As quirks go, this is a doozy…..

I’ve always been pretty organized. I’m not exactly an OCD person, but I am qualified to stand in for one. I keep my clothes neatly hung in my closet slacks to the left, shirts to the right. I have my dresser drawers arranged so I know what is in which drawer before I open it. I even keep socks and underwear sorted so they all get about the equal amount of wear. All my bills and financial information are easy to access.

But all the above is just my personal thing. I’ve always believe in laissez-faire when it comes to other folk’s methods of handling their daily affairs. It’s not up to me to interfere with how they want to do things. However, there is one exception. I’ve never met a dishwasher that I couldn’t do a better job arranging.

Exactly when this devilish machine took over my soul I couldn’t say. I do know my obsession reached therapy level after we purchased a state of the art model a couple of years ago.

This gem is so spacious and well-conceived that with proper load supervision (mine, of course) it could probably wash a week’s worth of dishes in one running. Make no mistake, loading a dishwasher is an art. No willy-nilly, slapdash effort will make sound use of the finely engineered racks and cubbyholes that adorn this baby.

My dear wife, Patty, does most of the cooking for us. She excels in that endeavor. I always do the after meal cleanup. She thinks I am just pitching in with my share of the work. What naivety. Actually, I’m trying to keep her away from the dishwasher! But sometimes I can’t be there when she is loading it. I once held a dishwasher instruction seminar with her to explain proper technique. Sadly, it was to no avail.

Add to this the fact that we have two guests with us this summer. My oldest granddaughter and her college friend are staying with us and earning college money waitressing at a local bistro. They are two sweet, lovely girls and terrific house guests. But with one major failing. That’s right, they too are dishwasher impaired! Obviously their parents didn’t teach them this mundane but important task at a young age when their brains were fine-tuned to learning good habits. Imagine the horror of trying to rearrange a load when three, count em’, three others are thwarting your best efforts.

Let me try to illustrate my angst: 1. The silverware all over-stuffed into two of the six designated compartments, some of them upside down, while the other four go begging. 2. Plates put in the upper level which is strictly reserved for glasses, cups and small bowls. 3. Large plates in the small plate slots and vice versa. 4. Dishes positioned diagonally. Oh, the humanity!

My worst nightmare!

I just couldn’t keep up! I became withdrawn. Just the other afternoon my wife came in the bedroom and found me with the covers over my head, curled in a fetal position, sucking my thumb.

So why am I just now writing about this? Simple, my therapist suggested I journal as an outlet for this built-up negative emotion. He also mentioned there were support groups specifically for this affliction. So thank you for reading and understanding. For those of you who would like show support; remember, in the back row, it’s dinner plates only, bottoms facing left, smaller plates in the front, all with serving side facing the back.

Thanks, I feel better already.

41 thoughts on “As quirks go, this is a doozy…..

  1. Peas in a pod. Cutlery in their container. Dinner plates at the back of the dishwasher. These are the simple rules for household harmony. And replace the toilet paper roll and PUT THE DAMN SEAT DOWN ON THE TOILET.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susanne. Someone finally figured out the toilet seat problem. You know those slow to return seats? The one that you just give a short pull and they lazily work their own way down (no slamming). It just needed to be more like a toy and we guys were all in! As for the toilet paper. We have one of those automatic replacing models. I know because everytime I go in to use the bathroom it’s been replaced! What will they think of next??

  2. Oh, I am right there with you on loading a dishwasher properly! I have to have them completely rinsed before they go in too. So far I don’t reload a whole dishwasher but I have rearranged a couple of things. Silverware MUST be put in handle down. Now I know I am not alone. Thanks for the free therapy!

    • Yes, Jo Nell, it appears I have opened Pandora’s box with this one. I didn’t realize so many people shared my affliction. Our motto: “An organized load is a happy load!”

