If Dishes Were Wishes . . .

The chore I hate doing the most is dishes.  I despise doing the dishes. I have a dishwasher now, but that doesn’t seem to change the fact that I still end up elbow-deep in dish soap at least twice a day.  Every day.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  There are only four of us in this house, and there is just no logical explanation for exactly how we manage to dirty so many dishes in a single day. Every single day. Granted, I do a lot of cooking and baking, which has a tendency to make the bowls and pans stack up, but that doesn’t account for everything.


My clean dishes never seem to make it from the drainer or dishwasher to the cupboards. They seem to be in a constant rotation of use-wash-use-wash without ever enough time for a cycle or two of use-wash-put away.

I work in a high school/middle school lunchroom, so I occasionally have to jump in and help with the dishes as part of my job. I don’t really mind doing it there. Maybe that’s because I’m surrounded by other lunch ladies who are also working, or perhaps it’s because I’m getting paid to wash dishes there. Or it could be that the task of washing dishes at work is somewhat of a finite process; there comes a point each day at which the job is done. Completed. Finished.

There is no such point in my house.

I have a daughter who hoards coffee cups in her room, but she can be counted on to bring down an armload of them two or three times per week. I’m not sure how one seventeen year-old can manage to accumulate that many dirty cups in such a short amount of time, but at least they make their way back to the kitchen.

My youngest son tends to stockpile sippy cups and juice glasses on the coffee table in the living room. Like his sister, he can be counted on to bring them to me eventually. But again, it escapes me how one very small person can use so many cups and glasses in a day. Does he get a new one for each sip?


And I simply cannot understand the spoons under the couch.  Why are there spoons under my couch? We don’t eat in the living room. Well, okay, we use TV trays and eat in the living room on occasion, but most family meals take place at the kitchen table. When we do eat in the living room, the plates and forks make it back to the kitchen with no problem, so why not the spoons?

It’s not just the sheer number of dirty dishes in a constant flow through the dishwater that bothers me.  There’s the fact that the dishes never seem to quite make it to the sink unless I am the one putting them there. They make it as far as the edge of the table, or the counter in the general vicinity of the sink and dishwasher, but God forbid anyone actually manage to put a dirty dish anywhere even close to a source of water.  I have one child who will carry dirty dishes past the sink to stack them on the stovetop. This should not surprise me, however, as this is the same child who used to walk past the bathroom and down the hall to my bedside to tell me “I gotta throw up” seconds before launching the flow in my direction.

On really bad days, I have started to wonder if there are other people living in my home that I am not aware of.  Perhaps there is a family of twelve residing in my basement, and they sneak upstairs to deposit their used plates and silverware on the counters while I am at work. They might be the same people whose shoes seem to pile up at my door; that would explain the twenty-seven pairs of shoes mounded up beside the door despite the fact that my children keep insisting “Those aren’t mine!”


I can’t blame it all on my kids or the possible basement-dwellers. When it comes to my own coffee cup, I am just as bad as the rest of them. I drink my morning coffee out of a jumbo white and blue mug decorated with seagulls and lighthouses, and I like to carry it around and sip out of it while I get ready for work. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to set it down in various places whenever I reach a point in my morning routine that requires the use of both hands, after which I quickly forget exactly where I set the damn thing down.

At which point, my morning turns into an impromptu game of Find-The-Coffee, which rarely ends well because I have not yet swallowed enough coffee to jump  start my brain. I eventually give up and go back for new mug, and all is well until I have to put that one down so I can finish getting dressed. By the time I leave for work, I can sometimes go through an entire pot of coffee this way. I figure it’s not really all that bad for me, though, because I only manage to drink about half a cup.


Part of my nighttime routine around here is a scavenger hunt for almost-full mugs of cold coffee before bed. I have found them in my bedroom, in the laundry room, in the refrigerator, and even outdoors in my son’s playhouse on one memorable occasion. I still have no idea how that one got out there.

As I read back over what I’ve written here, something just occurred to me.  While I still don’t have an answer about the spoons, I think I figured out how my daughter and youngest son manage to dirty so many cups and glasses during the course of a day.

They take after their mama.


This is a Finish The Sentence Friday post: “The chore I hate doing the most is . . . ” hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee, Michelle from Crumpets and Bollocks, and Kristinjill from Ripped Jeans & Bifocals. Please take a few minutes to check out what some of the other bloggers did with this sentence!

Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

31 thoughts on “If Dishes Were Wishes . . .”

