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Housework Makes it Hard to Live in My Home

"Grapes please."

All my daughter and her playdate wanted were some grapes to snack on while they finished their homework.

Simple enough request. Heck, I even had fresh grapes in the fridge.

"No problem." I said.

I went to the fridge, pulled out the bag of grapes and took them to the sink to wash them. Unfortunately, my sink was piled high with dirty dishes crusted in tomato sauce, microwave pancakes and dried-out pasta.

Obviously, I couldn’t wash the grapes until the sink was empty and cleaned out, so I opened the dishwasher to fill it with dirty dishes. It was full of clean dishes.

"Mom? Can we have some grapes?"

"Yeah. I just need to wash them. Hold on."

I pulled out the top tier of the dishwasher to start unloading. I got two rows of lowballs unloaded when I took out a wine glass that hadn’t successfully made it through the rinse cycle. Yeah, yeah, I should have hand-washed it. I get lazy when I drink merlot.

As I lifted the broken glass out, a conveniently large chunk of thin glass dropped off. I picked it off and went to throw the pieces in the trash. The wine glass shattered against the side of the trash can turning into hundreds of less conveniently sized shards that jingled over the edge of the trash can and on to the floor.

So I swept the floor. And then I mopped it. Twice. I got down on my hands and knees and wiped the surrounding floor down, finishing up the roll of the paper towels. No glass was getting past me.

"Mom, are you getting me grapes?"

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"Yes! I'm trying! You’ve gotta wait a second.”

I put away the mop and broom and went back to unloading the dishwasher. Dishes, glasses and silverware all went back into place. I was momentarily stumped by half a salad tong, but I just shoved it into my miscellaneous utensil drawer in hopes the other half would materialize one day when I needed it.

I put the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Nice and full. I do take pride in my loading skills.

I figured I should run it before dinner so I wouldn’t have to deal with another dish pile-up when I noticed the “rinse aid” light was lit. AAARRGGHHH!!!!

I fished around under the sink and found an almost emptied bottle of Jet Dry. I filled the little circular compartment with what was left of the Jet Dry and hoped it was enough.

The light went off, and I popped in a Cascade swirly cake (which I shockingly had), slammed the dishwasher door shut and pushed “Start.”

Wwwwoooooooggggjjje. Ah, the sound of accomplishment.

Now the sink was empty. Of dishes at least. Lumps of bread crust, soggy cereal flakes, half-eaten apple slices and crushed tomato bits stopped up the drain.

I picked it clean and sprayed it down with some Lemon Fresh 409. God bless 409.

I was now ready to wash grapes.

'Yes, my children. I — your mother — have produced clean grapes for your eating pleasure. Enjoy them. Savor them, these grapes I give to you this day.'

I opened the cabinet under the stovetop and poked around for my colander. Nothing. Where the heck is that stupid colander!?

“Mom?”

“I’m workin' on it! I’M WORKIN’ ON IT! GRAPES ARE COMING! KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!”

“…what does that mean?” I heard her ask her friend. Her friend shrugged.

I sighed. Exasperated. Grapeless. How hard could it be to give my kid some friggin’ grapes! Why does everything I do around this house have to be so complicated! For once I’d like to need a grape and be able to have a grape. Immediately! Or at least without having to do 20 other things first.

I was angry. This was so frustrating.

After pillaging through several cabinets and flinging All-Clad pots and cast-iron pans around — finding strange solace in the loud clanging of pots as I slammed them into each other and onto the kitchen floor — I found the colander, three cabinets later, hiding behind a heavy mixer. I held it aloft — like the Olympic torch signaling the beginning of the games. Yes!

I ignored the bits and pieces of dried crap that crusted up a couple of the holes, rationalizing that the colander had been through the dishwasher at some point in the past and was clean. Hence, any dirt found on the colander was “clean dirt.”

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And then I washed the grapes, plunked them wet into a clean bowl and victoriously served them. “Yes, my children. I — your mother — have produced clean grapes for your eating pleasure. Enjoy them. Savor them, these grapes I give to you this day.”

I started putting away the pots and pans that had collected on the kitchen floor when Livi asked, “Mom? Can I have a paper towel?”

I got up to get her a paper towel. The roll was empty.

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