  3. I use the boob version of dishwasher loading to my advantage. The only advantage is that HE (the boob aforementioned?) carries the dishes, glasses and flatware from the dinner table to the dw (my shortcut for dishwasher.) as soon as his back is turned I move everything he brought over into their proper places. So I have gotten HIM to clear the table and I get to load the dw to my proper specifications! No sweat, no arguments, no therapy needed.

  4. Al, you and I truly are soulmates! I understand your anguish with “the others,” who have absolutely no idea how to properly load a dishwasher. If there is a way to stick one more thing in that puppy, you know I’m going to find it. All the silverware must indeed be pointing in the same direction – DOWN. Larger plates go in first with the smaller plates in front of them. And plates always go on the bottom rack. Always.

    You are correct: “. . . loading a dishwasher is an art. No willy-nilly, slapdash effort will make sound use of the finely engineered racks and cubbyholes . . . ” Most people just don’t understand that it takes a true artisan to properly arrange everything into tidy compact rows.

    You – my friend – are welcome in my kitchen any time. We can compare our loading techniques and amaze each other to no end. We’re awesome like that.

    Chin up. There’s just some things we are destined to be superior at. The others will never rise to our level.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Absolutely, Patricia. It’s hard to be humble when you’re this good. Don’t you think dishwasher loading would be a great contest at the county fair? Right up there with pie baking. But where would we put all our blue ribbons?

  5. LOLOL…..Do they have a group therapy session for this? I think I should sign up….yes dishes on the bottom serving side facing left.
    With you all the way on this one Al. I have this same affliction when it comes to hanging clothes on the outdoor clothesline. Towels, by size and color…etc. My husband just shakes his head. I tell him it is an art form as I don’t want him getting the idea I might be a little bonkers.

  6. I hear you loud and clear!
    My husband loads our dishwasher. I don’t even look. My therapist said that would be best… but the fridge! It isn’t like I can’t look in the fridge. I have to eat at least a few times a day. What part of using the meat drawer for meat does The Car Guy not understand!? It says ‘Meat’. It doesn’t say ‘oranges’. It doesn’t say ‘butter’. And the veggie bin. It says ‘Vegetables’. It doesn’t say ‘meat’. It doesn’t say ‘leftovers that are one week past their best before date’…

  7. LOL…I have a certain way of loading the dishwasher and am anal about where stuff goes and how it should be arranged so I feel your pain. Hopefully the visit doesn’t last too long. But hey…they actually put it in the dishwasher instead of leaving it in the sink. that has to count for something…:)

  8. Al, I had to chuckle throughout your entire post and I loved the picture…but I have to admit that I thought to myself…. I don’t see anything wrong with the distribution of items in the dishwasher!! However, once I read your organizational plan…. I could see how the above picture would make you twitch!

    My ex-husband would have approved of your plan as he was the type of person that when fixing a meal in the kitchen, he cleaned up as he went and was Mr. Tidy-Man. I, however, would have multiple pots and pans in the sink; kitchen cabinets and drawers left opened, paper towels everywhere, splatters on the stove, and tomato sauce running down the lower cabinets onto the floor! I think God made certain that in every relationship there is one clean/neat-nik freak and one everyday-what-the-heck laid back soul….. it was His way to keep us all on our toes!

    Love the post… have a great week. jfh

    • Thank you , Janet. It sounds like we have much in common while cooking, based on the splatters and tomato sauce part. My motto: the messier the kitchen, the better the meal! But that dishwasher better be well-organized at the end of it all!!

  9. Al, II share your pain. Dan does kitchen clean up after I cook. He doesn’t like to pull the shelves out all the way, so everything he loads goes in the front in a slapdash manner. As you know, coffee cups go together, glasses go together starting at the back. Plates must face inward. I also do a lot of re-organizing!! Enjoyed your blog, kindred spirit! Arlene

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Arlene. Always so good to hear from you. Perhaps this blog is the first step in getting awareness out there so offending parties will understand the anguish they are causing. Now that I think about it, maybe it is they that should be in therapy!!

