I just want to say right here and now that I know this is Dumb with the capital “D.”  That being said, I simply don’t know why I feel so strongly about this subject but I do and that isn’t about to change soon.

This is likely one of the silliest subjects I will blog about for a long time.  Especially because I feel so passionate about this subject!  Something not easily conveyed in this form!

Like most of my beliefs my feelings towards our dishwasher are unconventional and definitely not mainstream.

I would be simply okay if someone broke into my house tonight and removed that appliance.  I don’t hate it but I have no use for it.

In fact I have been very grateful for it the vast majority of time that I have been in ownership of this appliance.

My dishwasher was a gift from my Mother-in-law.  My husband and I have a very different marital relationship for that modelled by my parents.  When I imagined “Wedded Bliss” I really did have scenes of us standing around the sink at night doing the dishes and talking about our day.  I even imagined later on having to goad our children into washing the dishes and knew all my parents tricks that were definitely going to work on my children.  I knew how to split the task up for age, skill level and number of children.

Funny how you never talk about who is going to do the dishes while dating.  Whenever my man ate with my family while dating he would quickly offer to help with the dishes after dinner.

So I was caught very unaware when I realized that he was not going to be helping me do the dishes once married.  Oh the fights!  My style of fighting tends towards the extreme.  I tend to try to “motivate” my way into winning.  We had 5 sets of Corelle Dishes and I would refuse to wash dishes until I had help.

To get help, I would constantly invite people over.  I have a reputation for putting out a fine spread and generally speaking I would get the help I wanted with dishes easily while we still lived near our University campus.

Then we moved to the country.  My MIL bought me the dishwasher and our Mammoth Fridge as a gift.  We were very happy with the gift as we had $30 at the time.  Although I understood why the dishwasher I was already discontent with it simply because I didn’t have a washing machine at the time.  With a child under 1 I didn’t understand why she gave me the dishwasher instead of the washing machine!

Yes, I wasn’t the most grateful.  I can admit that.  I was thankful but not happy.

Then the fight moved to who was going to load or unload the thing.  Once again, I was trying to use my “motivational” tactics.

But then eventually becoming a Flybaby I learned that I could easily fill and unload the dishwasher in under 10 minutes and for the longest time our “dishes” fight abated.

Which is probably why my husband has become so entrenched on his side of the Dishwasher subject!  Why risk slipping into dish disaster?

Here is the current situation.  Last year our dishwasher motor conked out.  After about 2 months we could afford to have the repair man replace the motor.  I was oh so grateful!  With trying to keep up our 4000 square foot abode and do the dishes by hand, I was so grateful to have my dishwasher repaired.

But I noticed Dh and I were slipping into fighting about dishes again.  Adjusting to the demands of homeschooling and the hours I spent daily on the subject, night-time found me just ignoring my kitchen.  Dh was used to a sparkling kitchen when he came home at 4, 5, 6 or 7 a.m., depending on the night, and was annoyed by my “slacking.”  Sometimes he would load the dishwasher and let his exuberant loading technique convey his feelings to me.  Unfortunately my husband chooses to communicate with me in ways that don’t use language.

In the following months, I was becoming annoyed with the dishwasher.  I don’t like it when my methods get used against me!

Then there was the fact that Number 1 and I, otherwise know as DS/The Boy and I, often found ourselves doing the dishes by hand.  Number 1 & Number 2 would often ask: “could we do the dishes the Olden Days Way?”  Something about water and Numbers 1 & 2.

Add the fact that the cost of automatic dishwasher detergent is simply more expensive than the Olden kind.  Combined with the fact that the Numbers and I have so much fun making our own Olden kind of dish detergent.

There was a slow realization that in most ways, doing dishes the Olden “hand” powered was is faster.  Other than the occasional time when we had to rush away and leave something too long, we could be done dishes Completely in 15 minutes.   No need to come back and unload the dishwasher.

That was my “mindset” moving to this house.  A quiet burgeoning of protest against my appliance.  Once here we noticed a few more problems.

Namely old plumbing.  It would not handle the pressure of the dishwasher.  So I had no choice but to wash by hand or risk ruining all the new kitchen cabinets.

Speaking of those lovely cabinets… I have only one lower cupboard.  There is the corner unit and the section under the sink, but other than that just one other lower cupboard.  I am NOT allowing my father and husband to rip apart my kitchen to install the dishwasher in that precious cupboard!

And Guelph has HARD water.  Very hard water.  I was adding 2 cups of vinegar to the dishwasher and still getting very filmy covered dishes and feeling the need to rewash the whole load by hand.   Even though I also use detergent formulated for hard water washing.

So I have been basically washing by hand as long as we have lived here.  The kids and I are fairly good at this job.  We’ve only had a few times where we skipped a day.

If I had let them do the dishes on their own there would have been no missed days.

And I started my “let’s sell the dishwasher” campaign shortly after we moved in.  Dh is not hearing of it.  I have since changed my tune on the subject to, just put it in the basement!

