America, land of the free (time)
October 18, 2005 § 1 Comment
I was 19 years old before I learned how to use a dishwasher.
Growing up overseas, I can’t really remember if we had one. When we finally moved to the states for good, I did remember having one, but we never used it. Apparently this was a foreign thing (and even if my dad was American, I don’t remember ever seeing him wash a dish). Washing the dishes by hand was always one of my most hated chores. My mother would scold me endlessly as it was always something I’d conveniently forget to do. And the dishwasher? We used it as a drying rack.
One day around age eight, after seeing one of those dishwasher detergent commercials on tv, I thought I’d give it a go. My mom was out of the house and dad was at work, leaving a perfect opportunity to get the dishes done and put away before anyone noticed how lazy I was (again). I filled the little cup thing with soap, moved the lever to the other side, and turned the knob. I heard the water start churning and, voila, it worked! That is, until I noticed the large amount of foam slide across the kitchen floor about 10 minutes later. Yes, I used the wrong kind of soap.
Eleven years later I moved out on my own and had my own dishwasher. I didn’t use it the first few months in my place. It sort of sat there, all mysterious and lonely. Finally, I asked my very white American boyfriend to walk me through it. Yes, even though I was a junior in college I was still scared. And of course it turned out fine. And I fell in love with an appliance.
We use the dishwasher all the time now, except for the fancy china, knives, glass, and cookware that can’t go into it (grrrrr….). When I go home, I still notice that mom uses the dishwasher as a drying rack. Sometimes we convince her to use it after large parties or holiday dinners. Then things go awry since apparently they don’t run well if they’re hardly run at all. So she goes back to using it as a drying rack, and I get back to my place and get to be lazy again.