Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is your spouse a dishwasher Nazi?

Per the spouse, I am a dishwasher Nazi, meaning I have a very specific idea of how our dishwasher should be loaded (which I refer to as "common sense, so you can fit the most stuff into it to conserve energy" or "a place for everything, and everything in its place") and get annoyed when other people just randomly jam dishes and bowls and glasses wherever they please. And I am not alone. Indeed, the spouse and I, through years of observation, have come to the (unscientific) conclusion that in most households with more than one person, one of them is a dishwasher Nazi.

For the record, unlike real Nazis, I have never tortured or gassed anyone for putting a plate or bowl in the wrong slot, though I have been known to sigh and cast dirty looks. (Though seriously people, how hard is it to figure out where that plate should go?! Come on!)

Interestingly, in the several other cases of dishwasher domination we know about, it is the man who is in charge (by choice) of loading the dishwasher -- and woe to the spouse or child who attempts to place a plate or glass without his permission, or puts that fork or knife in the wrong side up. (Speaking of forks and knives, we no longer have this issue as our dishwasher has a silverware tray, but do you believe the sharp end should go up or down?)

So, my question to all of you is: Is there a dishwasher Nazi in your household? And, if so, which one of you is it?

[Btw, I just Googled the term "dishwasher nazi" and there are 714,000 results. Clearly, this is a bigger problem than I suspected.]

12 comments:

Dave S. said...

In all things kitchen-related but (I hasten to point out) in nothing else, I am a Nazi. I am not especially proud of that but I will say that I will match my dishwasher-loading skills, learned by observing a former Russian co-worker* work his Maytag magic, against anyone's.

Silverware is to be loaded into the dishwasher business end up, THE END.

And because I am a nitpicker Nazi I will observe that the phrase is "Woe to the spouse or child" unless the dishwasher Nazi is Keanu Reeves.

*Former co-worker; he's still Russian as far as I know.

AlyssaGoodman said...

YOU *know* the answer in my house! Yes, we have a male "spouse" Nazi in our case...

Anonymous said...

Never cared about knifes pointed up or down...until I tripped over an open dishwasher and slashed my left thigh on a point up knife.

Many stiches and a nasty scar later, I am a cautionary tale to kids to put point knives down.

Glad to help!

J. said...

@Dave S., I have tears in my eyes from your third paragraph. And it was with some remorse that I changed "whoa" to "woe." (Can you tell I hadn't eaten when I wrote this post? Well, you probably could.)

@AlyssaGoodman, the spouse and I wondered which one of you would comment first. He guessed correctly.

@Anonymous, OMG! While I have always insisted on knives being pointed down (though was neutral on forks and spoons), you just convinced me. OUCH.

Btw, I just received this note from my mother-in-law (who is not a dishwasher Nazi), which I felt compelled to share, though only members of my extended family will appreciate: "Well, you clearly know who that dishwasher Nazi is in my house. No need to explain." Nope, no need to explain, MIL.

Dave S. said...

Based on @Anonymous's experience (yeesh, sorry that happened) I would like to revise and extend my comment to observe that the rule for sharp knives is point down and all the way in the back for paring knives and such, and laid horizontally sharp edge down on the top rack for chef's knives etc.

If it turns out it was a butter knife that did the damage, further review of the Basic Law may be in order.

Kendor said...

In marriage, one learns to pick ones battles :-)

Left to my own devices, my dishwasher would be loaded completely differently, including pots and pans, odd sized utensils, reusable plastic containers (and occasionally a comb or brush). An absolutely, no rinsing!

That said, at Two-0 HQ we agree on toilet paper hanging technique... no making the bed every day is a different story...

J. said...

@Kendor, *shudder*

Bettina Hein said...

I load the dishwasher in our house but I'm not that particular about it. But I do a have a marriage-improving dishwasher story. After about 9 years of living together the husband and I figured out that we had specific preferences: I HATE unloading the dishwasher and he hates loading it. Since we've divided up the task, we're both much happier and it's what economists call pareto-optimal. The only question is: why the hell did it take us 9 years to figure this out???

Jim Smith II said...

It's not the spouse it's me. Makes me crazy when things are just randomly thrown in. I guess it's all part of my minor CDO (OCD with the letters in the correct order)

J. said...

@Bettina, sounds like a fair -- and smart -- division of labor. Though nine years?! ;-)

@Jim, you've clearly come to the right blog. :-)

Laura said...

My husband is more the Nazi in terms of what loaded where, but the one thing I do NOT like is unloading silverware that's been put in the rack business end up. That means the grubby hands belonging to whoever unloads it get all over the eating surfaces. Yuck! So it's business end down for me. I quietly go in there and turn them all the right way when he ignores common sense and places them the wrong way; it's easier than arguing!

Donna said...

The hubs is the dishwasher Nazi. I, on the other hand, am just thankful it gets loaded. :)