I figured give him some time and he will see how well we are doing.  He will see how the kids and I enjoy this routine.  Nope!

I tried impassioned pleas to protect my cupboard space.  That kind of worked.  His current plan is to tear down one of my painted walls and connect the dishwasher to the bath tub plumbing.

This morning I was awoken by his tossing and turning at 3 a.m.  At 4 a.m. he told me he was going to do something about the dishes.  Okay I thought.  At 4:14 a.m. I realized the drill was going.  At 4:17 a.m. I walked to the kitchen (4 steps), and discovered my dishwasher exterior removed.  I also discovered a tear in our linoleum from him flipping the dishwasher by himself.

The sledge hammer lay close by.

It wasn’t the best of scenes.  For now the kitchen has been semi-rearranged.  We’ve drawn an impasse, but with him I never know how long it is going to last as I thought we were at this point already.

We are going to leave the dishwasher alone.  Not sell it, not put it in the basement.  Not smash up my kitchen cupboards or walls.

His motivation was that “this is something he could do for me.”  I really wish he would hear me and believe me when I say, “I don’t want this but I would be okay if you did the dishes with me once a week or so by hand so we could talk.  But even if you don’t the kids and I like the “new” way of dishes.  It will be OKAY!”

I know, dumb!  Why even write the post!  Likely because I have been up since 3 a.m., a full 12 1/2 hours now, and don’t want to go barging into our bedroom to yell at him who has been sleeping since 6 a.m.

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10 Responses to Dishwasher

  1. Lisa says:

    hugs Roberta!

  2. celticmuse says:

    I’m sorry, but I must point out that your husband is short on words so the dream of talking to him while doing dishes? Unrealistic, dear one. However ripping out walls and cabinet space for a dishwasher? also unrealistic. There are only 4 of you most days, I don’t see the big deal for a dishwasher. Not like in my house where dishes are a constant battle and take hours to do. Kendra has been here most of the summer bumping us up to 7 people eating and creating dirty dishes, I have had to run it 2x a day most days. Just keep breathing, it will be ok.

  3. celticmuse says:

    Oh yes, I almost forgot I see that I’m not the only one redecorating lately. Looks very nice love the butterflies.

  4. heathertopia says:

    The dreded dishes :p . We argue about the dishes as well.Its funny actually, because my husband gets made at me if he sees me doing the dishes by hand! He thinks I’m washing them by hand because I don’t want to wash them at all…I have no clue how he came to that conclusion…lol…he will get so frustrated at me that he will come over and start loading the dishwash. Sooo if I’m not in the mood to do the dishes all I have to do is start washing them by hand, then he will come over to load them up…lol! ((HUGS)) 🙂

  5. Elaine says:

    I agree w/ Celtic. with only 4 people, 3 of whom like doing the dishes, there isn’t a dire need for the dishwasher. I also agree that you’ve told us he’s not into verbal communication so I suggest flushing that dream and just make it into one where the kids and you talk as you work, let that show hubby the dishwasher isn’t needed. Perhaps if he sees how close the 3 of you are over doing dishes will cause him to want to be a part of that bonding.

    Personally I’ve let my hubby know my priorities on house hold appliances:

    I’ll be praying that your hubby opens his eyes and ears to you and your needs & wants.

  6. celticmuse says:

    Elaine, my list is very similar…….:)

  7. lovingewe says:

    This actually made me laugh. Sorry. But I too have little use for a dish washer. Nothing gets the family out of the kitchen faster then running sink water. I get to boogie to my music and give my hands a long needed soak. Its called my time and I have ENJOYED it for over 28 years.

    Oh and I don’t own a dryer either. Use the sun and wind or cookstove in the winter. Smells better than any dryer sheet.

  8. songbirdy says:

    Oh, you are so right my dishes dream won’t occur! I realized that, but that is what I dreamt early on in my marriage! Which is how we got into the dishes war! 😆

    Let’s see, my choices for appliances:

    The Big Three:
    Washing Machine

    Then I would put the following:
    Microwave [to thaw meat since I mostly forget to do that!]

    Before dryer, I’d put Vacuum Cleaner and Sewing Machine. I’d even put Serger before the Dryer! 😆

  9. TulipGirl says:

    See, I was just ecstatic when we lived in Ukraine and our flat had–oh joy–a dishwasher. I only knew two other people the whole time we lived in Kyiv who had dishwashers, both were Americans. Imagine the smallest dishwasher you’ve seen–and cut it by two thirds. Yup, that was the size of my dishwasher. And mine was the largest I had seen! But I’m such a poky little puppy handwashing, that the dishwasher was really a godsend.

  10. songbirdy says:


    I’ve found another good way to ensure that my dishes are getting washed. I wasn’t getting too much help from my kids.

    So I told them the nightly visit to the park wouldn’t occur until the dishes were done. They literally finished their supper and started washing dishes. DH and I had to almost sit on them to wait until we were done the ‘whole’ of supper!

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