Dirty Dishes



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October 1, 1999

I walked into my house after work today. My husband had been off all day. My cleaning lady had been here. I was expecting nirvana, or as close as we get.

Instead I found a sink full of dirty dishes, a dishwasher full of clean ones, and no one home to be mad at.

This is the deal around here: whoever cooks does not have to clean. I think this is fair.

The thing is, I usually cook and Chuck only sometimes cleans. This is a point of contention.

OK, so there were pots that had been in the sink waiting to be cleaned for several days now. I knew that when I left the house this morning. But you would think that the cleaning lady having been here would have been a surefire guarantee that I would come home to a clean kitchen.

But no.

So I throw myself a fit. I can assure you it's much less effective when there's no one around to see it. Then I start unloading the dishwasher. I was slamming cabinets, throwing sippy cups, and otherwise being really fucking pissed off.

I'm done with the dishes when who pulls up into the driveway? My husband who had the day off, and Zoe.

And, even though I was mad when I started this whole thing I was getting even madder by the second. If I could have afforded to replace everything I would have broken every god damned plate, bowl, and glass in the cupboard.

Chuck must have heard the ruckus in the driveway because he walked in yelling, "Leave it. I'll take care of it." Then he walked in, saw my expression and told me not to say anything, he had planned on doing it but just . . . whatever. . . fill in the lame excuse here.

Well, it kind of took the wind out of my sails.

Part of it is I don't like yelling in front of Zoe. Not really. She doesn't understand that mommy and daddy aren't mad at her. She gets scared and upset and it's understandable. I have memories of my mother and father fighting. It was always horrible. Even when it had nothing to do with the kids. You're a kid. You feel responsible. It's just not necessary to put her through that kind of shit.

But man. I was hopping mad and I had to get it off my chest. The worst of it was that he apologized before I could really yell. Anger interuptus. It's very unsatisfying.

Meanwhile, earlier today I had like 6 inches cut off my hair and a completely new and different style for me. Very unlike anything I've ever had before--kind of like Rene Russo in the Thomas Crown Affair--except not auburn. And no one noticed. No one said a damned thing.

I came home from work feeling kind of sassy and daring and turned into a screaming lunatic who was invisible to her entire family.

Nice feeling.

Until next time. . .