    1. I don’t mind the laundry so much . . . well, I don’t mind putting the clothes in the washer and dryer. Taking them out, folding them, and putting them away . . . well, I don’t really care for that, either!


  1. Good one, AJ. I have to admit that I kind of do the dishes next to the sink and dishwasher thing BUT there is good reason. My Husband has particular rules about how to load the dishwasher and I clearly do not understand them because he grumps every time I load it. So I quit! Now it’s his problem. Works pretty well as long as we don’t get off schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are gremlins that come out to taunt us. They have a thing for spoons. Supposably they are gifted at making merriment with tea cups and coffee mugs too.
    Someone hinted to me, once upon a time, that spoons are quite interested in traveling. They especially enjoy vacationing at the city dump, traveling there via the kitchen trash bags.
    I’ve had enough of their shenanigans. Only five people can eat pudding with a spoon. My other guests are forced to use paper straws.
    I feel your pain.

    P.S. Do you need any knives? I still have all twelve. The gremlins aren’t interested in them for some reason.


      1. Oh heck. Girl, we have been infected by the gremlin rabies virus!
        Are your scissors missing? How about your roll of tape? Where are your slippers? Your sunglasses and car keys?

        We have been badly infected. I’m calling for help!☎️


  3. I need to go on a spoon search. We run out everyday so what happen to all the spoons? I used to hate doing dishes before I had a dishwasher. Now I hate putting them away. What’s worse is if there’s enough dirty dishes to fill it up again but I have to put the clean ones away first. I usually just go ahead and wash them to avoid putting the dishes away right then and there.


  4. Isn’t it “funny” when you find dishes/utensils in rooms where no eating is allowed?!?!? Under my son’s bed is always a treasure trove of these items – almost as if he’s saving them for when he moves out. Grrrr….


  5. Omigosh the kitten cartoon is priceless! My kids use about 82 cups a day and leave them in every room in the house. Then they deny that the Lego Princess cup is theirs. (Hint: it’s not mine or your dads!)

    Meanwhile, I have at least 3 cups a day hanging out all over the house myself. {Ahem!}


    1. Mine refuse to accept that the Batman cup is NOT mine! Or the mugs with Teddy Roosevelt, Darth Vadar or the cast of Les Mis.

      Wow, I just realized I have really strange kids, don’t I?


  6. Dishwasher? What’s that. I do not possess such a delight. I know it’s the 21st century and I am the only person who does not have one. Cannot tell you how quickly I go through liquid dish soap. And those missing coffee cups? Yup. Still finding them dotted throughout the house even though my daughter has been away at college since early January. And missing spoons? What’s the deal with that? I’m down to three teaspoons. Off to hunt for signs of possibel basement dwellers…


    1. I didn’t have a dishwasher until recently, and I’m not really sure it saves me all that much time or work. Everything has to be wiped off and rinsed thoroughly before going into it anyway that it’s basically nothing more than a high-temp sanitizer.


  7. I’m doubting you actually only drink a half a cup of coffee every morning. You are always too on top of everything to survive the day off of that. I’m the same way with bottled water though. I bet there are at least 4 bottles in my house half empty. It’s just so frustrating.


    1. Thank you, Marty! You’re right — I probably do manage to drink more than just the half-cup. If I could find a way to get my coffee intravenously, I’d be all over it. 🙂


  8. Awesome sentence finish! LOL. I was nodding and smiling all the way through. We actually had a spoon crisis that we’ve never recovered from. I have no clue what happened but I’m missing more than 1/2 of them. Seriously. No clue. Also I cannot stand putting dishes away. Sometimes I pretend they’re still dirty so I don’t have to.


    1. I’ve been known to do that one, too. Yes, I sometimes run some of the same dishes through the dishwasher a second time because it’s easier than unloading it. Glad to know I’m not the only one!


  9. Amend on the dishwasher emptying. We finally trained/convinced our oldest to empty the dishwasher in the mornings before school. We run the dishwasher overnight, and that seems to keep things mostly under control. Except for my tea mugs. Kinds like your coffee cups, I think! 😉


  10. Ugh….I hate doing the dishes, too. My husband and my daughter are the hoarders of cups in our house. Drives. Me. Nuts.


  11. Every word, A.J., I relate to every word! My worst, the dirty dishes. And I have a dishwasher! We keep kosher and the meat and diary dishes have to be kept separate, so the dishwasher is for the meat dishes. Which I thought was a good idea at first, but turns out in our daily lives we use way more dairy than meat dishes, so that side of the sink is always full! I would rather do almost anything else than wash dishes…


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