Friday, December 3, 2010

The Dishwasher Wars

So hubby and I have this ongoing battle... It gets at our underlying philosophy... and ultimately at our life approaches. Let me e'splain.

Hubby is the cook at our house, and in interest of fairness, that makes me dishwasher. I'm at peace with this. I haven't particularly minded dishes since my restaurant days when they were an acceptable form of hiding from the customers. Guy at table 6 giving you the creeps? Wash dishes for a while and sic grouchy Howard on him. (I loved grouchy Howard by the way—GREAT co-worker). And in Portland we didn't have an automatic dishwasher, so heck—what is a little rinse and stow by comparison?

Hubby though, if I haven't run them before he gets at them, totally rearranges them in the dishwasher.

BUT... when I start dinner dishes, I ALSO rearrange all HIS dishes. It's really just this battle of wills. But he cheats. See, he knows I will only run the dishwasher when it's FULL, whereas he wants it empty at certain times... when he has a large cooking project or well... you know... he wants to eat lunch... I don't actually know what his criteria are, but I DO KNOW he often asks me after dinner why I haven't run them...

“Erm... because there is plenty of room for the five glasses and three bowls we'll use before bed, so why not run it THEN?”

HIS Version

The glasses (that he picked out and are really just too fat for the dishwasher) go in the sides (the place they least fit--4 to a side--he skips where the height adjustment lever is)-and all the OTHER glasses go in the other rows, leaving ??? for the bowls and tupperware? We're mostly in agreement on the bottom other than him thinking I cram too much in, given the option (and I possibly do) but HIS version on the top would leave us running the dishwasher three times a day...

MY Version

The fat glasses on one side (5 fit) the other glasses on the other side (6 fit) sometimes another couple one more row over. Bowls up the middle front, tupperware in the middle back. Even THIS way it sometimes fills before the plates below (depends on if there is a pan that fits or not—several of our pans are just to big to wash in the dishwasher, or are treated, so they can't be. But my version we ALWAYS only have to run it once a day.

The Real Problem

Hubby thinks everything in the world has ONE and ONLY ONE place. If I put things anywhere else, he has fits. Seems though, this clashes BADLY with my 'do not waste' (as in water) philosophy, and I am a graduate of the Art Gropp School of Packing (top honors) and the fact of the matter is, I can fit a household into a mini-van, so I can get a whole heck of a lot in the dishwasher if I want to. So we've got this power play going. My cheap versus his anal thing...

What Does this Have to Do with Writing?

Well... not so much EXCEPT... I keep wondering if the extensive pre-plotting outline types are anal about their households too. I am a 'Timeliner' instead of an outliner, and I clearly (in life) have things I am picky about (when there is a good reason) or I wouldn't bother rearranging his dishes, and I have things I am NOT (because it's just a lot of silliness) and I don't think my writing approach is so different. I have some basics I want down, but if I try to get too technical, I am just not going to do it.

As for Mr. Tart? He has to take a writing class for nursing school and he's been complaining for a year now, even though he hasn't had it yet. He hates writing. I think it's because he is so anal that he doesn't want to put ANY words down until he knows what they are and where they go, and writing just doesn't come to you in complete form like that unless you have some strange religious experience.

I wonder if pantsers lack routine or picky order issues entirely...

So what about you?

Plotter/pantser/in the middle?
Anal housekeeper/chaotic housekeeper/in the middle?


Old Kitty said...

I'm a panster, I'm a panster! LOL!! But I'm all for having the dishwasher full before using - cos it's eco-friendlier that way!! I could be very anal about stuff like that *no you do NOT put that type of plastic in that plastic recycle bin* type of anal! LOL!!

Oh but when it comes to writing - I wing it and hope for the best!!! LOL!!

I think you and hubby are amazing together! Take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, I hate to outline. I do have an editor now that requires outlines before the books are written, so I'm valiantly adjusting.

