Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wanted: someone to wash while I dry.

If Superman has his Kryptonite, then I, the Wonder Wife, have mine: the Kitchen. To be clear, it’s not the cooking part. I tell you, there’s something beautiful about orchestrating a good, satisfying meal: making sure vegetables are perfectly tender-crisp, meat is rested and cut, and glasses of water are freshly iced and frosty by the plates… setting the table with pertly folded linens while the broccoli finishes sautéing in the pan… loading up my arms with pans and flatware and salt and pepper shakers and making that last trip to the dining room while I shut the light off with my elbow on the way there… bowing my head and hearing my husband thank God for the meal and for me… it’s great.

But fifteen minutes later, after almost everything is in our stomachs and a few paltry leftovers are cold on the serving dishes… it’s awful. And while my hard-working man retires to the couch for some well-deserved rest, I return to the kitchen to clean up the aftermath.

I hate this job. I really can’t express how much I loathe cleaning the kitchen. Brian’s solution? “Clean up as you go!” Sure, babe. Right after I grow that FOURTH ARM. Even for an ultra-talented wife such as I, it’s somewhat difficult to usher several expertly seasoned and perfectly cooked meals out of a myriad of cooking units and onto the table. I don’t have time to wash that mixing bowl that I just used to beat an egg. I’m beating a second egg, for crying out loud, so I’m using a SECOND bowl! And if you expect me to put that bowl in the dishwasher between sprints across the room, well, then I suspect you’re the type of person who would give your son a serpent if he asked for a piece of bread.

So the mountain of dishes that greets me as I make that solitary journey back into that kitchen may as well be a ten mile hike up a waterfall. So what do I do to avoid it? I’m glad you asked. I do just about ANYTHING, including eating another meal, taking the dog for a walk, and wandering into the bathroom to pick at my face for about forty-five minutes, after which I exit to see Brian, asking me ever-so-sweetly to sit down on the couch with him because it’s ten minutes to nine and aren’t we going to spend any time together this evening before we go to sleep? To which I answer no! the kitchen still needs to be finished, and please don’t say anything about the open sores on my nose. They were imaginary zits that I preferred to pick over wiping down my appliances for about the thousandth time since we moved in. And the sad thing, I mourn to him, is that I’m only twenty-one! My life has barely begun, and the only thing I see beyond my tears is a sink full of dirty dishes.

And turning to walk back into that den of soiled stainless pans, my foot catches on my pouty lower lip and I trip, landing on eye level with the crumbs I still need to sweep off of my kitchen floor.

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