Last week my dishwasher stopped working.
Not completely, but where the rinse cycle should have been, there was instead the incessant beeping noise of a distressed dishwasher. It hates not being able to do dishes, while I hate having to.
We are a match made in Heaven, my dishwasher and me.
The dismay I felt at the possible loss of my wondrous magical box of dishwashing machine is probably out of all proportion to the fact. But I have loathed doing dishes since I was a child. The oldest girl. ‘Dishes‘, I was told by my father and silently complied with by my mother, were ‘women’s work’.
I’m not anti-men, but I am anti-bullshit, and saying that dishes are the responsibility of only 50% of the human beings who use them every day, is bullshit.
It’s BULL SHIT.
Doing the dishes became a symbol of oppression. A source of rage. And white hot rage at that.
The kind of rage that is pure in the abject unfairness that only a child can see, feel and give up trying to speak out about.
The kind of rage that sees an idiot statement but is forced to comply because, it’s a rage that lives in the body of an eight-year-old for whom walking out to live life with sensible people who share chores, is not yet an option.
It’s the kind of rage that covers up the hurt that they prefer the boys to you.
That you are not important and you’d better get used to standing at a sink full of other people’s dirt because that’s all you deserve or can look forward to.
It’s the kind of rage that breaks the occasional cup.
It’s the kind of rage that makes you independent and courageous, with the deep knowing that you will never ever allow yourself to be told how to live ever again.
Because you know there is absolutely no point in fearing the loss of love.
What a waste of time.
If you fear the loss of it, it’s because it’s not love that was there in the first place.
It’s something else.
And you’ll be better off without it.
I am who I am because of dishes.
And the wisdom they have imparted.
I have failed to find (mostly as I didn’t make the effort to look) any sensible people to live with, so live alone. But I have a dishwasher.
And it makes more difference to my day than any other machine I could name. Including a car, which I don’t have.
I love my dishwasher and the time it gives me back in my day, the liberation it gives to my cooking - when I don‘t care how many pots and pans I use coz I don‘t have to wash them up afterwards - I can cook with abandon.
Just like a man.
I would rather have a dishwasher than a car any day of the week.
A woman invented the dishwasher. (Josephine Cochran, 1886)
And had women been allowed to register inventions prior to that, and be educated and to write about anthropology earlier, we’d know the truth about many more inventions.
A female anthropology professor was lecturing a class, she held up a photograph of an antler bone with 28 markings on it. "This," she said, "is alleged to be man's first attempt at a calendar." The class looked at the markings in admiration.
"Tell me," she continued, "what man needs to know when 28 days have passed?
I suspect that this is woman's first attempt at a calendar."
As I love my dishwasher, I of course searched for and found the maintenance instructions. I bought it dishwasher cleaner, dismantled its blades and filters, managed not to gag, cleaned them and put them all back together again, then ran it with no dishes inside.
As I cleaned it out, I thought, I know how you feel. Clogged up and stressed, in need of some detox and TLC just to keep doing what you do, just by being you.
Zen, and the art of dishwasher maintenance.
You have to take good loving tender care of the things that do your dishes for you, for they are worth more than rubies.
My dishwasher is working, and gleaming and fresh as the Spring flowers popping up all around my house, and I am giving up on stress and eating a healthier diet.
Which will benefit dishwasher as well as me.
Had I phoned a man to fix poor dishwasher, I’d be 150 quid lighter.
I’m not anti-men,
I’m just saying.