The only thing about a crowded dishwasher (and I do it both ways...filled to the brim (the days I totally forget that I need to wash dishes) and fairly sparsely filled (for a day like Thanksgiving where I do need an empty dishwasher by the end of the meal). If our dishwasher is overfull, there seems to be some grit (I'm sure it's probably sterile grit...but it's still grit) on the "clean" dishes after the load. So then I feel like I need to rewash those. Bleh. I don't know the solution to this problem (which sounds a lot like 'ring around the collar') except to keep from overloading it.

Who Feels Like She Just Went Off On A Tangent

Jan Morrison said...

Like Elizabeth I am a complete and utter pantser(by the way - in my Brewster madness I just looked up 'fly by the seat of your pants' and nada - not under seat, pants or fly. hmmmm....
I have dishwasher wars with my sweet patootie too. But they are slightly different. I hate the dishwasher and really only want to use it when we have biggish meals. I don't think it does such a good job and especially in the winter I like washing dishes. yep, you heard me. I like it. So I never run the damn thing and it doesn't matter how I fill it - it is WRONG. Also, himself gets truly annoyed because I'll fill the sink up with soapy water and dishes and let er sit for an hour or a day or so. I don't know why that bothers him! Mr. can write beautifully but he isn't all that interested in it so... we were talking once about how everyone wants to write a book but him and he said "Maybe there's a book in that." Gawd he cracks me up.

Jessica Bell said...

How funny! I'm a plotter, but not down to the tee. I leave room for changes and it doensn't bother me if the story ends up being completely different in the end.

As for the house, well ... S does NOTHING. Nor do I, until the morning the cleaner is due. LOL. Then I freak out and start tidying up before she arrives and it's usually two weeks worth of mess that I shove in a cupboard for later. The only thing I do regularly is cook and wash dishes. Don't have a dishwasher, but I do let them build up in the sink until there's no more space in it. :o) hehee

lisahgolden said...

I'm a pantser, but I'm a complete nuisance about the way our house should be kept. Typical Libra, I suppose!

Mark P Sadler said...

I'm a panster and the dishwasher.. always rearranging the dishes when wife puts them in trying to help out... why can't she see the natural order they should be stacked in? Especially glasses

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dishwashing wars - that sounds familiar. My wife usually rearranges after I've placed items in the dishwasher. Says I never do it right.
However, I am an outliner. Just don't care about the plot of dishes I guess.

Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha! Hubby and I do the SAME thing. Well, except hubby's approach is more "you'll rearrange it anyway, so whatever". I cram as much in as I can then go from there.

I'm kind of a pantser, kind of an outliner. When ever I've outlined I've found myself to have order problems and have to edit, cut/paste a lot as well as not being willing to do it very easily because I'm married to the idea of MAKING IT WORK (kind of like trying to cram in just one dish too many- I usually stop before the dish breaks). The outlining has always been bare bones, but lately I've just gone with a "this is where the plot will go" approach then done my pantser things. Some order problems occur, but I'm not married to my initial notions any longer. I just save the wrongfully ordered things in another document to throw in later. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Having read this I feel like there are no big or even real issues in my life - certainly nothing to compare with dishwasher differences.
I wish you luck.

All the best, Boonie

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny--TOTALLY hear you on the eco-friendly thing. I am constantly urging (not so subtly) people at work. At home--after moving from Portland, even Mr. Tart who would normally not care recycles. But the water thing... he's a stinker (brings up all my baths if I try to push it)

Elizabeth--I avoid the grit with RINSING first--which he grumbles about 'shouldn't have to'. Glad you are adapting to the outlining!

Jan-I didn't honestly mind the handwashing so much, either. I don't LOVE it, but it was never the worst task. Funny that you two have the wars in a different iteration!

Ha! Jessica, you're throwing off my theory! Though the fact that you have a cleaner means you aren't QUITE resigned to chaos... When we didn't have a dishwasher I preferred to do them when there were a bunch, too--not full necessarily, but certainly no point when there are just a couple.

Lisa, Mark then Alex--three more throwing me off! Maybe I have it backward! Maybe orderly writers express their chaos elsewhere and vice-versa!

