My friend, she’s the oldest of seven kids, was talking about doing dishes as a kid and I flashed back to the dish wars at our house.
I am the oldest and was the fastest dish washer. I just wanted to get it over with. My younger sister (by 11 months) was an epic staller and usually the dryer. And if she found one miniscule particle on a dish, she gleefully dumped it back in the dish water.
I got to be an epic stacker of dishes in the drainer. One time since my sister was epically stalling, I built an epic 3-foot tall tower of dishes. Mom was not happy.
My mother-in-law told me she stretched the family budget and splurged on a dishwasher because she couldn’t stand to listen to her kids fighting over washing the dishes. And they were all four years apart and she worked afternoons so she only heard the fights on weekends.
Dish wars were either valuable life lessons I can use in my writing – goal, motivation, conflict, Deb Dixon talks about in her fabulous book, “Goal, Motivation, Conflict, The Building Blocks of Good Fiction” or it was just pointless bickering – which I guess I can also use in my writing.
Goal: get dishes done. Motivation: So I could watch TV, go to a friend’s house, read a book, or do homework. Conflict: working with younger sister who stalled and put clean dishes back in the water for me to rewash, or washed them herself, super slow, so I had to wait for the next one.
The only dish wars at our house these days (as empty nesters) is the best way to stack dishes in the dishwasher. (I am still a epic stacker). My husband, an engineer, believes he knows best. I, as the person who usually empties out the clean dishes, believe I know the best way to cram as many dishes as possible into the machine so the dishes come out clean. Again, this may be pointless bickering or a good life lesson.
At this point, I’m betting on a good life lesson. All those dishes have to count for something.