C-boy moved out of the house, leaving my mother, Mike, and me. Mike and I were working and rarely at home. Our at-home meals were simple. Often my mother went out with other family members or we all went out together. Doggie bags could keep us going for a few meals. It wasn’t unusual to go several days without running the dishwasher.
Jump ahead to today when it is not unusual for us to run loads twice a day. Between cups and glasses for water, tea, milk, and coffee and bowls/plates, pans (for ramen noodles) and flatware for snacks, dirty dishes procreate routinely. Hosting additional kids, friends and family is routine. Declining to use disposable products unless we are entertaining a group adds to the abundance of dirty dishes. When ED cooks, the kitchen looks like something from a cooking show; much different than my one-pot meals.
Our routine is that ED cooks, I assist, then we all help to clean up, with Mike doing the bulk of pot washing and dishwasher loading. Something about his engineering background makes him very good at that. Unloading and reloading during the day falls on whoever is around to do it. Initially, I tried to keep the kitchen clean during the day but, realizing the futility, I now try to straighten it before ED comes home from work.
I often contemplate how dull it would be if Mike and I were alone.