Dishwasher Stages = Life Stages

By Kelly Hagen

I had a thought. It doesn’t happen all too often, so I notice when a thought is had.

As it happens, it happened while I was loading the dishwasher, wondering where all these dishes came from and whether a spaghetti luncheon had been served out of my kitchen without my having noticed.

Just how much you use your dishwash­er tells you a whole lot about where you are in your life. That was the thought. So, yeah, if you were in need of some kind of handy-dandy gauge of what stage of life you’re in, and you’re somehow incapa­ble of looking around and noticing how many people live in your house and what their relation is to you, then this is the metric for you. Maybe you’re like Drew Barrymore in that “50 First Dates” mov­ie, and your memory gets wiped every night when you go to sleep, and so you don’t remember that you’re married, and you have a kid, and you’re on a boat that’s out to sea. Look to the dishwasher, Drew. It’ll tell you what you need to know.

When I was a child, it took me no time at all to load the dishwasher. Because we didn’t have one. I’m not even certain if the technology existed at that time. But if we had one, I probably wouldn’t have been loading it, because I couldn’t be trusted to put the dishes in the correct way, or to not eat old food out of the dishes or off the floor.

0 seconds load time = child.

When I was an adolescent and teen­ager, I still did not have a dishwasher. But I did do a lot of dishes, in exchange for an allowance. And so, I assume, if we had had a dishwasher at the time, I would have used it, and it would have taken some time to load, because there was five of us, and I use a lot of utensils.

Long load time, but the dishwasher doesn’t belong to you = adolescent/teen.

When I was a young man, single and out in the world for the first time, I first began to use the dishwasher. However, I didn’t use it all that much. When you’re a gross, single dude, you don’t have to use the dishwasher much more often than once a month, because you barely own dishes, and you barely need them, because most fast food comes in wrappers and Styro­foam containers, or whatever.

Dishwashing once a month = single, young and gross.

Then I met a girl, and we fell in love, and she moved into my ranch-style house. Just the two of us – sweet Annette and I – and suddenly I had all these new dishes in my kitchen. Except I didn’t re­ally know where anything was anymore, because my love rearranges the kitchen every couple of weeks, just to keep me on my toes. It’s strange behavior. But I was doing more dishes, because I didn’t want her to know that I’m a pig.

Doing dishes every day, but not able to find them = smitten young fellow.

We were married, and had a child. Her name is irrelevant, but it is Movesstoofast Icannotkeepup (not her real name), and she requires a whole lot of complicated eating equipment. Bottles and bowls and tiny spoons. Sippy cups, bendy straws, complicated contraptions that fold and transform, for easy transportation needs. And everything has 18 removable parts, which I can never remember how they come apart or get back together. And I’m doing four or five loads of dishes a day, just to keep up with everything we’re eat­ing and trying to feed her.

Always doing dishes, and every load is a science exam =


I haven’t gotten there yet, but I imagine the amount of time I’m doing dishes will steadily decrease, as my child learns to use less intensive eating utensils, and eventu­ally will grow up and move out.

Faster and faster load time, with less and less need = growing old.

So, there you go. My dishwashing habits keep evolving, and so do I. Just keep an eye on the Jet Dry levels, if you don’t want to get spots.

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