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.
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.
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
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.
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’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
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
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.”
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