September 15, 2010

Wash On, Wash Off

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Dear A to Z,

I live in a house with four other roommates. They really are awesome people to live with, except for the fact that they won’t do the dishes. At all. I’m expected to spend my Sunday evenings scraping away at burned rice chards, while they watch 60 Minutes. And they know how much I idolize Andy Rooney! How can  I get them to do the dishes without coming off as a clean freak and a serious complainer?


Snow White

Dear Disherella,

As someone who has (on multiple occasions) spent weeks ordering dinners from Jack’s Girl after dirtying every dish, bowl and utensil to speak of in my arsenal of cookery, I find it difficult to criticize your roommates’ behavior.  However, we at A to Z are all about cooperation, and it is not okay for your roommates to treat you like a professional dishwasher.  I have three solutions for you.

First, if you don’t mind living like a freshmen in September (no offense to my new readers), I suggest you force your roommates to buy paper plates and plastic utensils; you may use true cutlery if you like.  I don’t support stealing, but it should be no effort for your roommates to snag a few extra forks on the lunch line at Trillium.  No plates; no utensils; no problems.

Second, I recommend that you get a dog, “nature’s dishwasher.” Millions of years of evolution have created a perfect organism; and organism with the relentless capacity to scrub plastic and porcelain disks clean. Evolution has molded a tongue as rough as sand paper and a brain. Buy a dog; let it do the dishes.

But while dogs are fun and paper plates are you want to sit on the couch with a proper plate, watching a 60 Minutes feature about some out-of-this-world science that seems too crazy to be true.  Growing body parts in petri dishes, and resurrecting extinct species with cloning technology! It’s wild! Did you see Anderson Cooper go shark diving?!

If you want to make this a reality (roommates who wash their own plates, not the Frankenstein science stuff), you need to take drastic steps.  No, I don’t mean drugging your roommates’ food or handcuffing them to the kitchen sink, but you need to be aggressive.

When I was a child, my mother used to padlock the refrigerator door; if my sister or some Motts apple juice or some of Welch’s delicious grape juice, we needed to return the last glass we used … and she expected it clean. So, if your roommates are going to treat you like their mother, I suggest you act like one.  Give your roommates an ultimatum: good food on clean plates or no food on dirty plates.

On the bright side, your roommates start doing their own dishes to eat … On the down side, they may adapt to living off of take out and using only one set of dirty utensils.  As long as you have the lock combo, you shouldn’t care.

Stay Classy,

A to Z

Original Author: anonymous