As I pick up the lasagna pan my husband hand-washed after dinner last night from the drying rack, a realization hits me. It’s entirely possible that my husband is either intentionally or subconsciously terrible at cleaning things so that I’ll just do it myself.
Hasn’t this ever occurred to you?
I’m not knocking the fact that he regularly assumes clean up duty after dinner. Because it seems genuine. He knows I spent the past hour or so prepping the dinner, cooking it and dishing it out to our family. So it’s lovely that he offers to clean up afterwards.
Except the stuff he washes isn’t clean. At all. It’s like having your toddler help you with the dishes. In theory, you have to allow and encourage them to help, because they do need that training. But you have to wash everything over again when they’re not looking.
Does he even understand that you have to use hot water and detergent to cut through oil and grease? It’s as if he treats the self-soaping dish sponge as a magic wand – you simply need to wave it in the general direction of the greasy pot or casserole dish and – Voilà! Clean! Into the drying rack it goes with all its greasy brothers and sisters.
He catches me inspecting his shoddy work and pulling still-oily items from the drying rack to re-wash them. He smiles sheepishly and says, “What, honey? I didn’t do that one to your liking?” and gives me a smack on the rear or a quick hug as he chuckles and watches my face to see if I’m truly upset or just faking it.
Adding to the frustration of the unclean cookware, the sink itself has to be cleaned when he’s done. Bits of spaghetti sauce and pasta fragments are left clinging to the sides and bottom of the stainless sink in a maddening layer of quick-dry food/cement. How hard is it to just rinse off the mess and swipe a soapy sponge around the sink after washing the dishes? Aha! – Another reason for me to take over the dishwashing duties altogether.
The truth is, I don’t even care if he’s doing it on purpose or not. I appreciate that the man works like a dog for this family in the trenches of his workplace every day. And he does perform some household cleaning activities perfectly adequately. He’s an enthusiastic and thorough vacuumer and a truly respectable folder of clean laundry, both tasks I dread. So I’ll give him a pass on the dishwashing for now.
Don’t get me started on toilets, though… That, sadly, will be my responsibility until one of us dies.
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