  10. I think I have your affliction. The thing is, one has to have a mental image of the direction of the water intake and a deep respect for what items should go on top. I would like to meet your therapist.

    • He’s really booked, Dor, but since we are blogging friends, I think I can get you in. Be sure to bring pictures of your work with you.

  11. Ah yes, as my wife says, we are kindred spirits, cousin. I will need to send you a picture of master pieces of dishwasher loading.

  12. You know when you’re reading a blog post and taking it in but you’re still just not prepared for what’s about to come?

    That’s what happened to me with your picture.

    I realised, as I scrolled downwards that you had mentioned the plate on the TOP rack – but when I saw it I still just assumed it was the bottom rack. My hysteria started because the plate is the WRONG WAY AROUND. Then I scrolled down some more, and I know, after reading this post that we are kindred spirits and so you can really imagine the horror that crept over me as I saw the BOTTOM RACK.

    I’m going for a lie down after seeing that!!

    • I am so sorry I added to your dishwasher angst with this picture. I should have put a warning notice: “Photo contains images that might be distrubing. View at own risk.”

      • πŸ˜€
        To be honest, I’m mostly delighted when someone helps me out in the the house. Especially the kitchen (and if they know how to load the dishwasher properly). Visitors who help are the very best people to invite to return again and again and again. A couple I invited cleaned my kitchen. They cleaned it better than it had ever been cleaned before and I SERIOUSLY wanted to invite them to move in. But my husband said we didn’t really have the space.

        However, my absolute pet peeve is when visitors go all out and try to help with the washing. I think that I wouldn’t really mind had it not been for past experience. Several helpful visitors have shrunk the kid’s new clothes, dyed the washing pink or stretched a favourite pullover. So, if I see a visitor heading towards the washroom, I have been known to bellow, like a bear with a sore head, “Where do you think you’re going? Feel free to hoover, wash the frying pan, brush the dog, make dinner for what feels like 500 people, scrub the bathroom, pluck the weeds, make me a coffee, clean my fridge but please, please, PLEASE keep your hands off my washing machine.”

        • Sounds a bit familiar. I wash all my own stuff. Wouldn’t think of going near my wife’s laundry. Learned my lesson with one of those bad experiences you’re referring to.

  13. Oh Al, I hope you get over this trying time in your life. This too shall pass. I’ve always thought there are two types of people in this world; the “everything has it’s place organized dishwasher types” and the “just put things anywhere, they all come out clean in the end” ones. I won’t mention which spectrum I fall under, well because I AM the dishwasher!

    • Thank you, Tricia. There is hope. Just yesterday I put a dirty glass in the dishwasher, popped in a pod and started it up without moving a single item. Those therapy sessions are money well spent!

  14. Al – I am a kindred soul. I have three nieces whose claim to fame is that they learned everything they know about loading a dishwasher from their Aunt Jeri. My boys load the dishwasher after a family dinner and as soon as they leave, I do the necessary reorganization. Mission accomplished. Whew!

  15. Too funny, Al. I, too, suffer from this malady, but not the drawer part. The dishwasher part. I’ve given up and kind of go with the flow and rearrange when I think he is not watching. I try to keep my closet neat and color coordinated so I don’t need to think about what to wear everyday. Drawers I do the same thing, but “something” takes over after a while. I find the “drawer gremlin” has come and messed up my color coordinating tactics. The good news is the older you get (at least for me), it doesn’t take over my life. I just find solace in those days when I can get rid of the “drawer gremlin” for a while … when I find her! Thanks for the chuckles. We have guests, too. The have the same phobia as your grand daughter and friend. Dishwasher challenged! Oh, the pain of it all!

    • I like that, “the drawer gremlin.” Funny. You need to stay up one night and at 3:00 am see if you can catch “it”. Ha, ha.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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