Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Where have all the saucers gone?

I've been loading and unloading the dishwasher a lot lately. This might sound like a strange statement, (umm, ok? Was she living with piles of dishes like an episode of Hoarders for years?) but the feeling is true. I had ankle surgery earlier this year and had been laid up for months prior with torn this, fractured that, and for God's sakes don't stand on it! So loading the dishwasher was not something I did for a long, long time. A long blissful, exquisite time.

Like many things that are blissful and exquisite, this time was finite. Ankle open, ankle closed, stand up! I can stand everybody! I'm healed! Oh, wait a minute... I don't get to walk around just being fabulous on my ankle and having people say you can WALK! I thought you'd never walk! Look at you, all walking and shit! 

Which brings me to the dishwasher. Literally. Standing. In front of the dishwasher. That big, yawning, toothless chasm to be filled with this and this and that which must stand up and that which must not under any circumstances stand up. Spoons with avocado (nature's butter, or nature's super glue?) bowls with errant kernels of rice, coffee cups with their planetary rings of dinge. 

Now, my husband actually kind of enjoys loading the dishwasher. It's like grown-up Tetris (I ask: who would ever really want to play grown-up anything?) He likes the challenge of making things fit. Optimizing. I, however, have limited powers as such. I've got some things down, and the rest of it? Enh. Enh enh enh. Shrug. Stick it in, close the door, run that sucker. Ain't nothing in life that's perfect. Some things don't deserve more than a cursory try.

Upon opening, (the big reveal!) warm. clean. smooth. white. And the calisthenics of bend, grasp, unfurl, place. Stack coffee cups, perfect. Tea cups, uncooperative. Their handles force them akimbo like girls with attitudes. The saucers-- do we even use saucers anymore? Who is using saucers? WHY are they using saucers? Reach to the back of the cabinet where saucers belong. One lone saucer upon which to stack. Maybe three total, tops. Out of 12. There were twelve once. Like the lost tribes of the Israelites, at some point there was fullness, there was perfection. And then dispersion. 

From what was once a complete, things have multiplied and divided and disappeared, all without any kind of realization, any kind of whole picture of the state of things. As I finish, shoving spatulas into drawers (they are best nested, with their kind), I think, well, at least I can close the cabinet doors. And no matter how much I may detest loading and unloading the dishwasher, I can do it. And I don't have to stand at the sink and wash everything by hand, like in the days before dishwashers. 

There is equilibrium, somehow. Load, unload. Short stack, tall stack. Perfect fit, precarious jostle. The balance is not in the kitchen, per se, but in the person loading and unloading. The practiced bend and reach. The movement.


Meggan Anderson said...

Let's become Amish, my love.

Susie Sigman said...

I use saucers. The cups that fit into them want me to. Otherwise they feel kinda naked.