The first chore I had as a kid was setting the table and drying the evening dishes every night. About a year later, I was 'promoted' to washing the dishes.

By hand.

Every night.

Did I mention that we usually had eight people at a meal, and up to 15 around the table?

This was in the days when dishwashers were a rare kitchen appliance and the dish detergents were harsh, so my hands look like I was a lumberjack in a previous life. I grew the dread the task, so if I could talk on the phone while doing the drudgery, it wasn't as bad. When cooking was added to my nightly chores at 12, I never seemed to need anyone to keep me company!

When I moved out of my mom's, I entered the world of dishwashers. My ex husband grew up with one in the house and hated the fact that we did not have one. For our first wedding anniversary, I gave him a dishwasher. He picked it out-one with a timed fill cycle. For about a year, we were back in the high life, until we moved out onto a mountain and our well could not fill that thing quick enough. He began to use the dishwasher as a place to stow the dishes he didn't want to wash.

I became so used to hand washing dishes that when Ed and I moved into an apartment with one, he would stand me in front of the thing and have me repeat "We have a dishwasher" after finding a drain board filled with dishes.

That was all she wrote.

Other than a brief hiccup when our crappy builder's grade GE started peeing all over the kitchen floor, I haven't been without one for as long as Game Teen has been alive.

Until last night.

My usual M.O is to load the dishwasher and then go do something elsewhere.
Chef Jr went into the kitchen and said "Mom, the dishwasher's leaking". It's happened before, and usually it is something small blocking the drain in the machine. But when I walked into the kitchen, our dishwasher had thrown up ALL the water it had consumed to start this load (FYI, the average dishwasher uses 7 gallons per cycle-my front load washer uses five), so there was a lake in my kitchen.

Eight soaked towels later, I thought I'd removed the offending blockage and started the machine again.


When Ed came home, I was rather pissy, because I was cleaning up lake 2.0. He investigated and determined the pump is dead. Our landlord will probably replace it, or deduct the purchase of the pump from our rent. I'll call him tomorrow and let him knwo

In the meantime, I'm back to the drainboard.

Oh, and Madge? You're wrong, because I DO get dishpan hands using Palmolive.


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