Kimberly-sounds like you and I are the same in both domains, but are married to opposites.

Boonie *snort* Always seems to me you are so agreeable to Mrs. S. You'd never start a war over anything so silly.

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to ask is that a spatula in your apron or are you just happy to see me.

Anonymous said...

I guess I must be a pantser, because my esteemed (not) spouse was given a dishwasher by my (now late) mother and never plumbed it in. Judging by the above, I think I am now extra grateful (not just on ecological grounds, but)because his anal tendencies would have made that yet one more area for dictatorial behavior. So thanks for letting me see what I missed! I wash my dishes in sink; he washes his.
Also empathize with Eliz having to outline for an editor - eek - and she aGREEd! Wot about the day when we Muse-led geniuses get recognized for our ability to 'channel'... or Tart's 'religious experience' equivalent...? ahem Marian

RosieC said...

Haha. Such a good point, Hart. I'm a pantser at heart struggling to shove myself into a plotter life. I want to organize my house and my writing, but it never works out. I aspire to those beautiful homes that look like they should exist in Better Homes & Gardens, but my house always looks like a disaster... Okay, I can't QUITE make that relate to my writing, as there's still some sort of organization that materializes even without the outline.

I tried the outline for NaNo, and it worked well because I had been thinking about the story for over 6 months and pretty well (thought) I knew what was going to happen and where things were going. But the truth is, there were points when the story was going somewhere else and I forced it back into the outline. I don't know how I feel about that right now, and I'm not going back to revise until after the New Year, so we'll see if I want to throw it out and rewrite from the middle. It's possible. *shrug*

Perhaps you can even see from this comment that I'm a tad scattered. I can't even organize a comment well. :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

well i'm a plotter, but am pretty laid back about housework.
That said, you are totally right in how you're packing the dishwasher. We only run the dishwasher when it's not full if we're planning a big cook thing, or if guests are coming over

Terry Odell said...

Pantser all the way (or maybe a Plantser, since I have a vague idea of the next scene before I write it).

We just got a 'dish drawer' which is really two small dishwashers, so we can run one as we load the other. I leave ALL that to Hubster, so we don't get into rearranging wars.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Carol Kilgore said...

I think there's a knack to loading a dishwasher. We take turns cooking and cleaning. Sometimes hubby yells to me for help. I can load a good 10-20% more into ours than he can. We just got a new one that is much roomier than the old one, though, so now he rarely needs assistance. It cleans even packed loads with no pre-rinse at all. I love it.

Writing-wise, I'm becoming less of a pantser the more I write. I do really well on a timeline, then sort of outlining what occurs during each part of the day.

Hart Johnson said...

Stephen *snort*

Marian-glad to remind you why you're happy to no longer be attached and affirm you in the no-dishwasher thing!

Rosie--I veer a little, then TRY to come back to the outline, too--if the veer was REALLY a good idea, you can go a little further in the rewrite... though I've never aspired to Better Homes and Gardens. Pretty much i just try to control the grime...

Sarah-you are affirming my NEW theory! we approach the two oppositely!

Terry-those drawers sound ideal for two people. And YOU are where I got the story board idea--that is the most planning I've ever done!

Carol-did you go to the Art Gropp school of packing, too!? (HA!--he's my stepdad, by the way) Very nice that your hubby consults you!

CA Heaven said...

I have never understood the cooking and dishwashing thing in our family. I my old lady cooks, the argument is "now I did the cooking, then you do the dishwashing". If I do the cooking the argument is "cleaning the table and washing the dishes is part of the cooking". For some reason I always end up with the dishwashing. Hmmm, what's going on here >:)

Cold As Heaven

Colene Murphy said...

Firstly, now I have "no. There is too much. Le'me sum up" stuck in my head, I thank you.

Secondly, as a pantser, I must say I am pretty anal about things in there place. But I have been leaning toward working on writing more organized. I'm not at all there, hardly. Except I do have to write from start to finish, not jump around.

