When I was teenager, we didn’t have a dishwasher — well, not besides me and my sister — and it was mostly me.

I’m not sure why we didn’t have one, we certainly had all the other major appliances — no one was washing clothes by hand out in the backyard or anything like that.

Like this — but sheets!
Like this — but sheets!

But, come to think of it — we did have a dryer, but unless it was the dead of winter, we hung our clothes outside on the line. Nothing like the sheets — the ones that froze solid before they dried — that could stand up by themselves! Those were fun to fold.


I have a suspicion that it might have been a first generation immigrant thing. Dishwashers were for those Canadians. Why waste your hard-earned money on them? You (or more likely the females in your family) could do them much faster anyway.

I didn’t live in a place (for very long) with a dishwasher until I was 25 years old. My first house was pretty basic: a fridge, a stove and a giant old-school microwave. No washer or dryer — we had no space for them — and certainly no dishwasher.

It’s been a long time since I was 25 and I am now familiar with them. Familiar — not friendly.

This is not us after a lovely dinner.
This is not us after a lovely dinner.

Much to the amusement — and perhaps veiled vexation of my beloved — I’ll wash and dry dishes by hand before I think to put them in that stainless steel contraption.

I also don’t like to unload the thing either. If it were up to me, I’d just store some pots in it. (I briefly lived in a rental condo before I lived in my first house and that’s what I did then. I also stored my pants in the kitchen cupboard — that place was tiny!)

I am getting better. I have loaded and unloaded the dishwasher 4 times in the last week.

I’ve also washed things by hand about as often.

But the kitchen is always “spick-and-span” as my late Mother used to say. She’d be proud — plus she was a bit of a lovable kook, too.


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