Thursday, October 14, 2010

Workin' It

It's no lie; I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

Himself - even more so.

The last two days I have enjoyed washing dishes, by hand, with Glenna. We put music on and we have the best conversations! Or, sometimes, we just do the dishes in companionable silence. I never thought this would be a chore that I would actually look forward to doing, but it has been most pleasant.

When I first married Himself, as in our first few days in our first apartment, I struggled to figure out that whole cooking thing. My job as a child/teen was to set the table and make the salad. I still make a pretty mean salad! My mother knew I needed help in the kitchen and ordered recipe cards that came by mail every month. I started our married life learning to cook from those cards, which involved fresh ingredients and nothing processed. A few months into our marriage I discovered Hamburger Helper and brought it home - Himself made it clear that under no uncertain terms was I to ever bring it home again. Who could blame him after such fresh, real food?

The only meal I didn't make from the cards was steak cooked on the hibachi, with red potatoes cooked with fresh green beans and tossed in butter. Oh, and a salad. It's still a favorite.

After dinner, Himself would settle comfortably on the couch. I would look at him peering into our 13" TV, look at the kitchen full of dishes, look back at him, shrug my shoulders, and then settle onto the couch next to him.

If he thought I was going to wash those dishes myself, he had another think coming!

The dishes would sit on the counter for a day, or two, or three, until we didn't have any that were clean. Then one of us would grudgingly wash them or, rarely, we would wash them together.

Yes, our apartment had roaches. Why do you ask?

This pattern continued even after we bought our first house. Many times, too many times, I avoided the kitchen all together and we ate out. It also bled into other areas of our lives and home to laundry, cleaning, yard work, and maintenance.

When the children began to arrive and I realized, with great shock, that I had to cook every night, the battle over KP escalated. At this point, we had a dishwasher. Still, I would cook dinner and then Himself would settle on the couch and start a movie.

Yes. Start a movie.

We laugh when we talk about this now. He can't believe what a self-centered person he was then! I can't believe how determined I was to not be the only one doing house work. Stubborn and stiff-necked described me to a T.

If there's one piece of married advice I could offer to newlyweds, it would be this:

Wash the dishes together.

It's a great relationship builder, resentment destroyer, and conversation enjoyer.

Imagine if we had started our marriage as teammates, rather than combatants? We would have started a habit that would have benefited our marriage and family tremendously. Now, we have to struggle against our pre-made habits and plain ole sin natures to help each other out. We're getting better, but how amazing is it to see families who do this automatically? After supper, everyone clears the table. One washes, one dries, one wipes the counter tops and table, and before they know it they're finished and the entire evening is before them!

I cringe when I think of the resentment I've built into my children by making them do this without my help while I've watched television or surfed the internet.

In fact, I know exactly how they feel.

1 comment:

Jessica Leigh said...

I love the idea of doing dishes together.
We're called to live life alongside our friends and family; why can't this include standing by the sink? :)

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