Anyway, you and your hubs sound like a funny dynamic together.

LTM said...

well, I used to be a panster through and through, but recently I've started by writing the whole story in like two pages--nothing formal, just stream of conscious, what's going to happen, conflicts, conclusion. It always changes, but it's a guide...

And I am really super-anal about housework & the dishwasher (although I only run it when it's full)... But my mom was Joan Crawford. ;p

Southpaw said...

This is an interesting question. I wonder what the results will be. Right now, I'm and pantser but keep chaos out of my home.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Doh! You totally pegged me! I am a charter, out liner, plot-blocker, Type-A writer...

And I DO think that there IS only one place for things cause otherwise you have to look in many places for things and that just doesn't make any sense at ALL. =)

I waste water too...I run it while I'm rinsing out the dishes and it drives my husband so batty he'd rather do them himself....I PROMISE this was not a strategy. ;)
Edge of Your Seat Romance

VR Barkowski said...

Too funny! We also have dishwasher wars in our house. Mr. VR is responsible for loading the dishwasher. Sadly, he refuses to comply until he knows there are enough dishes to fill the thing. Needless to say, with only two of us, the kitchen sink looks grim at times. I'm convinced he does this to torture me, as I am anal in all things domestic.

But when it comes to writing? I'm a pantser through and through. I think that's why I love it so much.

Arlee Bird said...

That's so funny. I'm the dishwasher loader in my house and it has to be full and logical. When my sister-in-law comes over she likes to wash things by hand so I make sure nothing dirty is out and get 'em in the washer correctly and leave her the big stuff that doesn't fit.

When it comes to writing I mostly just organize stuff in my head and just write according to whereever whim, story, or logic leads me and it's always subject to change.

Tossing It Out

Golden Eagle said...

I'm in the middle as to being a pantser or a plotter . . . I'll usually set up an outline, but then I'll stray off it, or get a Crazy New Idea, and then that's out the window. :P

Hart Johnson said...

CaH-*snicker* You're wife is clearly very clever *teehee*

Colene-I LOVE INIGO MONTOYA! (though my 'let me e'spain' is Dezy Arnez) And it's looking more and more like if you WRITE organized, your house is going to hell... just so you know..

Leigh--you too, will let go of the organization as you organize... *shifty* Because Joan must be exorcised!

Holly--okay... going with the results of the day instead of the theory...

Raquel--you know I was partially THINKING of you and your very deep organization as I wrote this! See, my thought is if you always put things in the same place, your ability to LOOK for anything atrophies *shifty* (but I AM the only person in my house who can ever find anything)

VR-AHA! I'd wait, too, if it didn't make my hubby such a monster. He really can be a bear if too much sits too long. and another--opposites... so interesting!

Lee-yeah, when my mom comes NONE of it is right! (and I notice when I load at her house she ALSO reorganizes. So funny how we all are different on what is logical!

Golden Eagle--yes, I really like to MAKE a plan, but sticking with it is much harder! teehee

Anonymous said...

Ha! I rearrange my wife's dishwasher loading constantly. But that's because she (a) sometimes doesn't pre-rinse the dishes (which you may say is wasted effort, but when you have to rewash the dishes after our eco-friendly dish powder fails to cut the dried egg off the plate, you'd pre-rinse too), and (b) drops big-ass, space-hogging containers and such in at weird angles so as not to have to wash them by hand. Me? I wash big stuff by hand and save the dishwasher for the small stuff. That way we only run it every day and half or so.

I win.

Also, I plot, but not anal-retentively. So there.

And, because I can, a joke:

Police bulletin after a dwarf psychic escaped from prison: Small Medium at Large!

(Blame my coworkers for that one.)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We alternate cooking duties, but I always try to load the dishwasher. The top rack really can hold more than four bowls if one doesn't stack them in the middle!

Helena said...

My own housekeeping philosophy is like that fine old wine commercial -- "I will wash no dish before its time." If it gets washed at all and my kitchen is semi-clean, I've done my job. But with my writing I'm much more particular. That's just where my efforts go.

