I love you…but I hate the way you load the dishwasher

Page from Lauren Henderson's Jane Austen Guide to Dating
Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating by Lauren Henderson (Hyperion 2005). Photo courtesy of Tara McMullen Photography.

I hesitate to get in to the politics of the division of labour when it comes to household chores. Though yes, my husband is mostly responsible for taking out the garbage, and I do the laundry, and perhaps most of the other household cleaning, but the truth of the matter is… I’d rather be the one to do it. (At the start of our relationship, it was only he who did the cooking, so I felt like I won out there, as “boiling water” does not result in a proper meal.)

DishwasherI felt pretty lucky when we found our Ossington apartment that it had a dishwasher (and en-suite laundry, a real blessing). Friends who don’t have one, often long for one, or luckily assign the tasks of washing-up to their partner.

But the dishwasher, though useful, must also be respected. It’s not a piece of equipment that plates, spoons and bowls can merely be “chucked in to”, as my husband usually does, without consideration for where every plate, spoon or bowl is placed, expecting the work to be done. Oh no. It’s a game. A home version of Tetris.

That bowl on the bottom rack? It will block the spray of water to the top shelf.

That plate, left lopsided, might not get rinsed.

Those forks? They need to be handle upright, to prevent personal injury!

And perhaps the play by play changes by household, by appliance, but so far, my tactics seem to work best, as rarely a scrap of food is left behind. The plates shine. And there’s a small ping of organizational satisfaction when the mundane day-to-day is crossed off the list.

And we’re ready for the next dinner party.

So, one morning, as my husband helpfully picked-up items from the sink and began dropping them, carelessly, I reminded him: “I love you…but I hate the way you load the dishwasher.”

He stepped aside.

He can stick to cooking the meals I clean up after.

Do you love or hate the dishwasher? How do you divide household chores?

My favourite cartoon by The Oatmeal: The Pros and Cons of Living with your Significant Other