Skip to main content

Clean the Freaking Dishes

I thought our fights were about something bigger than actual dishes – you know, the chick thing: You never listen to me; you don’t value my decision making; you SAY that you love me, but just look at your actions.

I thought that the fighting was about all the unsaid things in our relationship, but really, it was just about the dishes.

Which was a shame, since I saved some fresh picked and crispy arguments from my garden of excuses and had them available to drop on her at a moments notice -- just in case we went analogical in our anger.

We had the usual deal – she cooked, I cleaned. This never worked. From the beginning, I would wash the dishes, then she would show up in the after and complain that I had done them wrong – they were, “not clean,” to use her exact words.

She would then point to specific flaws and stains. I would pretend to see them, though they were invisible and ethereal, then I'd rewash them in a flurry of anger until she left me alone.

This went on for years.

I tried most the basics to deal with her unreasonableness: denial, bargaining, anger, (but not acceptance – lines must be drawn, even for the passive.) I used paper plates when possible, broke things that seemed questionable and ordered take out more than necessary. Nothing worked – I had a hard time fixing something that I didn’t see as broken, though, to be fair, the weight of evidence was tending to point to at least  poor technique on my part.

I never did get it and she went on to marry someone who could provide new dishes for every meal.

I flashed on this when having Easter with my family. As Uncle Peter and I were discussing global warming, and some possible solutions, the thought balloon came lit up in my head and I suddenly realized what I should have said to her”:

“What in our history makes you think I’m capable of washing dishes?”

This was a twofer of illumination, which pleased me to no end. From this small analogy emerged the greater principle – just like Mandelbrot did with his stupid dots.

Since man crawled from the sea, we’ve been on a progressive, linear path – we exploit natural resources to get what we think we need. This is not opinion or subjective, it’s both historical and written on the land in pen.

This is both what we have done and what we are doing now.

“What in our history makes us think that we are capable of changing this behavior?”

Americans put out 40% of all the greenhouse gases in the world and everyone wants to be an American, or at least have our model of homes and cars.

45% of Americans don’t believe in even the concept of global warming – to them, it’s the invisible rantings from a people who have an agenda other than theirs – all part of a conspiracy of intelligence against the dunces, like themselves, to be put in their place.

And even if it’s true, so what, they say? There is time, and no need for any premature rush to judgment.

I tend to be a Cassandra about things, but I get it. The solutions are drastic, and the outcome vague and I’ve been wrong in the past: South Africa changed without bloodshed; the economy didn’t melt down last year; O.J. did, eventually, end up in prison.

And if I had lived before the Civil War I would have been overwhelmed by the slavery issue, and would have recommended caution.

All this said,  I have a cautious optimism for the future, in spite of a gut feeling of impending doom. Like a well-differentiated cancer, we are survivors and will muddle through somehow, someway, though I do think we will need to get a bigger boat at some point.

Oh, and the dish thing – towards the end we compromised – I washed the pots and pans and she did the regular dishes. I don’t think either of us was happy about it, since I didn’t change, but we did find a compromise that worked until she dumped me for the bigger boat of new plate guy.










.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wedding and Funeral

Went to a wedding and a funeral this weekend with Mary. Sacramento, Santa Rosa, then home– a whirlwind trip through weekend bay area traffic. The traffic was horrible – life changing horrible, but not unusual.
As with most things, it’s a balance of an the unnamed terror and an easy chair in a padded room that rocks. 
The wedding was delightful, part of an interconnected strong woman’s club that marries off their daughters to provably weaker men. And so, the cycle continues, but the company was nice and I’m too old to wonder at the process anymore.
The funeral was for another interconnected strong woman, who, by hinkey or dinky, was a scary woman that I used to work with as a nurse. She would have been surprised that I outlived her, much as Charles the cat was. Please pay attention out there – this is how life works.
(To be fair, she didn’t put up with shit and I liked to throw handfuls of it around as if I were Christ standing on the back of a broken piñata heaving candy cigarettes to the…

Only once

For clarity, I think I will write this only once.I do not write confessional poetry, and I do not write things down as a form of therapy. I write because I have something unique to say in a unique sort of way, a way that I think is universal in an analogous manner, not as any sort of literal telling of the truth.  I trowel spackle onto pages with a straight edged blade, I don’t paint aging widows with a brush. (My soul has been psychedelicized, but this shit’s not about me.)It comes in this form – that this relates to that, in this way – A form that I think illustrates things that are too true to be looked at straight on – personal truths that are usually discovered through interactions with other people – truths that are often relational, unreliable and subject to the weavings and debris of human beings. Truths that sneak out and become a miraculous surprise of insight – like a Zen master hitting you on the head with a baseball bat at just the right time.I don’t think I’m the only on…

How do I know when I'm done?

I left a message on Facebook for someone I care about that ended with the words, “one won”. I did it just because I thought was funny. That led to a whimsical discovery that I no longer had to place a period at the end of my sentences – in fact to do so would be rude and identify myself as an old person. 
It seems that, for online use anyway, a period has become a loud shout -- a purposeful exclamation point useful only in drawing unnecessary attention, or as a way of making an angry burp of anti-social angst. Sentences no longer end, they gently back out a side door when no one is looking -- they’ve become bars without a jail, or that angry driver just ahead of you who hesitates before moving through an intersection just to make a point of how stupid you are.
Since a period is no longer an end to a thought, its new function has evidentially become nothing but a stuffy ritual of formality that writers can now use to mark up or down generalized feeling of huffiness, or perhaps a way to s…