Padawan and I have had to make a major change in our living habits. Well, I say Padawan and I, but I had to change it. I didn't ask him. I told him that this change was happening, and then I told him why. The change may seem insignificant to you guys, but it's major to me.
From now on, Padawan will be responsible for cooking dinner while I wash the dishes.
Clearly this is huge. I
despise abhor detest hate with the fiery intensity of a thousand suns washing dishes. There are few mundane chores out there that disgust me as easily as doing dishes. Just the idea of putting my hands in a sink full of nasty, used dishes makes me dry heave. I do not like it.
However, warring with my repulsion is my obsessive compulsive desire to have the sink empty and the kitchen looking tidy at all times. This OCD has become marginally worse since our move because when we walk into our front door we are standing in the kitchen. It's the first thing I see when I come home.
And Padawan is lazy about dishes. He has promised and promised so many times that he will do them right after dinner, but he rarely does. He will let the dishes pile up for days, and only after I nag him (or scream) will he finally get up and take care of it. I have always refused to do them on principle. It is not fair if I have to cook and wash dishes. It's only fair that he do his fair share.
One day I came home from work and noticed a foul stench in the kitchen and I asked him to take care of it. He said, "In a minute!" and the next morning when I woke up, on my day off, the dishes were still piled up and he had done nothing. The smell was so bad I had to pull on my rubber gloves and take care of it myself.
Know what the smell was coming from?
Padawan had scraped large chunks of lettuce off of a plate and put them in the sink. He hadn't bothered rinsing them down the garbage disposal. Just left them on the stainless steel bottom, then piled dishes on top of them. What I had been smelling was the salmonella infected, rotting stench of decomposing romaine. It was fucking disgusting and I threw up.
For the last week, Padawan has been slacking on the dishes, and yesterday when I woke up and took Choo Choo out for walkies, I came back in to a smell so foul I knew I'd have to take care of it myself. He said, "Don't worry about it, I'll do it when I come home." But he never does anything when he comes home. He likes to go straight to bed for a nap. And I get that. He gets up at four thirty in the morning. He's tired when he gets home. It's understandable.
While I was doing the dishes, frustration seeped in until I found myself practicing the blistering lecture I planned to give Padawan when he came home regarding his lazy, nasty habit. After all, our agreement was he would wash the dishes and I would do the cooking. But spending my day off plowing through a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes was not desirable.
I knew halfway through that the only solution was to do the dishes myself every day. I'd have to do them every night, I knew, but I also knew that I wouldn't have to worry about dishes piling up for a week so that we ran out of plates and silverware, and I wouldn't have to worry about a bad smell anymore. In exchange, Padawan would have to take over making dinner. He can read and follow directions.
For the greater good, and my personal happiness and sanity, I knew I needed to take one for the team.
I still felt frustrated by the time I finished the dishes, so I cleaned the entire kitchen, the dining room, the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, and the closet. I also did all of the laundry, and by the time I was finished I was ready to talk to Padawan.
I signed on Google chat and IMed him, informing him of my decision.
And before he could argue (I wasn't giving him the chance) I explained that it made more sense for him to cook because I don't get off until seven and he gets off at three, so he could make dinner before I got off so we could eat when I got home. It would save us from having to either eat really late because cooking takes time or having to eat fast food for the convenience.
"But...you hate doing dishes."
"I know. But between eating late and your laziness, it's obviously the only way."
Then I told him he would make a point of rinsing out his lunch dishes before bringing them home because leaving bits of food in them and then sealing them and leaving them at room temperature for a few hours, or in the car floor for a couple of weeks, was disgusting and unfair to make me clean them in that condition.
So now I am calm. When I went to bed last night there were absolutely no dishes left in my sink. My kitchen was pristine.
And I feel relieved. I will never again have to worry about bad smells and dirty dishes and having no clean dishes when I come home, because I can trust myself to keep it in perfect order. All I have to worry about now is whether or not Padawan will burn the apartment down while trying to make Croque Monsieur.