Great Questions Of Our Time

michaelalreadytakenOctober 4, 2007

We're all familiar with the over or under toilet paper controversy that has wrecked so many lives, flushing countless relationships as it were.

Then there's the leave the lid up/leave the lid down paradox that's directly responsible for the surge in antidepressant usage.

And yet, there is another issue--far more insidious.

It's the: do the dirty dishes go into the sink that houses the garbage disposer or into the ordinary sink on the other side?

I'm sure all right thinking, spiritually intact, educated, productive, wholesome, people will agree that the dirty dishes go into the "plain" sink--and not into the sink containing the garbage disposer.

I do realize that the mere existence of a sink equipped with a garbage disposer activates some neural circuits that associate "dirty" with "dirty" thus promoting the automatic placement of soiled dishes and utensils into that sink most closely associated with the disposal of the mess.

However, those of us who've had algebra should know that f(x)=y and that sometimes what a thing represents is not actually what it is and that we must engage in as many as two structured thoughts if we wish to achieve one correct answer.

Yes, entertaining two structured thoughts is twice as much work as merely engaging in one thought, very wearisome and I grant you, seemingly life-threatening for some people.

However, it can save us from the even more debilitating and humiliating physical task of having to remove the dirty dishes from the disposer sink in order to gain access to the disposer function.

These are the basics.

At a more esoteric level one has to consider the effect upon the impulse/no impulse "go/no go" associated with impulsively cleaning the dishes when confronted with the opportunity, time, and desire to do so.

One must consider whether or not being confronted with a stack of dishes in the "wrong" sink is a powerful enough demotivator so as to provoke a response of: "-_-_ ---- _-_-," which is merely a cruder, more succinct version of the phrase "Oh, but hell no...etc."

I realize the issue is mind boggling with no clear answer and yet, I think by turning to the words of the prophet we can gain some insight, clarity, and yes, hope for the future:

I know what you're thinking. "Did he rinse six plates or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Kenmore Super HD, the most powerful garbage disposer in the world, fully capable of grinding up a pork chop bone, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky?

Well, do ya, punk?


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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Big ole LOL, MAT.

Actually, you've convinced me that the dirty-dirty impulse is the wrong way to go. Who knew I'd be convinced of anything today?!

Alas, no garbage disposal at the ol' homestead [literally]- septic tank. And that horrible memory of me trying to help my Grandmother out when it was her house and I was little... I put all the scraps down the garbage disposal like at home. Ooops.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 2:30PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Ha ha ha ha! No gd here either, in fact the whole thing kinda scares me. But if I had one, the dirty dishes would go directly into the dishwasher so to avoid the whole controversy.

And as for the toilet seat up or down confusion, we decided that it depends on the male or female preponderance in the household. I live with two men and a male dog, so I am used to putting the seat down or living with the consequences.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 5:41PM
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Too funny MIchael. Ditto to Kathy re garbage disposal.

But I do have to have the toilet seat down - too many scary moments when I have plonked myself down and almost fallen in then screams from me as my bare flesh hits the ice cold china bowl. It' a crime in our house. Toilet paper and paper towels we agree on, they feed from the top.:)
Thanks for your entertaining words.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:17AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Go ahead MAT, make my day.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:28AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Dirty is dirty and why mess up the clean side. The dishes have food particles, right? What have you been drinking/smoking?


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:00AM
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And yet there is still another transgression often committed that many may not know about.

That is a person never placing the dishes within the sink, but rather placing them teasingly inches away from the sinks.
This has confounded me since the early days of my marriage. How can one manage to place them on the counter but not directly within the sink? Even if the sink is half filled w/ hot soapy water begging those dishes to take a dip. One of those eternal mysteries that you mull over on your way out the door but forget to bring up later on.

I finally once asked the point blank question to DH and he looked at me quite surprised and said "So that you might find it easier to place in the dishwasher of course".

I still have not been able to follow the logic there. Please tell me, am I the only person in this universe with this issue? I feel like I'm the only one. I feel like everyone else either places them in the disposal side, my favorite side, or the other side, the one that risks food getting stuck in the pipes. I feel like I'm the only one dealing with a counter-full of dirty dishes and empty sinks.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:14PM
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This is how I've come to do it:
Dirtys must be scraped well with a rubber spatula over the trash and then well rinsed in the disposer side and then stacked
next to the clean side of the sink. The disposer side always is in use for rinsing and I don't like dirty plates rinsed over ones that are already rinsed and wating for a wash. I keep both sides clear because I like to put my dishpan in the clean non disposer side. Also I like not to have to cleanser the clean side as often. We have a porcelain sink and it's so much work to keep white. However, I can see when it's clean. A perfect situation would be a three well sink!

