I would stand by the dish drain as Dad washed the dishes. He took this task seriously, getting the pots and pans out of the way before starting on dishes and silverware. My task (my turn) was to dry dishes while my sister put them back in the cupboards. Mother was busy putting away leftovers for another meal. Dad was also particular about dish products: he preferred Comet to Ajax as a scouring agent; he had a favorite detergent, one that “cut the grease,” as the commercial would say. Growing up I don’t remember having an automatic dishwasher; it was Dad.
Soon after I married Bill, he took me to the kitchen and said, “This is yours.” I was proud of the possession and responsibility, and I assumed he would help out with various tasks. Wrong. At least for many years, anyway. After Bill became dean of the college, he took up cooking, finding new recipes (sometimes strange ones). One recipe he copied from a magazine in a doctor’s office – imitation crab and angel-hair spaghetti, a quick and easy dish we still make today. When he would cook, I didn’t mind washing the dishes. Then when I cooked, Bill would do the clean-up
Now in our three-generation home, Bill is the “official” dishwasher. Emily says, “He’s the best!” We have a dishwasher appliance, but Bill doesn’t use it unless we insist when we have company. He’s as particular as my dad, maybe more so. He doesn’t like for dishes to stack up in the drain, so I stay handy or he will start drying. When he had an infected thumb, Becky took him off dishwasher duty, and he did not like it, lingering around, hoping she would not see him at the sink. It’s his job and he likes it.