Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Correct Method of Unloading a Dishwasher

My parents had the most asinine argument this evening. My dad was unloading the dishwasher after dinner, and my mom walked into the kitchen. My mom stood there observing him, and as he put silverware away in the drawer she told him he was doing it incorrectly. I had never given the matter much thought, and it had never occurred to me that there might be a correct or incorrect way of unloading a dishwasher.

Loading a dishwasher is another matter entirely. Dishes that are breakable need not to be in contact with one another during the cycle. Dishes with large surface areas must not be placed against water jets if the dishwasher is to do its job. Dishes should not block the movement of wash spinners. This isn't exactly rocket science but, rather, common sense that virtually any functional moron could deduce after running a load of dishes, only to open the dishwasher to find scrambled egg-encrusted plates.

But unloading a dishwasher?

Keep in mind that my dad wasn't licking the silverware, or, more correctly, the flatware, (my parents own silver place settings, which are only used on major holidays, and the rest of the time sits tarnishing in a china cabinet) away. before he put it in the drawer. I'm sure he washed his hands; he's not a compulsive hand-washer, but even a research physician won't last long in medicine if he doesn't develop the habit of washing hands for hygiene-related purposes. I walked to the drawer where the silverware is kept, and everything had been put into its correct slot.

I was most curious as to what he might be doing so incredibly incorrectly. So was he. He stopped to gape at my mom. "Erin," he started, "how in hell does one put silverware[sic] away incorrectly?"

My mom took the silverware basket from him. "You empty one section at a time, " she told him, "like this . . ."  she demonstrated. "you were taking all the spoons out, then all the forks, and then the knives. It's just, how shall I say it, wrong!"

My dad, of course, disagreed. I might add that he missed the obvious opportunity to hand over the task to my mother, as, if one doesn't like the way someone else unloads a dishwasher, one is certainly free to take over the task. Instead he argued with her. "It's more efficient to do it this way," he told her. "If you start t one end of the basket, work your way down,  and grab all the spoons, then put them together in the tray, your hand makes fewer movements and the job goes faster."

"Maybe it does," she semi-conceded, "but it's weird."

"What's so weird about saving time?" he countered.

They ended up emptying the silverware tray into the basket and timing each other unloading it. My dad won. My mom still was not impressed.

For that matter, the argument is almost hypothetical, as neither of my parents empties the dishwasher more than once a month. I do it the rest of the time. I'm not disclosing what method I use, because there are no right or wrong ways of emptying a dishwasher as long as the method  used is safe and hygienic. and the silverware ends up in the right place.


  1. Your parents are hilarious. This sounds like something you'd see in a 70s era commercial. I don't care how Bill empties the dishwasher. I'm just glad I don't have to do it.

    1. I was thinking bad 70's sitcom, but it's essentially the same thing.

  2. Like the saying goes, if you want something done right...

    1. I would have handed the silverware basket to her and let her take over, too.