My old boyfriend had a dish drainer on the sink at all times. I prefer just to pull out the clean racks of the dishwasher and use that. I think he didn't like to put things away because he kept using the same 6 items out of the drainer over and over. I bet he is doing it that way still.

No one in the house is able to get the items rinsed and directly into the dishwasher so we end up with the pile beside the sink.

The exception is my china, crystal and sterling. I use it all the time and everyone knows to just leave it on the table and let me do the rinsing and stacking, etc. I put cheap washcloths between the plates and have never chipped one yet.

If you have a set of silver flatware, please enjoy it. Regular use keeps away the tarnish and the pieces get more luster with each use. Just remember, no lemon dishsoap!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:49PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation


OK then, down to the nitty-gritty. EVERYONE knows that the toilet seat must have the lid closed after each use. Solves the male/female thing and keeps dogs from drinking the water [ugh].

Betty, you are SO not alone. Lucky, even?! There is apparently a genetic mutation in the human species that makes some folks unable to EVER get a plate into the sink or dishwasher.

My ex could get it as far as the counter where the sink was - the farthest corner - often still teetering off the edge slightly in an obvious act of rebellion and cat-temptation. Never scraped, toying with my temper a casually crumpled napkin atop... the trashcan 2 feet away and looking so friendly and approachable.

Like the mail service, any weather or situation, any stength and patience-zapping malady on my part notwithstanding, THIS one could count on.

Ah, being single. Thanks, I needed that!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 4:40AM
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Wait...we must add a kid quotient!! The kids...who theoretically are supposed to 'clear their places' manage to do this...but with the caveat that dishes are randomly piled into the sink on the disposal side with plenty of food and/or silverware left on them. I have begged pleaded and even made them reclaim the sink from its dirty demise...and one remembers the 'scrape and rinse' rule.

How can one start from the top when you can't be sure there isn't a butter knife in the well? Reclaiming the disposal side is like working backwards....everything takes longer. Apparently the kids need to progress on to algebra.....they clearly cannot solve for x. Sigh....

One day, when I grow up, I am going to have the sink all to myself and I probably won't even use it to set a dish in. Straight to the dishwasher I say!!!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 8:19PM
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I hate dishes in the sink. Last night I got up for a something to drink. The lazy man I live with had left some dishes in the sink. It was 3AM. I couldn't go back to bed until I had washed the dishes and stacked the dish washer. Yeah you read it right. I always wash them them first before putting them in the dish washer for "sterilizing". It is the only way to get them REALLY clean.

Rob says I'm prone to "Virgo Cleaning Frenzies". Strange thing is, I'm a Leo, but so is Martha Stewart.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:38AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Very similar to the "dishes don't quite make it to the sink" problem is the "pop cans don't quite make it to the bag" problem. Why is it that the men in my family can bring the pop cans into the kitchen, and put them on the counter, but not carry them the extra two feet and drop them in the paper bag conveniently and seductively waiting for them. Everytime I come into the kitchen, I have to toss pop cans into the pop bag. It is an eternal mystery, akin to the "garbage bag not replaced in the can" mystery. Am I the only one that can do these things?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 12:11PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Damn Patrick. DW is just like you. She makes me wash them clean before they go into the dishwasher to be sterilized. Should I be frightened?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 1:18PM
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Patrick, will you please tell my virgo boyfriend to not put stuff in the dishwasher with food stuck all over it. He says the dishwasher will get it off anyway. But I KNOW that that isn't always the case. I am a complete rinse beforehand fanatic. We don't always run the dishwasher right away so the thought of the old food sitting on the dishes for a while drives me nuts.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Next time the lazy slob doesn't rinse his dishes, run the cycle. When it is finished separate out the encrusted dishes, silverware and glasses. Next night cook a delicious meal with a spicy sauce. Sneak in a teaspoon of syrup of ipecac into his portion of the sauce. Serve his meal on the dirty plate. Give him a dirty glass and silverware. Later that when he is puking his guts out rub his back gently and say:

"Oh baby I'm so sorry. It is all my fault for serving your dinner on one of the filthy plates that you failed to rinse before putting it in the dishwasher."


    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 4:01PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

My dishwasher has a 'rinse and hold' cycle, we just rinse in there if necessary. Dishes in the sink makes me want to scream.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 10:40AM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

When visiting, I watch how my host handle the journey of the dishes from the table to the washer before I offer to help with their transportation.

Toilet seats are assumed down & with TP one hopes there is enough left to give one a clue and its' replacement is in ready view. Otherwise it is a "Hep me!" for sure.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:09PM
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