Kitchen Stadium Battle: Dirty Dishes

That age-old issue of living with others: the battle over scrubby brushes and keeping public space clean-


Why is it so hard to wash a plate? Or a pan, or a cup or a knife? The house I’m currently living at is combatting this issue like no other place I’ve dwelt. I’m starting to take a slightly passive-aggressive approach to it, where I simply pile every dirty dish into one side of the sink and hoarding away a few cups and forks for my personal use. Sounds like a great way to cope, right?

Now, I have to out myself here for a minute- I wasn’t always an habitual dish washer. The first time I moved in with roommates (real roommates- not the roommates you live with in a dorm) I was the person constantly being badgered for leaving dirty scraps, pots and bowls in the sink. My older roommates hated when I would do it, and were constantly calling me out. It didn’t really bother me all that much at the time, and I never felt that there were too many dishes in the sink, so I let it go on bothering them. Oops.

So, OK- I can relate. You finish with a dish, food coma sets in, and you justify your actions with, “I’ll definitely take care of it later.” However, when later comes, you’re “too rushed,” or, “late for work!” and the dishes never move. Then, after a few days, the scene in the sink normalizes to your eye and you literally don’t even see the pile. You’ve put on your scum-goggles and can see right through all of those dishes. You merrily proceed with you day, rinsing out your coffee cone and heating water up with a new mystery pot, or maybe you just decide to go buy coffee that morning because (strangely) you can’t find any pots in the cupboard.

This is a disorder. A dilema. One that affects not just the roommate that can’t seem to fathom performing regular dish cleaning, but also the rest of the residents where said sink is located. It creates a rift. Friends become enemies, brother against brother- even the dog gets dragged into it!

Let’s stop this madness.

Do your dishes. As Virginia Wolf said, “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

Don’t avoid life, you dish-oblivious friends. Embrace it, embrace soap, and embrace the scrubby sponge. Life will be better for all of us.


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