooking dinner together was mostly him bustling around the kitchen like a busy little bee… grabbing a spatula here, a whisk there… I’d help out where I could and we’d throw everything into the dish washer when our meal was finished. That’s where it stopped for me. I knew how to find the basics: glass, fork, spoon, bowl, plate and I knew where to put them when they were dirty, so I thought I was good to go.
Then I was tasked to empty the dishwasher. Alone.
I never realized there could be so many PLACES for one item and so many variations on how it can be put away.
I opened the dishwasher, thinking it would be a piece of cake. I started with what I knew. Drinking glasses. I open the cabinet where they are supposed to be. Empty. There are no ‘example’ glasses for me to model after. Do they go right-side up or upside down? I don’t remember??…. I move on to the plates. There was only one way for those to go. I open the cabinet that housed plates…. do big plates go on the left OR do they go on the right?…. no plates are currently in the cabinet… so I try to logically work through it… “Little” has six letters… “right” has five… “left” has four… “big” has three…close enough. Little plates right, big plates left. I move onto bowls with the same reasoning and end up putting the glasses right-side up.
I manged to put everything “away” except the silverware. I was saving that box of fun for last…like you do the hardest, most impossible question on a pop quiz. I go around the entire kitchen, opening drawer after drawer, utensils sliding around in their little connected boxes…hoping…begging…praying for some kind of visual illustration of what I am supposed to do. Nothing. Not a single item matching with the huge assortment of spoons, knives and forks I am supposed to be putting away.
I break down and decide to call Tim at work and ask, “Where do spoons go?”
Tim starts laughing and says, like my question is a no-brainer: “Just stack the big spoons next to the little spoons. I’ve got to run.”
I hang up the phone, bend down, pick out one big spoon and one little spoon from the basket in the dishwasher and slowly make my way over to the silverware drawer, chanting in my head “please be spoons…please be spoons…plleeeaaseeee be spoons”
Tim probably should have either given me a tutorial and then a pre-test or put the dishes away himself. I think I may have put one thing away accurately. The next time we made dinner, he was running back and forth from drawer to cabinet to drawer, searching frantically for what he couldn’t seem to find. In the middle of his confusion I’d pop over to where I had (incorrectly) placed the item a few days ago and would hold it up like “Here it is!”