So it is 10pm, Tuesday night. My dishwasher has completed the scrub cycle. It waits. I procrastinate. My least favorite job in the whole wide world awaits my attention. I know – slight exaggeration. But you get the point.
I do NOT like to unload my dishwasher.
I open it to let the dishes cool. I attempt to dodge the steam, but I can’t avoid a 3 second facial from the Kenmore carwash. I tell myself, who unloads hot dishes anyway? Open it up and save it for the morning. I can do it while watching the Today Show.
But I remind myself of the lesson I learned so long ago: completing the chore that takes 10 minutes in the morning is not wise—no, it is idiocy. For some reason that I have not yet comprehended, morning minutes are so much shorter than any other minutes in a day. Don’t dispute me—any mother that has ever had to get three kids bathed, dressed, fed and buckled in their car seat by 8:00 knows this is true. And this truth never departs from you –even when aforementioned kids are now grown, married and doing the same drill themselves with their own three kidlets. It’s just that those years of the routine have trained me that wisdom dictates to “do it the night before”. Fast forward 30 years, it is not because of the car seat drill, but because your job and boss don’t care that you are late because “I was unloading the dishwasher.”
So, like a corporate day planner that I am (not), I decide that I will make a game out of it. Unload it with as few steps as possible—assemble trays to group like items so to save mileage. Or start with the silverware tray first, the plastic next, the glasses last. Like choreography — Dancing with the Stars.
I settle on this: perhaps I can persuade myself that it isn’t such an onerous task if I time myself! It seems like it takes eons to empty the monster; perhaps I am deceived! So, if it is true that time flies while you are having fun, the converse must be true. The clock crawls when you have to do the dreaded job. Timing the task will convince me that it really doesn’t take THAT MUCH TIME!
So I hunt down my phone and open the ap with the timer. It reminds me that it is 10pm and that I should really be in bed snoring by now. But I digress… (when I should be getting undressed)…mumbling that now famous poetic prose: Git ‘er done!
So, start I do. I quickly realize that my strategy to utilize “trays to transport” won’t work. Stupid.
I begin to: compile, then transfer. (Sounds like a Fed Ex commercial…)
I mentally group like items that share common real estate in my cupboards. Using both hands, I gather and cradle as many items as is safely possible and quickly traverse the kitchen before my arms have to juggle. Note here: this is not recommended for glasses or knives, unless you really want a good excuse why you cannot execute this chore. (Now that sounds like CSI)
Continue the strategy—group, then cradle. Traverse, then place. Pirouette, then Tours en l’air.
No, wait, that last move will eat up time.
Now the last move, no, second-to-the-last-move: a reconnaissance sweep of the ungrouped items that dictates inefficient moves about your cupboards. (Military channel here) A cutting board here, a measuring cup there.
Lastly—the silverware trays. Evidence that you really did eat what you cooked. The spatula that stirred the eggs, the steak knife that sliced the tenderloin. Ambulate and relocate.
While emptying the tray, a revelation! On the loading end, why not group the knives with the knives, the spoons with the spoons … (the thought crosses my mind: what will my kids think?) Nonetheless, I determine to take that strategy next time I get loaded. I mean load it up. I mean—well, you get what I am saying. My new take on “Git ‘er done.”
Done, I take a bow (only in my head). OOPS! I am so taken with my performance that I forget to stop the timer. Get the phone, the phone! Wake it up, slide to unlock and press STOP!
6 minutes, 56 seconds. Deduct 4 seconds for waking the phone and stopping the timer.
I am pleased. Pleasantly surprised. Under 7 minutes! Why, oh why, do I think this takes eons?? Can it be that my dislike of this chore makes it seem ever so long to complete?
I decide that it is time to rethink my hatred.
Until my eyes scan the kitchen—
the dish drainer is piled two feet high….