Sometimes life’s modern conveniences can get a little out of hand.
For example, this week my dishwasher quit.
He just up and walked out.
It took me a few minutes to coax Evan back into the kitchen where he helped finished drying as I finished rinsing and washing the dishes.
In other words, our electric dishwasher broke. It’s probably my fault somehow, but it’s still undetermined.
Folks, I probably love my dishwasher more than most, mainly because I did without this modern marvel for several years.
And washing dishes is my least favorite of all household chores.
On a good day, I think I could live without most modern conveniences. OK, OK, so I did without an electric dryer for three months, which doesn’t exactly qualify me as Amish. Yet.
But, if any one around here does have legit ties to the Amish mafia, I’d be glad to don a bonnet and walk a mile in their Z-coil shoes for like a week or two. Have your Amish people get a hold of me via letter and we’ll chat.
Anyhow, yes, I lived without a clothes dryer for three whole months last fall. This was mainly because I couldn’t decide what type of dryer to replace it with. I scoured Consumer Reports. I solicited recommendations from social media. I researched the devil out of these dryers folks.
Yet, what I found was that I really didn’t mind hanging out laundry on the line. It’s only the two of us, but we go through a lot of clothes. So I just ponied up a few bucks for some clothes pins and some liquid softener and we were set.
In fact, I found it kind of therapeutic. There’s a rhythm to it. It takes some coordination and little domestic engineering. My landlord even noticed my electric bill plummeted during the quarter I was dryer-less.
It was good for the soul and the environment.
I found it to be one of those chores that you have to concentrate on what you are physically doing or next thing you know your bed sheets are headed across township lines.
And I know Snuggle and Bounce have tried for years, but there’s nothing like the smell of sun and breeze dried sheets and blankets that have been flapping in the breeze all day. It’s amazing.
And I loved my fluffy towels that smelled like sunshine and fresh cut grass.
Yet, I would never appreciated this chore had my dryer not quit on me after a decade of service.
I just wish I felt the same way about washing dishes.
There’s no sunshine breeze or magical petrichor (or the smell emitting from the Earth after a spring rain fall) wafting through the air.
My hands are wet and wrinkly. The water gets yucky and greasy. Ew. Just. Ew. In fact, when I was a waitress, I would gag at the sight of dirty dishes piled up in tubs in the back of the restaurant. That would be punishment for me.
A favorite blog of mine recently reported, that a study conducted by researchers at Florida State University found that washing dishes by hand is linked to mindfulness.
According to Psychology Today, “mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.”
The blog later cites the magazine Real Simple, which states, that the mindfulness you can experience while doing dishes “has been linked to improved well being, reduced levels of stress, and even immune-system boosts.”
And here, all I feel is rage and the smell of greasy Dawn settling in my hair.
So, while my dishwasher is broken, my 13 year-old son is not. So we tackled this chore together and I tried to make it a family bonding moment.
I then told him that he could buy his future girlfriend all the flowers in the world, but the fastest way into her heart is a sink full of clean dishes.
He looked at me, rolled his eyes and then ran out the door.
I better find a new dishwasher I guess.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. Psychologist Dr. Aric Sigman found that doing the dishes can have a similar effect on one’s mental health as visiting a spa. What spa is he going to?