For the last three decades I’ve had the exact same hesitations when faced with unloading the dishwasher.
I don’t feel like dealing with you. This is going to take forever. I’m just not up for it.
But once I commence with what actually is a painless and fleeting process, my thoughts swing in the opposite direction.
I love putting the dishes away. So easy, so satisfying. So fun, actually. Next time I’ll remember what a non-issue this is.
But the fabulous unloading feeling never sticks. Why?
I think the problem lies in the fact that the process never ends. Even wars end, or at least they used to. Come to think of it, the Korean War is in a permanent state of ceasefire. So never mind that assertion. Wars just keep coming, and the suffering is horrendous. Let me be clear, the nightmare of war has nothing in common with unloading the dishwasher.
You can find temporary relief from dish duty by going out for dinner — which I actually despise because it’s all about negotiating flatware — or by using paper plates on a picnic, which I do like because you can interact with nature instead of place settings. Ironically, though, my preferred use of paper plates is killing the trees I love so much.
People ask me how I deal with moving so frequently. Part of the answer is this: If you are going to take a dish out of the washer, it’s just as easy to put it in a box than into the cupboard. Besides, once I’ve packed up my place settings, I don’t have to think about the dishwasher again until we close on a new place. I’m not just buying an abode, I’m buying time away from one.
But once we move in, I find myself faced with another chore that I despise — hanging up shower curtains.
This is the last time I will ever do this again.
Usually about a year later, I find myself doing it again because I needed a break from the routine of doing dishes.
Why can’t I just accept the fact that there is No Exit from mundane chores and just do them sans existential angst?
Many clean dishes and houses ago, I had an exercise instructor who told our class that he found a way to convince himself that cleaning the litter box was the highlight of his day. He was thereby freed from the torture. Zen master.
These are the absurd problems of the privileged, I know. I should be glad that I have dishes to do because of the food I am able to put on them. Yet I just can’t think myself out of this paradigm.
Nor can at least 87 other people, according to a Facebook community page called “HATE unloading dishwashers.”
A post on that page lamented the loss of one member: Last time I checked it was 88 fans, now there’s only 87. Come on, you can’t possibly all of a sudden change your mind and think, I love unloading dishwashers! Haha cause it suks and you know it!
This fear of unloading clean dishes must be some kind of phobia because it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Interestingly, the fear of a dishwasher is called “dishleprophobia.” But how do folks explain away the fear of unloading a dishwasher? Procrastination.
There’s another real thing called “anatidaephobia,”which is defined as a pervasive, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck. There is an Anatidaephobia Sufferers Society (ASS) Facebook page with, inexplicably, a daft duck logo and a cover image of duck staring at visitors. Clearly, as my pal Simi pointed out, these sufferers have no phobia about being insensitive to their own suffering. By the way, Simi doesn’t own a dishwasher. She does everything by hand and finds it very liberating.
Okay, so back to unloading my dishwasher. Really, I mean it. I’ve spent an hour fixating on, yet avoiding, a three-minute hateful job that I actually love.