Hart Johnson said...

Simon-hubby wouldn't rinse given his choice either--he thinks 'if I loaded the dishwasher right' it would do it, but I'm with you--unless you wash on heavy duty every time (when in reality only a few dishes need it) then even the little stuff wouldn't come off, where a rinse makes it work.
joke--> *snarf*

L.Diane-BU-YAH on more than 4 bowls fitting!!!

Helena-if I lived alone (or even without Mr. Tart) I would totally be you!

Abby Minard said...

Ha, love this. I wish my hubs was anal about putting things where they go. But alas, he's not and leaves his shirts and ties in the living room, and dishes in the bathroom. I'm not any better, really. So our house is a mess usually ;p I do cram everything that I can into the dishwasher simply because I don't want to do two loads because the dishes have sat long enough in the sink. I think i've gotten pretty good at cramming a million dishes in there. I'm a plotter/panster so I don't know what that says about my organizational skills!

Cheeseboy said...

Yes, we men have absolutely no clue when it comes to the washing of cutlery and the like. My wife is always getting after me. Although my load job looks a whole lot worse than your husband's.

Unknown said...

Oh boy, I'm your typical plotter/anal housekeeper type. I probably would have a fit if my husband rearranged the dishwasher. Fortunately for me, he doesn't go near housework.


Anonymous said...

I'm a plotter and sort-of-anal housekeeper. I don't need things to be perfect, but there's a place for everything.

Ketutar said...

What is "Art Gropp School of Packing"?

"are the extensive pre-plotting outline types anal about their households too?"

Well... living with an extreme pantser makes it really difficult to be anal... :-D
Which makes me say "yes". (Because it IS a problem for me, not to be able to :-D)

We don't have a dishwasher, but there is a precise place for all the things, and they go there after having been washed. I'm Finnish and back at 50's or so they streamlined the kitchens, and created the drying cupboard, which means that dishes are not dried on the counter, then dried with a towel and then put in the cupboard, but put in the cupboard to dry.
Anyway, all the things have their place in the cupboard. The glasses will go on right, the cups on left, plates in size order and bowl left from the plates, and so on. I do dry the bowls and pans and put them into their respective places.

I would like to have my books in order by size, color and subject. So much so that I seriously consider rebinding my books, so that I don't need to care about the color.
I keep all the artist materials in one place.
I have my extensive collection of recipes sorted.
The only time I can't find my keys is when my hubby has borrowed them.
I have a dog walking pouch with the "litter bags", dog candy, washcloth for slobber and a package of paper napkins, just in case.

Hart Johnson said...

Abby-WELCOME! I'm not sure I've seen you comment before! We do okay with clothes... I mean not always AWAY, but only in the laundry or in our respective rooms... other stuff though, is a problem!

Oh, Abe--my husband would argue that I am the one with no clue. He is much pickier than I am!

Clarissa-HA! You and Raquel are my only friends fitting the pattern!

Medeia--Ope... another one! Okay... so we have some picky plotters!

Ketutar-Art Gropp is my stepdad and he can fit MANY things in a very small place. I learned well. Interesting on the drying cupboards! I've never heard of them but they sound handy! Too funny on your books and your opposite hubby. I like my books organized, but by type and author--looks don't matter (though paperback and hardback separate)

Adina West said...

Fence sitter all the way. I keep the main rooms of my house tidy, but perhaps not actually *clean* (coughs). Yes, there is a difference. It's called a vacuum. And I'm largely a pantser but work to a very loose outline.

As for the dishwasher - eco-friendly all the way. Filled to the brim is the only way to go. (and the only thing you have to pre-rinse is things with egg, 'cos egg and dishwashers don't mix well)

My dishwasher issue isn't with DH - I only have to rearrange his stuff slightly. My problem is with my FAMILY when they visit. How hard is it, people? No matter how many times I show them the RIGHT way..... Sigh.

Rigel said...

Middler in writing.

Chaotic housekeeper.

Anal at work.